How To Find Someone In Prison

If a friend or family member ends up taking a trip to prison, chances are you will hear about through the grapevine. That isn’t always the case, though, and there can be circumstances where you hear rumors that can be hard to verify. This is especially true if it’s someone that you have lost touch with over time and who you don’t have any way of contacting to find out where they are. If that’s the case, and you want to find out if they have in fact ended up in prison, there are a few ways you can go about doing so.

Starting your search can be tough if you are not sure where the person you are looking for lived most recently. Try to track down as much information on the individual as possible, including secondary information such as middle names, date of birth, eye color, etc., as these can all help narrow down the search. Once you have an idea of which state the person lived in, you will have a much better chance of quickly finding out if they have indeed been imprisoned. The secondary details you picked up will help in your search, just in case there is more than one person incarcerated in the state with the same name.

Some prison searches are a good deal easier than others, with inmates in federal prisons probably the easiest to track down. The Bureau of Prisons online locator is basically a database of every prisoner that is currently being held in federal prison. Once you get to the website, you will be prompted to add as much as you know to the search engine. This is where all that secondary information will finally come in handy. If the person you are looking for is indeed being held in federal prison, their details, such as location, admission date, release date, and crime committed will be there for you to see.

Things get a little tougher if the person you are looking for is in state prison. This is especially true of you aren’t sure of their location at the time of imprisonment. In this case, you are going to have to go to the website for the state’s Department of Corrections, where you can go through the same sort of process as you did at the Bureau of Prisons site. Since the databases on these sites are only for that individual state, you may be forced to perform this search up to 50 times, once for each state.

If you don’t really feel like putting in the effort to perform these searches, you can choose to try one of the many paid services that are available online. For a small fee they will take whatever information you have and use that to locate where your friend is being held. If all of those different options turn up nothing, then it may just be that the rumors you heard are just that, a rumor.

To search for an inmate, check the “Inmate Search” on



About Mark Miclette 682 Articles
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.