3 Ways to Find out if Someone Is in Jail

There are lots of reasons you might want to find out if someone is in jail. Maybe you’re looking into a friend or family member you’ve lost touch with. Maybe you’re wondering whether or not someone you know has been arrested. Whatever your reasoning, finding out if someone is in jail is a lot easier than it might sound and you have plenty of resources available. Before you get started, have some of the basics available, if possible, such as first and last name, current address, and a general idea of where they might have been arrested. 

Free lookup tools

For the less tech-savvy, a free inmate lookup tool is probably your best bet. Finding one is often as simple as Googling “free inmate lookup” but you’re likely to find yourself inundated with results. Some of these results may, unfortunately, be scams so it’s important to thoroughly vet a service before you use it. Don’t simply pick the first result and start giving out your personal information. Instead, opt for trusted services that have solid customer reviews. This is going to require you to do a bit of research but it’ll make a world of difference when it comes to the results you see. 

Keep in mind that, if you believe the person you’re searching for was recently arrested, it might be some time before any of their holding details are made available. This is because arrestees are typically held at a county jail before being transferred somewhere more permanent or released. Their details might also be unavailable simply due to some sluggish data entry on behalf of the holding facility. So while free lookup tools are popular and can be quite effective, you may need to opt for a different resource to find out if someone is in jail. 

Use available legal resources

Contrary to popular belief, there’s a wide array of legal resources available that can quickly help you determine if someone is in jail. For starters, if you know the state where the potential arrest took place, you can often go to the State Department of Corrections website and call the provided contact number. Also, many states now have inmate registries and databases. You simply fill out the required information on a web form and are then provided with the status of the arrestee. If you’re struggling to find the form just by digging around on the website, you can Google something along the lines of “(state name) department of corrections inmate search” to find the page.