How To Do an Offender Inmate Search
June 07, 2016
Communicating with a loved one who has been incarcerated is one of the most effective ways to stay connected and show your support. Conducting an offender inmate search offers a way for family and friends to locate an inmate and open up lines of communication.
You may be having a difficult time locating your loved one.
Consider These Things In Your Search
- Be sure to know what type of correctional facility to search.
There are three types of facilities -Federal, State and City/County. For example, an inmate in county jail will not be found in a federal offender inmate search. If your loved one has been incarcerated in a federal prison, you must only search federal databases found here: www.bop.gov. If your loved one has been incarcerated at a city/county facility, try searching the particular facility’s database.
- Know in which state your loved one is located.
An inmate in Florida will not be found in any other state’s database. Please note that once on probation or parole, your loved one will not be found in the database as they are no longer considered an inmate.
- Find a registration number as part of your search.
This number is sometimes referred to as an Inmate ID, Inmate Registration Number, Inmate Identifier or something else.
This number helps to identify your loved one within the system, and can help you locate their profile which may have additional information regarding their current location.
Many correctional facilities offer a search option on their website to help you find an identification number. You will need to enter any identifying information you have (name, age, etc) and if the inmate is located in the database, you will be provided with that number. Use this number to complete the search.
What To Do When an Offender Inmate Search Has No Results
If you are still having trouble locating your loved one, it may have to do with the following reasons:
1. Error: You have entered the information incorrectly.
The systems are not able to detect typos or misspellings of names, so you must be careful to enter the information exactly how the system would have it.
2. Error: You have entered too much information.
It is possible that the system can identify the right person in your offender inmate search, but that you have entered more information than the system currently has in the database. Try entering only the last name.
If the system returns a number of results with the single last name, try submitting the first letter of the first name plus the last name. Narrow down your search by adding one letter at a time if necessary.
For example, if you are searching for Steven Skramis, you will enter “Skramis” in the last name box, and the letter “S” in the first name box.
If there are still too many results, try entering “St” in the first name box, and so on, until the results are fewer.
3. Error: Incorrect correctional facility.
If you are still unable to find any results, please consider the type of correctional facility once more. As a reminder, inmates in Federal Prison will always be found at www.bop.gov. Inmates in county jail will be found on the specific county websites while inmates in a state facility will be found on the specific state websites.
If you aren’t sure in what state your loved one is incarcerated, you may need to search state by state. The website Corrections.com offers search systems for each state. Another free resource for searching state-by-state is TextBehind.com.
What to Do When You Find Your Loved One, But Information Is Missing
Many systems have complete profiles on each inmate including a photo, incarceration history and more.
If your offender inmate search does not provide a profile like the one mentioned above, you can likely find it by searching within the results.
For example: If the results include a table with columns, some of the content in those columns may be clickable. Attempt to click on the text and/or numbers in the column to see if they open a new window or web page displaying the inmate’s profile.
Communicating With Your Loved One
After you find the information you seek about an inmate, you can learn more about communicating directly with them based on the guidelines set by the particular correctional facility. Each facility has the right to set its own communication and visitation rules.
Facilities that utilize ConnectNetwork offer multiple communication opportunities such as calls and emails. For additional information on communication offerings, visit us here.
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