How to Find Inmates in America

If you have a loved one in prison in America, you are not alone by any means. The US currently has around 2.2 million inmates, the highest number in the world and equal to 20% of the prison population of the entire globe. Every single day, countless families are torn apart by the federal prison system, which is why it is crucially important that you know how to locate and contact your incarcerated loved one. But how does one find inmates in America in 2021?  Read on to find out exactly how to find a federal inmate. 

1. Find Inmates with the Right Tool

To find an inmate in jail, all you need is the right tools at your disposal. Whether you want to find an inmate in Texas or in New York, you can usually do so via the dedicated state prison authority website. All 50 states have a search function that allows you to search by name. However, this only covers certain types of prisoners.

If you want a single search engine that covers jails, state, and local prisons across America, you should use This site covers any and all incarcerated persons and facilities and is the one-stop shop for anyone wondering how to find an inmate in 2021. 

2. Information You Need to Find Inmates

No matter how you conduct your search, you will need some preliminary information to find your incarcerated loved one in the syste. Of course, you will need their name and any additional identifying details such as age, place of birth, nationality, and race.

Ideally, you will know at least which state your inmate is being held in. If you want to find out additional details such as how to find an inmate’s release date, you can usually find it in the web database that you choose to use. 

3. How to Make Contact

Once you have located an inmate, you may want to make contact with them. There are several ways that you can do this. 

Write a Letter

All prisoners in America are entitled to receive letters from whomever they wish. Once you have the address of the prison they are being held at, you can feel free to send a letter. Bear in mind that the contents of the letter will be viewed by a third party. Any text that could be interpreted as hidden code, or anything that alludes to current illegal activity will result in the letter being confiscated and possible investigations against you being opened. Never attach paperclips or staples to a prison letter. 

Phone Call

You can always talk to an inmate over the phone, although you may need to first find out which hours of the day you are permitted to do so. You can never call a prison direct. Instead, you must wait until they call you, which they will usually do via collect call. Bear in mind that prison phone calls are very expensive, so make sure to budget for this. 

Pay Them a Visit 

Finally, you can arrange a visit. Make sure to find out visitation hours and always register well in advance of your visit, or you will be denied entry to the facility. Do not wear provacative clothes and do not dress like a prisoner. 

There is Life After Prison 

Once you know how to find inmates, you can begin the process of coping and of moving on together. Remember, there is always lie after prison. What matters is that you and your loved ones are prepared for it.