When you or your near and dear ones are facing a trial, the overall process, even before the punishment term begins, is a long and tedious process. There are all sorts of thoughts and fears in the head that you have to deal with. It is the beginning, and the thoughts go on and on when the punishment term begins.

As friends and family of the jail inmate, the stress grows relentlessly every day as you cannot see what your known is upto and cannot have any updates regarding them. That’s when you begin googling everything related to an inmate search.

So, instead of deepening your doubts, it’s better to walk with the basic clarity related to it.

The First Step

Finding your known from inmate search sources can be because of various reasons. So, the first step while finding someone arrested to still incarcerated is to know where the crime occurred. The jurisdiction will help you get through other details if you are unaware of other important things that can help in the case.

Using The Facilities


The search for someone who is in jail begins with the State Department of Corrections. The state’s webpage will help you with a contact number that you can use. Further, you can use other resources like the sex offender registry, offender contact information, and others like offender visitation forms.

You can use the search feature for quicker discovery and results. However, if you don’t have the direct links for all these portals, all you have to do is simply google the term – department of Corrections’ followed by the word inmate search in front of it. The official link will be displayed on the first page’s results.

Status Of The Person

If you don’t wish to spend on such searches, you can do it for free by simply calling the jail based on the jurisdiction of the matter. You will get public information about the person you wish to inquire about by the department officials. When you have limited information, this option is best for you.

When someone is in federal prison, you can also contact free searches over there. You have to go to the Bureau of Federal Prisons. After this, you will find the inmate locator tab. You can use your information, like their name or number, to search.

However, you should know that not all jails and prisons have such information furnished online. When the information is unavailable, instead of blaming the authorities for the same, you can call the place and get the required information.

Many other free websites can help you with free searches. You can look for the options of state prisons and county jails. The best part about them is that they are updated daily; hence, you are more likely to get what you are looking for.

Searching For Information Related To Releases


If you wish to get information about the release date of a jail inmate, you should have some details about them. Apart from their name, you should know the name of the prison or the jail where they live. Also, it will help if you know whether it is a federal, state, or county facility.

Further, you should have information about the prisoner’s ID number. Although, there is one issue even if you have all this information. If the inmate has a common name, you should know specific details about them, like their age, race, and gender, that will help narrow down the results.

However, if you don’t know their address or other pertinent information, you can begin by looking it up. There are sources available like VINE, which is elaborated as victim information and daily notification that can help you know about the custody status and location, amongst others. There are chances that you might get information related to the scheduled release date, too.

However, there are some things that you should refrain from doing while searching; that are as follows:

  • You should seek only general information until you are verified for a signed release.
  • You should fill out the online portals and wait for 24 hours to get a revert. Until then, you should not hurry or create any havoc for the same.
  • Also, if you cannot get answers to the question, or any other information, you will be referred to the best person for the same. Hence, you should wait and maintain calm as official things need time.

How To Go About Visits And Meetings

You must complete the online form and get a sanction for visiting the person in jail. For security reasons, sometimes, the jail inmate’s families and friends must undergo body searches before they meet the person in jail.

However, if you are unaware, you can discuss it with the authorities before it is conducted. You should respect the law but still see that nothing goes against you or the person in jail unlawfully.

Money Deposits And Other Assistance


The inmate’s account is open to money that friends and family can deposit to purchase telephone or commissary time. You can check the online resources for the same, and in case, that’s not available, you can buy a deposit coupon. The inmates can help you with these coupons in the correctional facilities’ lobby. If you use the online purchase option, you will find it under the head of the information for inmate families and friends.

Also, personal friends and family members are usually allowed to deposit money for incarcerated individuals. Hence, you should take care of the same. Otherwise, it might lead to fraud, and in the worst cases, it can prevent you from entering the correctional facility.


Well, the do’s and don’t for conducting an inmate search is simple if you are following the due process and maintaining calm in the situation. The generic information is available to all, and you must seek permission and authority for information beyond this category. You should not disrespect the authorities or the lawful process as they are here to help you and your close one who is an inmate rather than vice versa of it.