Best Way to Find Someone in Jail for Free

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

The best way to find someone in jail for free is www.vinelink.com. On the site’s homepage, select the state where you want to search. You can search by their inmate ID number or by first and last name. Optional fields to narrow down the search results are date of birth or age range.

When you find who you are looking for, you will see their inmate/offender ID, date of birth (DOB), race, gender, custody status, location, and scheduled release date. Anyone interested in the status of an inmate can register to be notified when the inmate is released or transferred. Notification is done by phone or e-mail.

Note: Vinelink does not provide information on federal prisons – only local jails and state prisons. Vinelink is updated every day.

Locating Federal Prisoners

The best way to locate information on a federal prisoner for free is to go to the Bureau of Federal Prisons website at www.bop.gov. Then, go to the inmate locator tab. You can search by inmate number or name. A list of results will appear with the inmates’ names, ID number, age, sex, race, and release date, or prison location. If you select the prison’s name, it will take you to that location’s website where you can find additional details.

Of course, if you know which jail or prison the inmate is located at, you can pull up its website and do a search. At least, then you will know whether the offender is still in custody or released. Not all jails or prisons may have this information online. In that case, simply call the jail or prison and ask them to provide the inmate’s status.

Vinelink and the BOP website are by far the best resources to find someone in jail for free, as their sites are constantly updated and contain the most information on inmates nationwide.

Additional Ways to Find Someone in Jail for Free

Another great free website is www.inmatesplus.com. Click on the state where you want to search and then two options appear. One option is a search for the state prison. The second option is to search by county jail.

www.inmatesplus.com is updated daily.

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