What is a State Prison?
Once an inmate is convicted and sentenced for a violation of that state’s felony laws (and their sentence is more than one year in length), they are moved from the City or County Jail and sent to a State Prison in Pennsylvania. If the violation they are convicted of is a federal crime, they will be sent to a Federal Prison, but will not necessarily be doing their time in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania State Prisons are operated and maintained by the state government and are used to confine and rehabilitate criminals. State prisons are funded by state tax money. The fund is used to provide food and clothes to inmates and to hire employees to keep the prison running. Inmates in state prison enjoy certain privileges such as TV use and recreation, both indoor and outdoor. The number of privileges allowed depends on the security level of the prison, the inmate and the overall needs of the prison on a specific day.
Pennsylvania has minimum, medium and maximum security prisons. The Corrections Department in Pennsylvania also maintains low (or no) security residential settings and camps where inmates assist in state property maintenance and duties such as fighting fires. Almost all prisons provide ‘jobs’ where an inmate can earn a small hourly wage and even learn a trade. Some prisons even contract with call centers and handle phone calls on issues related to their state government. Criminals who have committed a violent crime or killed someone are likely housed in a maximum security prison. If the inmate in these prisons behave, they are also eligible to recreate and/or work as well.
In Pennsylvania Prisons rehabilitation is the stated goal but the reality is that they exist to punish inmates for their crimes and keep them from hurting or harming innocent people on the outside who follow the laws and live and act responsibly. The fact is that most prison systems are underfunded, overcrowded and are not able to spend time and money rehabilitating offenders. This is not the fault of the people hired to work in prisons, they are just victims of the lack of resources due to budgeting constraints.
How to find an Inmate already convicted of a felony and sentenced?
Most states have Department of Corrections websites that allow you to type in a felon's first and last name and pull up inmates in that state.
If you need to find a sentenced inmate serving time in a state other than Pennsylvania, go here. To find an inmate in Pennsylvania, just scroll to the top of the page and click on the Inmate Search button.
Once you locate them click next to the inmate's name or on the link provided and it will show you which prison the inmate is housed in. If the inmate is no longer incarcerated, but is on parole/probation or discharged, it will tell you that as well. In addition, many state prison inmate pages show recent mug shots.
The federal prison system has its own inmate locator called the Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator.
Type in the inmate's name and it will tell you where he or she is incarcerated and their projected release date. It also lists released federal prison inmates and the date they were released.
Federal inmates who are moved from one prison to another will show as "No longer in federal custody" on the system until they reach their next federal prison destination. This movement can take a few days to several months to complete, so keep checking back to find out where the inmate was taken.
The ICE Detainee Lookup allows friends, family members and interested parties to locate illegal and/or undocumented immigrants that are in the United States without permission.
Has the Inmate been recently arrested?... Try a County Jail
In many cases, the person you are looking for has either not been convicted or sentenced or has been sentenced and is awaiting transport to a State or Federal Prison and is still incarcerated in a City or County Jail.
To locate that person, go here to first find the State, and then the County where they were originally arrested or have been transported to. From there you can begin your search in our databases that contain the names and information of millions of inmates.
Jailexchange.com has all information on every jail and prison in the United States.