How to Run Inmate Searches

inmate searchesThe Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552) and the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 USC 552a) authorize the release of certain information about Federal inmates to any member of the general public requesting inmate searches.

This includes information such as name, age, and registration number as well as sentencing and confinement data (offense, date sentenced, institution of confinement, etc).

Who is a Federal Inmate?

With a few exceptions, only inmates convicted of violating Federal laws (laws of the United States) are sent to Federal prisons. Individuals awaiting trial for violating Federal laws are also held in Federal prisons. The Federal Bureau of Prisons also houses a few state inmates.

However, most inmates convicted of violating state or local laws are sent to state prisons or city/county jails. If you are not sure whether a particular prison is Federal, check the Prison Directory on this page for a complete list.

How to Perform Inmate Searches

The Federal Bureau of Prisons does not have any information on non-Federal inmates; however, most states have their own locator systems to assist with inmate searches. Contact the department of corrections in your state for further information. For your convenience, use the numbers below to see if individuals have ever been in prison or are currently in prison. Most states just need a name and date of birth.

Depending on the state that you call for inmate searches, they may also provide you with probation information (county level convictions), parole information (state level convictions), and/or all arrests in that state. Florida is a prime example – they can provide you with not only state convictions, but also arrests of an individual.

Many states will release the conviction charges for an individual. On the other end of the spectrum, California will not release conviction information until after a subject has been discharged from parole (i.e. once they are no longer on parole). You will have to contact the archives number below for this information.

Below is the information that most states will provide you if you ask for inmate searches based on the subject’s name and date of birth or SSN:

  • PREVIOUS DC#’s( subjects may have discharged a DC# and picked up a new one.Make sure you ask)
  • ADMISSION DATES:(It’s not uncommon that many inmates will have numerous admission dates and release dates extended over many years because of either new cases that they have picked up or from parole violations)
  • STATUS: In Custody or Out of Custody
  • PPD(Possible Parole Date)


Alabama Department of Corrections: 334-240-9501

Alaska Department of Corrections: 907-269-7400

Arizona Department of Corrections: 602-542-5536

Arkansas Department of Correction: 501-247-6200

California Department of Corrections: 916-445-6713 Just call this number and say “I need to check and see if a specific individual has ever had a commitment with CDC (California Department of Corrections) They will ask you for either the inmates CDC number or name and date of birth.

Colorado Department of CorrectionsColorado Department of Corrections: 719-579-9580

Connecticut Department of Correction: 860-566-4457

Delaware Department of Correction: 302-739-5601

District of Columbia Department of Corrections: 202-673-8270/8269

Florida Department of Corrections: 850-488-5021

Georgia Department of Corrections: Call this number first: 404-656-4569 or 404-656-4593

Hawaii Department of Public Safety: 808-587-1288

Idaho Department of Correction: 208-334-2318

Illinois Department of Corrections: 217-522-2666

Indiana Department of Correction: 317-232-5772

Iowa Department of Corrections: 515-281-4811

Kansas Department of Corrections: 913-296-3310

Kentucky Department of Corrections: 502-564-2433 or 502-564-2433

Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections: 504-342-6741

Maine Department of Corrections: 207-287-4360

Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services: 410-764-4100 or 410-585-3300

Massachusetts Department Of Corrections: 617-727-1950

Michigan Department of Corrections: 517-373-0720

Minnesota Department of Corrections: 612-642-0200

Mississippi Department of Corrections: 601-359-5621

Missouri Department of Corrections: 573-751-8488

Montana Department of Corrections: 406-444-3930

Nebraska Department of Correctional Services: 402-471-2654

Nevada Department of Prisons: 775-887-3285  Archives fax (record info.) 775-687-7615

New Hampshire Department of Corrections: 603-271-5600

New Jersey Department of Corrections: 609-777-5753

New Mexico Corrections Department: 505-827-8709

New York Department of Correctional Services: 518-457-8126  Records: 518-457-5000

North Carolina Department of Correction: 919-716-3200

North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: 701-328-6390

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction: 614-752-1164

Oklahoma Department of Corrections: 405-425-2500

Oregon Department of Corrections: 503-945-0920
Note: Oregon is traditionally very lenient on giving out info. They may give you subjects DOB if you do not have it, possible release date, and charges. You should have at least the subject’s full name.

Rhode Island Department of CorrectionsPennsylvania Department of Corrections: 717-975-4860

Rhode Island Department of Corrections: 401-464-2611

South Carolina Department of Corrections: 803-896-8555

South Dakota Department of Corrections: 605-773-3478

Tennessee Department of Correction: 615-741-2071

Texas Department of Criminal Justice: 409-294-2101

Utah Department of Corrections: 801-265-5500

Vermont Department of Corrections: 802-241-2442

Virginia Department of Corrections: 804-674-3131/3132/3133

Washington Department of Corrections: 360-753-1573

West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety: 304-558-2037

Wisconsin Department of Corrections: 608-266-4548

Wyoming Department of Corrections: 307-777-7405

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