Find a Federal Inmate

Locate the whereabouts of a federal inmate incarcerated from 1982 to the present day. Due to the First Step Act, sentences are being reviewed and recalculated to address pending Federal Time Credit changes. As a result, an inmate's release date may not be up-to-date. Website visitors should bookmark this page and check back periodically to see if any changes have occurred.

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Federal Inmate Search

U.S. Federal Inmate Locator

Locating an inmate in a Federal prison facility might seem like a daunting task, but our online inmate locator tool makes it quick and easy. Our extensive database allows you to search for inmates at any Federal prison across the country. You can search by inmate number, if you know it, or name. In addition to finding the inmate, you will also have access to useful information about the inmate, such as their arrest date, release date, details of their charges, and even a booking photo in some cases. If you are ready to locate an inmate, go ahead and get started with the tool below.


How To Locate A Federal Inmate

Locating an inmate with our tool is easy, and we have a couple of different ways for you to search. If you know the inmate ID number of the person you are searching for, you can simply enter the it and click the search button. If you don’t know the inmate ID, you can search for an inmate by their first and last name. While most inmates will be indexed in the database with their full legal name, you might also try searching using any aliases that the person has used. When searching for an inmate using their name, you might be presented with multiple results. In that case, you can click on the details of each result to find the specific inmate you are looking for.


How To Locate An Inmate In A State Facility

The process for locating an inmate in a state facility is a little different than finding a federal inmate. First, the federal database contains information on all federal inmates across the country. This allows you to search for a federal inmate in one place regardless of which federal facility they are located in. However, each state maintains its own database of state prisoners. So, to find a state prisoner, you will need to search the specific state database in which they are located. State prisoner information is not usually shared across states; therefore, each state only has information about the prisoners in their state. If you need to locate an inmate in a state facility, you should click here and choose a state from the map or the list of states

Frequently Asked Questions

What determines an inmate’s institutional placement?

The institution in which an inmate is placed is generally determined by the crime they committed. Inmates convicted of a state felony will usually end up in state prison. Criminals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor by their state will usually be sentenced to time in a county jail facility. Federal criminals are charged and convicted by the United States Federal government, and they are sentenced to time in Federal prison after their conviction. The specific facility to which they are sentenced usually depends on the nature of their crime. Low-security criminals will serve their time in a low-security facility, while dangerous inmates will be sentenced to a maximum-security facility.


What do federal inmate register numbers mean?

Federal inmate register numbers are a way for the Federal Bureau of Prisons to identify each person who is in federal custody. These numbers allow for an easy way to positively identify individuals. A register number is assigned to everyone who comes into the facility, whether they are incarcerated or are simply being detained. These numbers also make it easier for friends and family to find an inmate at a federal facility. You can think of these numbers much like a Social Security number. The register number is not only used for identification but is also used for other purposes, like properly routing an inmate’s mail or depositing money to an inmate’s commissary account.


How do I find a picture of a federal inmate?

The federal inmate database includes a picture of most inmates in the system. Simply search for the inmate using their federal inmate register number or their first and last name. If no picture is available, you may attempt to call the facility in which they are located. The facility may have a recent booking photo that they can provide to you.


How do I write a letter to a federal inmate?

Communication with friends or family members who are incarcerated is encouraged, and writing a letter to a federal inmate is easy. You should write the letter in pencil, blue ink, or black ink. The letter should be written on plain paper, and you should not include any stamps, stickers, or other items with the letter. Make sure that you do not mention or discuss any inappropriate topics, like weapons, threats, or anything else that could jeopardize the safe operation of the facility. Remember that all mail is subject to inspection and being read by jail staff. You should send your letter to the inmate as follows:


Inmate Full Name

Inmate ID Number

Facility Name

Facility Address


Can you send pictures to federal inmates?

Generally, yes, you can send pictures to federal inmates. However, there are some strict rules that must be followed. The pictures generally must be no larger than 4” x 6” in size. Most facilities allow up to five pictures to be sent to an inmate at one time. The pictures should not contain any nudity or other explicit content. Remember that all mail, including pictures, will be inspected upon arrival at the facility. Any pictures found in violation of the rules will be confiscated. Some facilities allow an inmate to have no more than ten photos in their possession at once, so they might be required to dispose of some old photos before they can receive new pictures.