How to search for prison inmates

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Searching for prison inmates allows you to find out if a relative or friend has been incarcerated, and reconnect with them. Searching for a prison inmate online is easy and takes just a few minutes using inmate directories.

Once a prison inmate search is conducted, you can call the prison they are in to find out about their visitation policy, and arrange a time to see the inmate you found.

Find an online directory to search for prison inmates. Commonly used directories include "The Inmate Locator," "Inmates Plus" and "Ancestor Hunt."

Click the state the inmate is in; otherwise, search through all states one by one.

Enter the inmate's first and last name and conduct a search, or enter their inmate number if known.

Call the state's department of corrections if an online inmate search is not available and tell them you wish to do an inmate search. They will ask you for the inmate's first and last name, as well as their date of birth, or their inmate number.