Prison inmates can be searched using online tools at the county, state and federal level. Federal inmates throughout the country can be searched using the tool at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) website. Inmates can be searched by an identifying number or name.
The BOP records cover inmates whose release dates are later than 1982. Search results include the name and register number of the inmate, along with their age, race, sex, location and release date. The release date is a projected estimate; however, if the release date shown is earlier than the present day, it can be safely assumed that the person is no longer an inmate. If the person has died in custody, this will be indicated as the release date.
County sheriff department websites often have a similar tool to search for inmates at the county level. To conduct a search, users are required to enter only the first and last name of a person, although details of the person's middle name and date of birth will help to refine results.
To search for inmates within a specific state, users should visit the relevant state's Department of Corrections website. At the Illinois Department of Corrections website, for instance, users can search inmates by last name, identifying number or birthdate.