This section is to help our visitors to locate their prison penpal or any other inmate incarcerated in the United States. For example, if you have been writing to an inmate in the US and you suspect this person was transferred to a new facility, you can try to locate them.
Keep in mind that some US inmates are assigned to the Federal System and can only be found through the Federal BOP (Bureau of Prisons) search engine. The Federal System has a very specific format for correctional ID numbers: 00000-000 (five numbers, dash, three numbers). If you happen to know the correctional ID number of your prison penpal and it is similar to this format, you might want to start your research with the BOP Inmate Locator.
Also note that some inmates might be difficult to locate. For example, some online search engines are not comprehensive, or not updated with newly incarcerated people. It is also possible that some inmates may be booked under a name other than their legal name or that an inmate transferred out-of-state got lost in the system and became untraceable. The reasons are numerous, but in most cases, if someone is currently in custody in a prison in the United States, you should be able to find them, either online or by directly contacting the Federal Bureau of Prisons or the State’s Department of Corrections by phone. Please note that the more information you have about the inmate (last name, first name, correctional ID number, date of birth…) and the greater your chances to find their facility.
The search engines you will find below are only for federal and state prison inmates. Some inmates might be booked in county jails, like inmates awaiting for their hearing/trial, or sometimes inmates with short sentences (especially in case of prison overcrowding). Most of the time, these jails have their own search engines online. You can find them on Google by entering the county, the state, and the keywords: “jail inmate search” (example: “Cook County Illinois Jail Inmate Search”).