jail and prison records


People arrested or charged with state crimes in Calfornia who can't post bail usually are kept in a county jail facility while their cases are pending.

People charged with federal offenses often are also housed in a county jail facility while their cases are pending (the federal government contracts with county jails for this).

People convicted of state crimes can be sentenced to continue to serve time in the county jail or they could be sentenced to state prison for more serious felony offenses.

People convicted of federal crimes will be sentenced to a federal prison or penitentiary.

Generally if you know the name of an inmate, you can obtain the following information from the local, state or federal corrections agencies that have the person in custody:

  • The prisoner's date of birth or age
  • The prisoner's incarceration identification number
  • The specific facility where the prisoner is being held

Sometimes the jails or prisons will also provide the date the person was first incarcerated, the court that referred the person to the jail or prison, the penal code section the person was charged with or convicted of violating, the scheduled release date of the prisoner if any, and even a record of prior incarcerations of the person for other offenses.

County Jail

For people in county jail, contact the local County Sheriff's Department, which usually runs the county jail (in rare cases a city may run a local jail, in which case contact that city's police department).

State Prison

For people in state prison, contact state corrections or prison officials. In California that's the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Federal Prison

For people in federal prison, contact the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Filed under: Public Records