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Nearly 2.3 million people are currently held in correctional facilities across the United States. Search our expansive database of county, state and federal institutions. In addition to links and shortcuts to free, public information, we also offer details including addresses, phone numbers, programs and more.
The legal system can be difficult to navigate, with various jurisdictions and levels of custody. We know how important it is to communicate with your inmate and support them during the legal process. Find a prison facility today and learn more about government procedures and regulations, in order to best help and understand an inmate in detention.
There are three general types of correctional facilities where inmates are kept. The type of facility they are in can depend on security level and length of sentence, along with other factors.
County Jail Inmate Locator
Jails or local correctional facilities hold inmates serving shorter sentences or awaiting transfer to a state or federal prison. Most inmates stay in county jail for less than three years before being released or transferred to another facility. Work release is common in these minimum or mediumsecurity places.
There are more than 3,000 county jails in America with over 600,000 inmates. Less than a third of these inmates have actually been convicted of a crime; the majority are still waiting to receive their sentence. Following an arrest, this is known as pretrial detention. This period is sometimes prolonged when an inmate is restricted from or unable to meet bail.
State Penitentiary Inmate Locator
These correctional facilities are operated by the state government and hold inmates convicted under state law. Violent crimes account for around half the population in state prison, while the remainder falls under property, drug and public order charges. Although some state prisoners serve life sentences, the average stay at a state facility is just 2.6 years.
These prisons house more than half of the total detained population in the nation, and the majorities of state prisoners have already been convicted of a crime and are serving their sentence as determined by a judge or jury. State prisons in the U.S. hold about 1.3 million inmates. There are over 1,700 of these facilities and the number per state varies, with some states having less than five prisons and others being home to 35 or more.
Find an Inmate in Federal Facilities
Federal correctional facilities house prisoners charged under the federal court of law. Common federal offenses include fraud, money laundering, cybercrime, illegal immigration, corruption, terrorism and drug manufacturing and distribution. In general, these prisoners serve longerterm sentences for nonviolent crimes, although some violent offenders also go to federal prison.
There are around 100 federal prisons in the nation, and criminals can be sentenced to a federal penitentiary anywhere, regardless of where the crimes took place. Find Most Wanted fugitives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). You can also search for sex offenders using the SMART database or enter a zip code or location at Family Watchdog.
Find an Inmate in Immigration Detention Centers
There are more than 200 immigrant prisons and jails in America. To locate a detained illegal immigrant, use the Detention Facility Locator operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or search by name using the Detainee Locator. You can also contact field offices of the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) or learn more about the deportation process.
Find an Inmate in Youth Detention Centers
Juvenile facilities are operated under the authority of the Department of Juvenile Justice, by the state where the offense was committed. There is also a Federal Juvenile population. More than 60,000 minors are currently incarcerated in the United States. Notably, it is not uncommon for offenders under the age of 18 to be tried and convicted as an adult.
If you are unable to locate an inmate, consider the justice system also cooperates with psychiatric hospitals and drug rehab centers. To report a missing person, call your local police department.
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