State Prisons: Search Inmates and Facilities

State websites have difficult domain names to remember, with thousands of pages, even a county sheriff’s webpage. We have gathered the most valuable information to save you time and frustration.
To locate an inmate or just search if a person is located in a State Prison, scroll down and select one from the following States below to go to the State’s Prison facilities list.
From there you can select the facility that interests you and you will find all of the details you need, inmate search links and the state prison facility information such as the address, telephone numbers, visitation and commissary information.

State Prison Inmate Search

Select a State from the list below to find inmates in State Prisons of the selected State.

State Prisons by State


Find Inmates in State Prisons

There are numerous penitentiaries and jails in the U.S. with a large number of individuals housed in them. It is very hard to know where an inmate is located, as inmates are transferred from one facility to another, from a local or regional jail to a state or federal prison based on the crime, the jurisdiction, classification and the sentenced an inmate is ordered to serve. tries to provide links to all of the currently available inmate searches and DOC sites available in the country.

State prison inmates search

Free Public Arrest Records – Many cities have online free public arrest records. If available, you can find them by clicking on the appropriate state. Choose from the menu to select the County or State or search for the Federal, state, county or city jail to find specific information.
For a State Prison inmate search, select one from the fifty states from above to locate an inmate in a State Prison or search for the State Prison by its name to see the facilities page and inmate search information.Find inmates in State Prisons

US State Prisons System Explanation

State prison inmates reside in facilities that vary by security classification. State prison systems operate similarly to the federal government’s Bureau of Prisons operation, which uses a numbered scale from one to five to classify security levels, Level 5 the most and Level 1 the least secure. To locate an inmate in a State prison scroll up (or click here) to browse the available State Prisons, ordered by State, where you can click on a prison and find the inmate search link if available on the facility’s page.

Supermax prison facilities confine the most dangerous inmates. Most states have either a supermax prison section or an entire supermax prison, where every prisoner has an individual cell with sliding doors controlled from a secure remote station. Each cell has a toilet and a sink. Prisoners may leave their cells for one hour daily but must remain in the cell block area or an outdoor exercise yard unless escorted elsewhere under restraint.
Medium-security prisoner housing may be dormitories with bunk beds and storage lockers, communal showers, toilets, and sinks, and less supervision over prisoner movements.

Prisoners with no history of violence nor of risk of harm to the public occupy minimum-security dormitory facilities patrolled regularly by correctional officers. As in medium security facilities, there are communal hygiene areas. Minimum-security prisoners often work on highway litter removal and other convict labor projects. Many states allow persons in minimum-security facilities access to the Internet.
Until the 1980s, there were no private prisons in the USA. Then, as a result of state War on Drugs policies, the rising numbers of incarcerations drove a demand for more prison space supplied by privatization and the development of prisons for profit.

A 1998 study of three comparable Louisiana medium-security prisons, two operated privately, the third publicly, found the private prisons more cost-effective and equally secure with a higher proportion of inmates completing basic literacy and vocational education courses.


Imprisonment Laws in State Prisons

State laws vest virtually unreviewable discretion as to prison administration and inmate management in executive branch corrections departments and agencies. So long as prison policies, regulations, and confinement conditions are consistent with sentencing provisions and constitutional rights, courts defer to corrections administrators and do not exercise judicial review over their actions.


Inmate Rights in State Prisons

As implied in the previous paragraph, inmates retain certain enforceable constitutional rights, continued access to the courts perhaps foremost. The Eighth Amendment protects them against cruel and unusual punishments. The due process clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments requires fairness in their administrative appeals, the First Amendment preserves their freedom of religion, and the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects them against discrimination or unequal treatment for race, gender, religion, age, or national origin. Inmates also retain at all times the “Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus” * from a state or federal court to challenge the validity of their convictions or the conditions of their confinement.


