Is There a Way to Locate Someone Who Is Currently Incarcerated?

In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Prisons provides an online inmate search tool that includes the name of the institution in which a given federal inmate is located. Location information for state inmates is often available through state departments of corrections, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons' inmate locator is available on its website. The locator allows users to search by the inmate's Bureau of Prisons locator number, FBI number and Immigration and Naturalization Service number. If the incarcerated person's number is unknown, a name search is also available. The Bureau of Prisons includes inmate records dating back to 1982, in addition to those of people currently incarcerated, as of 2015.

The Bureau of Prisons does not hold information on non-federal inmates, according to its website. For anybody trying to locate a state inmate, it recommends contacting the department of corrections in the relevant state; most states have their own locator systems. Wikipedia has a list of United States state correction agencies, which includes adult, juvenile and parole agencies. As an example, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation also provides an online search tool that includes a name and inmate number search along with directions to correctional facilities.