How to do an Inmate Search?

Most states have tied restrictions when it comes to prisoners communicating with the outside. They do this mainly because of safety reasons. However, this puts the inmate’s families and friends in a bad position that are looking to contact the inmate. If you are in a such situation, this how-to do an inmate search post might help you remarkably.

As mentioned in the introduction prisoners faces a lot of restriction while trying to communicate with the outside world. One of the bad things about this process is that the particular prisoner loses his support system which includes family and friends. Recent studies show that the prisoners that communicate well with families and friends during their time in the jail have lower recidivism rates.

Having said that, the process of finding an inmate using inmate locator tools is known as the inmate search. There are plenty of online databases that have information about the inmates. So, all you need to do is go to a such database and enter the required information. Keep in mind that, to do an inmate search, you will need some basic information such as first name, last name, or inmate number.

What is Inmate Reverse Lookup?

Inmate reverse lookup is a process that gives you details such as the prisoner’s charges, how long he is going to be in the jail, information about the next court day, and many other details. For this process, you have to enter the inmate’s first name, last name, or inmate number. For instance, using a first name, last name, or other information to get the inmate’s details is called inmate reverse lookup. We hope you now might have a good understanding of what is an inmate lookup.

State or Federal Prison?

Before starting an inmate search, there are a few things that you need to consider. For instance, the prisoner might be in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Or he might be part of the private prison or state prison system. There are 50 different state prison systems in United State. As you can understand the inmate that you are looking for might be in the above three locations. So, the first thing to do is that you need to get the location of the inmate. You need an inmate locator for this.

Note: Inmate locators are the easiest way to find an inmate if you don’t know the location of the inmate.

  • The first thing you should do is, use the inmate locator that is available for free in the state’s department of correction. But, there are 50 states, and you don’t have to search through all 50 states. Instead, search in the state the prisoner previously lived.
  • The second method is to try the inmate locator that is available for free at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Using this inmate locator can be pretty useful. Usually, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has the details of all the inmates in every state that committed and prosecuted.

You now know how to find an inmate’s location. So, we can move on to the next phase of the post.

Inmate Searching in SCDC

If you are looking for an Inmate in South Carolina, you need to conduct your search in SCDC, aka the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Here is how you can do an inmate search in SCDC.

Step 01: Go to the Official Website

Inmate Search
Official South Carolina Department of Corrections

First, go to the official SCDC website. Here is the URL.

Then go to the Inmate search page.

Step 02: Enter the Available information

In the inmate search page, you can find a window with four different options; SCDC ID, SID, Frist Name, and Last Name. You can use any of these options to find inmate details.

Inmate’s identification number of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC ID)

SID – State identification number of the inmate

First Name – First name of the inmate

Last Name – Last name of the inmate

Most people do not have the SCDC ID and SID information related to the inmate. So, use First Name or the Last Name for SCDC inmate search. Enter the available information into the text field and click on the Submit button.

Inmate Search
Tick the Phonetic Match option

Phonetic Match: On the right side of the Submit button, you can locate an option known as Phonetic Match. When you tick this option, you will get a search result close to the name that entered.

For instance, if you search for Mykal Smith, you will get results related to Michael Smith. The Phonetic Match option is valuable, and you will need some practice for proper use.

Step 03 – Examine the Results

Inmate Search
Details of the basic search results

After you click Submit button, you will get the related search results. For instance, you will get the following inmate’s data.

  • Name
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Age
  • COE register status

Step 04 – Click on the Inmate’s SCDC ID for More Details

Inmate Search
Examine the whole PDF to get more information about the inmate.

If you are not satisfied with the above details or still missing the details that you are looking for in the first place, there is one thing you can do. Click on the SCDC ID number. This will give you more information about the particular inmate. For instance, you can get information such as an inmate’s location and sentence. Also, it provides details such as current offenses, escapes, disciplinary sanctions, and more.

Note: This information page come in PDF format. So, if you desire, you be able to download the PDF file.

What Types of Information Can You get from an inmate Search?

If you follow our post properly until now, you probably have a good idea about the information that a person can get from an inmate search. Having said that, here is all the important information that you can gather from an inmate search.

  • Inmate’s Full Name, Sex, Height, Weight, Race, Age,
  • Inmate’s SID
  • Location of the inmate
  • Hair color, Eye color
  • Details about the citizenship
  • Inmate’s sentence details, including offender type
  • Current offenses details including start date, remaining prison time, status, and more
  • Details about disciplinary sanctions
  • Attempts of escapes
  • Change of the Location
  • Details about work credits, educational credits, and certificates

As you can see, with a proper inmate lookup tool, you can get plenty of information about inmates. However, depending on the database, the above information might or might not be available.

