Inmate Locator Information
Learn more about the inmate locator system and the information it provides.
Our records contain information about federal inmates released AFTER 1982
We receive many requests for information on Federal inmates released before 1982. Not all inmates who were in custody prior to 1982 were keyed into the BOP's inmate management system. Accordingly, when we previously received a request for such information, we researched available records by hand. Many older records are held by the National Archives Records Administration (NARA), not the BOP and we are in the midst of transferring BOP's pre-1982 inmate records to NARA.
As such, users seeking such information are encouraged to direct your inquiry to NARA. To assist them in determining whether information is available, the following information should be provided in the request:
- inmate name (including middle name/initial),
- date of birth or approximate age at time of incarceration,
- race, and
- approximate dates in prison.
For more information about how to obtain copies of records, visit the National Archives website.
Our records contain information about FEDERAL inmates only
Only persons convicted of violating Federal laws (that is, laws of the United States) are sent to Federal prisons. Some individuals awaiting trial for violating Federal laws are also held in Federal prisons. