What Is the VINElink Inmate Locator?

The VINElink inmate locator is the online version of the Victim Information and Notification Everyday service, which is part of the National Victim Notification Network that lets victims of crime get information about the custody status of offenders. The system provides information about inmates in all states except for South Dakota, Kansas and Maine, as of 2015. However, there is only limited VINElink service for Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

To use the service, visitors visit the website for VINElink, and then click on the state on the map where the offender is located. Some states display inmate information in Spanish; for those states that offer Spanish information, a toggle in the upper right corner allows for visitors to switch to Spanish or back to English.

After clicking on the offender's state, visitors can use the menu to search for the offender by identification number or by name. To use the system, visitors must first register. Registration can be done via phone or on the website. In addition to getting up-to-date information and alerts about an offender's custody status online, registrants can also opt to be notified via text message, email, phone or even TTY device about changes in status.