What Is an Inmate Locator? Here's What to Know

What Is an Inmate Locator? Here's What to Know

Did you know that there were over two million people incarcerated in 2020? The United States leads the world in the sheer amount of prisoners. 

Having someone you love as an inmate is difficult in and of itself. Families and friends are faced with the difficult task to use an inmate locator to visit them.

It doesn't have to be difficult though, visiting inmates can be made easier when using the correct tools. This can help bolster relationships for both the inmate and a loved one. 

Jail vs. Prison

It is important to know the difference between a jail and a prison. This can often impact visitation rights, although COVID-19 has recently changed some of the rules and regulations. 

In a nutshell, prison is often for people who have committed serious crimes and jail is for people awaiting trial, or who have committed minor crimes. This usually entails a longer length of time spent in prison versus jail, and more difficult visitation rights at times. 

In fact, it has been shown that visiting inmates can actually decrease the chance of a reoffense once they get released. However, each state has different laws in place for visitation. 

Some states have limitations on visiting hours, whereas others have to perform a background check before letting someone visit. States like Washington have a ban on excessive emotion that leaves families wary as to what the officer will charge as excessive when visiting. 

Unfortunately, visitation decreases the further away an inmate is. This can be caused by a lack of knowledge of where an inmate is or difficulties with travel. If an inmate is greater than 500 miles away from a loved one, visitation decreases to around 14 percent. 

Inmate Locator

An inmate locator is a perfect tool to find out how to locate an inmate. With so many websites out there, you want to choose one that is the most comprehensive. 

This locator should include searches for city or county jails, state prisons, and federal prisons. Along with that, you should be able to provide inmate information to further specify your search. 

Databases like these are helpful to find long-lost relatives, friends, or transferred inmates. Additionally, they can help you find information from recently released individuals and give you guidance as to how to search for an inmate. 

These extensive tools are helpful for you to begin interactions with a loved one. Not only is this crucial to their mental health, but can be extremely beneficial in giving you the peace of mind to know that they are safe and in trusted hands.

With COVID-19 shutting down most facilities, online locators are the go-to format to finding out where your loved one is. 

Remote Visitation

It is necessary to check your local and federal visitation policies before attempting an in-person visit. Most prisons shut down to visitation in March 2020 and have been slow to reopen to in-person contact. 

With additional COVID outbreaks in these settings, it may be difficult to tell when some areas will reopen. This has been extremely challenging for inmates and families alike.

There are pros and cons to remote visitation. On the plus side, you don't have as many restrictions with age and the number of people visiting. This can be ideal for large families or those with small children. 

You can also have a more private conversation (keep in mind they are still recorded) versus having to battle the voices of other people around you with an in-person visit. Additionally, some areas might have more flexibility with their hours if you are calling in versus visiting in person. 

If you live too far away to visit an inmate, then remote visitation is something to look into. 

However, there are some downsides to calling in rather than visiting in person. Most inmates prefer to see their families in person and it can cause a negative effect on their mental and emotional health. 

Additionally, phone calls and video chats come at a high cost. Some video chats can cost $8 for 30 minutes while a phone call can be $3 for 20 minutes. However, in-person visits are usually free of charge.

Right now, there aren't a lot of options if your inmate's location is closed to visitation. 

Inmate Information

An inmate locator with a large database can have upwards of 9,000+ jails and prisons to sift through. This includes both incarcerated individuals and those who have been released. 

Inmate information is a tricky thing to navigate. By having the correct information, you can usually locate where someone is or where they were last released. 

If you, or a loved one, are no longer detained then you might be wondering what happens to those records. You can have your records sealed by contacting a lawyer to help run through various companies. This is a tedious task and is not always a guarantee. 

Visit an Inmate

You can visit an inmate by phone, video chat, or in-person - depending on the rules and regulations. Reaching out to an inmate can be helpful for both you and your loved one. 

Struggling to find connections to the right people and places? An inmate locator is beneficial to give you a large database to fine-tune your searches. This provides frequent updates to switches made to different facilities or finding where someone was last released. 

Don't look any further - check out this form if you have any questions regarding an inmate's location or their facility. You can also use your inmate's information to better locate them for future visits and life-changing interactions.