Websites Offering Inmate Searching

Apart from the SCDC, there are several other websites that provide inmate details. Here is our top 5 inmate searching websites.

Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)

BOP is one of the top picks for finding an inmate. The process of finding an inmate in BOP is pretty easy. On the official BOP site, you can find a detail of an inmate using basic information such as first name, last name, or valid registration number. Here is the type of numbers that you can use to gather information about the inmate.

  • BOP Register No.
  • DCDC No.
  • FBI No.
  • INS No.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons includes inmate details from 1982 to now. So, it is a huge database that can provide you with every kind of inmate detail.

Go Dort

Go Dort is the second inmate lookup tool on our list. While using Go Dort, you can initiate an inmate search in many different ways. For some inmates, you can get all the available details. For some, you can’t get many details. The amount of the detail will vary according to the inmate or the state. To find information about an inmate, first, go to the homepage. Then go to the particular state that the inmate has lived in. After clicking the state, you will be redirected to the official inmate search site of that particular state. With the Go Dort prisoner locator tool, you can get inmate details from a site such as Online Detainee Locator System, Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator, and more.

California Inmate Locator

California inmate locator is a tool that you can use on the official site of the California of Correction and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Here you can enter the inmate’s last name or CDCR number for a search. To find details about inmates, first, go to the official website and then click on the Locate Inmate icon. Then, enter the required details.

Apart from that, you can use the CDCR website to find facilities, visit victims, and more. Also, CDCR provides details about offenders and victims in a properly categorized way. For instance, you can find wanted sex offenders with a few simple clicks.

Texas Inmate Records

This is the official site for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. In there, you can find a lot of information related to inmates. You can initiate an inmate search by entering your first name, last name, SID number, or TDCJ number. Besides, there is two option to select the inmate’s gender and race. So, it gives users to narrow their search accordingly. To start an inmate search, first, go to the official website and then enter the corresponding information. Then, click search.

Washington Offender Search

Washington Offender Search is an inmate lookup tool related to the Washington State Department of Correction. You can search for inmate details by simply entering the inmate’s first name, last name, and identification number of the WA DOC. When you enter the required details, you will get the following details of the inmate.

  • DOC No.
  • Full Name
  • Age
  • Location

You can also click the location link and get more details related to the facility. However, WA DOC search results only include details of current prisoners.

New York Inmate Search

New York inmate search is the last website on our list. Its gathers data from the New York Department of Correction and Community Services. There are numerous routes for finding inmates’ details. Users can enter the inmate’s first name, last name, middle name, birth year, name suffix, Department ID No, and NYSID No. Compared to other websites, this site gives its users much more options for search.

Note: When you search for details use the inmate’s name alone. Or use it with the birth year. Besides, when entering ID numbers, you can’t use two ID numbers for one single search. For instance, users cannot use both NYSID and DIN for one search.

How to Do an Inmate Lookup in BOP?

Earlier in the article, we discussed how to find inmates using the SCDC database. However, we cannot leave out the BOP. So, here is how you can find inmates in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Step 01 – Visit the Official Federal Bureau of Prisons Website

Inmate Search
Official BOP Website: From here, go to the inmate search page

First, go to the official BOP website. Then click on the Inmates tab and select the Find an Inmate option.

Step 02 – Select the Preferred Option

On the next page, you can locate two different search options; Find By Number and Find By Name. Select the desired option.

Find By Number

Inmate Search
Select the drop-down list in the Type of Number text.

In the Find By Number section, you can enter various types of registration numbers. For instance, BOP Register Number, DCDC Number, INS Number, and FBI Number.

Find By Name

Inmate Search
Click the Clear Form to delete text in the fields.

You can enter the inmate’s first name, last name, middle name, race, age, or sex.

Step 03 – Start your Search

After entering the necessary details, click on the Search button to get the results.


If you follow our post properly, now you shouldn’t have any issues while doing an inmate search. Whether it is an SCDC inmate search OR a BOP inmate search, always try to find some basic information about the inmate first. Doing such a thing will help your search immensely. Besides, the above five websites are very reliable, and all of them take information from government websites. So, you don’t have to be concerned about any misleading or false information.

You may be wondering, why is UserSearch writing about inmate reverse lookups? well, we are growing. Our user demand is growing faster than we can keep up! Reverse lookups for inmates is a new feature soon to come to our premium services.