Inmate Searches – How to conduct an Inmate Lookup for any State or Federal Prison in America

The bad news is that there is no single integrated Inmate Search for all prisoners in the United States. The good news is that one website has a directory of every free Inmate Search in America for your use.

Using a paid search will NOT help you find your inmate as paid searches are NOT in ‘real time’. In fact, while this website’s searches are updated hourly and daily, paid searches are updated at best, monthly.

State Prison Search

Go to any State Prison Facility Page in the state where the inmate is incarcerated to find the inmate. Use JAILexchange.com for FREE searches in all states.

Almost every state in America has an online Inmate Search that can be accessed from this website.

1. From the drop-down menu, choose the state where the Inmate is located.

2. The next page will load all the State Prisons in that state. All the prisons share the same Inmate Search query, so you do not need to know the facility in which they are incarcerated. Therefore, choose any facility.

3. The Facility Page that loads has complete information on everything you will ever need to know about that prison, as well as that state’s Department of Corrections.  Most states have 50 or more links that will bring you to the specific information you want to read. On the upper left side of that page look for the INMATES section (the orange box).

Click on the link titled State Prison Inmate Search. This is the state’s primary search feature for looking up inmates in the prison system.  Make sure to enter their full legal name. The information that loads will tell you what facility they are located in, their incarceration date and their release date.

If you come up empty handed finding your inmate on this query, or there is no State Prison Inmate Search, click the link for USA and State Inmate Search.  This is the free VINELink Inmate Search, a database that keeps track of two thirds of all Inmates in America. Click here to learn how to use VINELink.

If you still cannot find your inmate, or there are no state Inmate Searches available, which is a rare occurrence, you have the final option of calling the telephone number we have provided on each Facility Page and asking the DOC for assistance.  This is public information and they must provide it when asked.

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Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Search

Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Searches

Click on this logo, which you will find on any BOP Facility Page on JAILexchange.com to look up any federal inmate from 1982 on.

Inmate Searches for the Federal Bureau of Prisons are pretty simple, as the search query is the same for every facility in the BOP.

1. Begin here.

2. From the drop-down menu, choose the Federal Bureau of Prisons. This will bring you to a page that lists all of the Federal prisons by type and if you scroll down, they are listed by the state where they are located.

3. Choose any one of the facilities – it does not matter whether your inmate is located there or not, however if you know the facility where your inmate is located, it may be interesting to go there to see all the information there is regarding mailing address, email information, visitation schedules, photos and more.

On the top left of the page you will see (in orange) a link for Inmate search within the BOP.  There is also an US Justice Department icon below the facility name labeled ‘Federal Prison Inmate Search’. Click on either of those and search for your inmate.  You must know their legal name or it will not register.  For example, ‘Bernie Madoff’ does not exist, however ‘Bernard Madoff’ can be found.

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US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Inmate Search

Inmate Searches for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are pretty simple, as the search query is the same for every facility in the BOP and ICE.

1. Begin here.

2. From the drop-down menu, choose the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This will bring you to a page that lists all of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities by the state where they are located.

3. Choose any of the facilities – it does not matter whether your inmate is located there or not, however if you know the facility where your inmate is located, it may be interesting to go there to see all the information there is regarding mailing address, email information, visitation schedules, photos and more.

On the top left of the page you will see (in orange) a link for ICE Inmate Locator.  There is also a colorful icon below the facility name labeled ‘ICE Detainee Locator’. Click on that and search for your inmate.  You must know their legal name and their country of origin, or their A-Number and country of origin or it will not confirm the inmate exists.  For example, ‘Bernie Madoff’ would NOT exist, however ‘Bernard Madoff’ would (if he was in an ICE facility).

ICE Detainee Locator

Click on this ICE Logo which can be found on any Immigration and Customs Enforcement page on JAILexchange.com to find an immigrant in custody of ICE.

All Inmate Searches in America are free.  Our website has accumulated a directory of all the Inmate Lookups for you in one, simple-to-use directory. You should never believe you need to use a paid service for an Inmate Search again.

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For Information on how to conduct a City or County Jail Inmate Search, click here.

For information on how to conduct a nationwide VINELink Inmate search, click here.

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writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.