How to Find Someone in Jail: A Step-By-Step Guide

The most common reasons for arrest in the United States are drug violations, driving under the influence, or theft.

However, with more than 10 million arrests a year, there are plenty of ways in which people run afoul of the law. Either way, it is a major shock to find out that police have arrested someone you love.

The scariest part is you may not even know where they are. Security authorities can transfer someone in jail to a different location from where the arrest took place. Jail officials may even have moved them to another state.

Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to finding a person in jail.

1) Gather All the Details

Sometimes you may know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are trying to find a loved one in jail. However, you may also have lost touch with a relative and are looking in a variety of places to find them.

If you know exactly where someone was arrested, and the reason for the arrest, the process will be simpler.

The first step is ensuring you have complete details of the person you are looking for. This can include:

  • Their full legal name
  • Address
  • Date of birth

If you do not know where and when police apprehended your loved one, try and find out what you can. Where was this person last seen? Finding out where they committed a crime or had a court hearing can make the process much more straightforward.

2) Contact Local Law Enforcement

Once you have some basic information, your next step should be to phone local law enforcement to find out if they have the arrest on record. You can also contact the jail. However, it can take time for a person’s details to enter the system.

A newly-arrested person will probably be in a local or county jail. People stay here until a trial or hearing and sometimes serve short sentences in these facilities.

If the person you are looking for has broken a federal offense, authorities will send them to federal prison. A state prison will house people who have broken state laws. You will often find more serious and violent criminals in state prison.

Phoning around prisons can be exhausting and futile if you do not have much information.

3) Use an Inmate Locator Online

The easiest way to find a person in jail is to use the internet. An online system to locate an inmate, such as, will allow you to enter the details of the person you are looking for and search for them.

You can search the databases of county jails, state prisons, and federal prisons.

If you don’t know exactly where someone is, this may take a bit longer, but it is the best option to find an inmate.

Find Someone in Jail

No one wants to hear that someone they love is in jail. This can be stressful, whether it is your husband or wife, a child, or another family member.

Using an inmate locator will allow you to track someone in jail fast and offer them your support.

If you found this article useful, check out some of our other posts offering helpful legal advice.

Exit mobile version