Commissary in State Prisons

Because state prisoners may not possess cash, any money they earn or their families or friends send them goes into their personal inmate trust funds, “commissary money” most prisoners call it. Prisoners receive meals, basic clothing, and a few very basic personal care items, and those who behave may use their trust fund money to purchase supplies from the prison commissary on commissary day, typically every two weeks. On commissary day prisoners make a list of items to buy and line up at the commissary window.

The recent development of online commissary order and inmate deposit services has introduced a quick, secure, and very convenient way to place a commissary order for an inmate or to deposit money into an inmate’s account. Users need to know the state confinement facility and the prisoner’s name or identification number.


Inmates Visitation policies and Rules in State Prisons

Results of a 50-state survey of prison visitation policies published in the Fall 2013 edition of the Yale Law & Policy Review show “substantial consistency and significant commonalities” across all jurisdictions surveyed. All states provide for prison visitation, all screen visitors and limit who can visit and when, all authorize maximum discretion for prison wardens or superintendents in implementing policy, and all treat visitation as a privilege, not a right. Most policies state unequivocally that inmates are not entitled to visits.

State policies justify visitation limits on security grounds for the reason that contact visits may bring contraband into the prison, but similar security concerns yield widely variant policies. As jurisdictions seem to evaluate security in various ways, there is a need to learn more about policy in practice to understand this variation.

Certain policies for overnight family visits, as an example, could be predictable for states with certain common characteristics. Instead, states in each category examined appeared to have not much in common. The nine states, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, and Washington, that permit overnight family visits are not from any single or even two geographic regions, and it is unclear what else of relevance to visitation they have in common.

The states often serve as laboratories of policy experimentation, so there should be some comity of best practices, but none is apparent in several key areas. North Carolina permits one weekly visit of two hours while New York allows maximum security prisoners visits every day. South Dakota allows only two names plus family members on each list of approved visitors while California allows an unlimited number. One must wonder about how these policies develop and which stakeholders contribute to the process when states draft or update their directives.


Paroles in State Prisons

State courts may specify in penal sentences how much time prisoners must serve before eligibility for parole, usually by indeterminate sentences of, as examples, 15 to 25 years or 15 years to life. In either example, the 15-year minimum would be the parole eligibility time to be served.

States vest the decision on whether to parole a prisoner in their correctional authorities, typically through parole boards. Good conduct in confinement is no guarantee of parole. Other factors may operate, most commonly establishment of permanent residence and gainful employment or some other lawful means of financial support. Social Security may suffice if the prisoner is old enough. Any prisoner not sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole or the death penalty eventually attains the right to petition for release on parole.

The prisoner must agree to abide by parole conditions usually requiring regular meetings with a parole officer or community corrections agent, who monitors parolee adjustment and investigates any evidence of violation of any condition of release. For noncompliance with parole conditions a parolee may be arrested and returned to confinement for a parole violation hearing and then a parole board decision to revoke or to continue the parole.


Bails in State Prisons

The Eighth Amendment prohibition of “excessive bail” reaches and protects state prison detainees awaiting trial. State prisons inmates serving sentences have no right nor entitlement to bail.


Inmate Services in State Prisons

Medical and dental care in prison are limited and many providers work in minimal conditions with prescription medications usually in short supply. Inmates often may not possess their prescribed medication but must go to the “pill window” for every dose. A correctional officer makes sure prisoners consume their doses before they leave the window. Some states charge inmates for their medications.

Educational opportunities vary. Some states contract with local schools and colleges to provide vocational education for prisoners based on their academic skills, disciplinary records, levels of custody, length of sentences, and program availability.

Most prisons offer basic literacy programs and high school general equivalency classes. For those who have completed high school, postsecondary educational opportunities may be available with contracting community colleges.


Inmate Search / Inmate Locator Links

At the State Prisons: Search Inmates and Facilities page, users can find state prisons inmates and state prison detainees. The state prison inmate search website includes full contact information for every facility listed for further investigation and verification of all state prison inmate search results. Scroll up (or click here) to find all of the available State prisons ordered by State. Click on a facility to navigate to its page and find information and Inmate Locator links, if available.



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