Find Someone in Jail, Custody or Prison
Find Someone in Jail, Custody or Prison

High school for most people is followed by college, trade school, a family business, marriage or the armed forces, all of which leave a searchable paper trail. For people who didn't do so well or hung out with the wrong people, there may be records of arrest, imprisonment or deportation.

Someone held in prison and a correction facility has either been charged with a crime or convicted of a crime. Someone who has been charged with a crime is incarcerated until he/she is brought to trial or released. Someone officially convicted of a crime will remain in lockup or jail for the durations of the sentence.

When searching for someone who has been or might be incarcerated, it's necessary to know:

Courts, Prisons and Jails

The Department Of Corrections, county jail, and the court systems maintain the history of someone who has been incarcerated. When conducting an online people search, searchable databases of the court system give insight on appearances, sentences and convictions, including where the sentence was or is being served. Court, prison or jail terms will appear on 'rap sheets' with details of:

  1. The law enforcement agency that worked the case
  2. The attorneys that either represented or prosecuted the individual
  3. All information available on the people locked up

Records can be found by state agencies, licensed individuals, or employers that have been authorized to perform online background investigations.

Jails and Prisons Differences Between Jails and Prisons


Jails are at the municipal and county levels: 'city jail' and 'county jail'. The newly-arrested and people awaiting trial typically populate these facilities as well as convicts of lesser crimes (misdemeanors) serving a year or less. Jail time can be less stringent, allowing work release, educational, substance-abuse and vocational programs for 'rehabilitation' (to keep inmates occupied and out of trouble).

Best Free Way to Find Someone in Jail

Find someone in jail by accessing the various inmate websites by clicking on the corresponding State/Agency Below: