jail and prison records

Prison and Jail Records Online

Many prisons and jails have online databases for locating inmates. A comprenhensive index to online databases of inmates in county, state and federal prisons and jails is avaiable at:

Black Book Online - Free Inmate Records

Federal Prison Inmate Database

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has an online database of past and present inmates, and an Inmate Locator for searching by last name and first name. The website is here:

Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator

Search results will include the age, race, sex and registration number of the inmate, the inmate's projected release date, and the prison where the inmate is incarcerated.

For example, try a search for this inmate - Theodore Kaczynski (the infamous Unabomber).

State Prison Inmate Databases


California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - Inmate Locator

An online database searchable by inmate's name that lists the inmate's admission date to prison, the prison where the inmate is being held, the inmate's age and the inmate's identification number.

Very limited information on where an inmate is incarcerated also is available by phone.

Other States

Prisons in other states also are putting online their databases of incarcerated people.

A site with links to the websites of departments of corrections in different states, including those with online databases of inmates, is:

Ancestor Hunt - Prison Search

(this site also has historical records of inmates at many state prisons)

See also the directory of online databases of inmates, including in state prisons, at:

Black Book Online - Free Inmate Records

And a cautionary note: see this Texas Tribune story about errors in the prisoner database in that state.

County Jail Inmate Databases

Some county jails have made their inmate records available online.

The VINELink website also posts data from some county jails on inmates in custody. You can search the database by an inmate's name to determine if they're in custody and get their inmate ID number, date of birth and other information.

To see which counties are available, go to the:

VINELink Web site

VINELink is run by a private company - Appriss - that specializes in developing criminal justice data networks.

Another site that has links to county jail inmate databases online is:

Ancestor Hunt - County Jail Search

You can also check the websites of county sheriff's departments, which run the county jails. In California, the California Sate Sheriff's Association keeps a list of sheriff's websites and phone numbers:

California Sheriff's Offices

And you can check the directory of online databases of inmates, including in county jails, at:

Black Book Online - Free Inmate Records