To locate an inmate, it helps to first know the location where the inmate is incarcerated. Most states have public inmate databases available to search that users can access online. If the inmate is in the custody of the state, check the state's correctional department website. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has an online database for federal prisoners as well.
You are more likely to be successful in your search if you provide as much information as possible on the inmate (e.g., name, date of birth, convictions). Ideally, knowing the inmate's ID number in the prison system proves most successful with database searches. Be sure you are accessing the official Department of Corrections website for the state in which the inmate is incarcerated. Many fake inmate search sites ask for fees before searching. Official Department of Corrections websites will not charge a fee.
In addition, there are several national inmate search websites such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons. If the inmate is in federal prison, the Federal Bureau of Prisons would be the best, free option available for your search. As with state prisoners, it helps to know the FBI ID number when completing your query.
People Smart offers a national search engine for individuals, which includes inmate searches across the nation, as well as criminal background history, court runner searches and work history reports. However, using its databases requires a subscription fee.