Are Jail Records Available for the Public to Read?


Quick Answer

Typically, jail records are available for the public, but many law enforcement agencies require a person to provide basic information about the arrested person or inmate for the records to be available online. Some agencies may also withhold records unless the requester is a family member or an offender's victim.

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Full Answer

Court and arrest records are considered public in most states. The state of California, however, does not provide criminal history information to the public, and it is only accessible for the subject of the information, law enforcement agencies, parole officers, the subject's attorney and state agencies. In most states, the county sheriff's offices manage jail records, and the police departments provide daily arrest information.

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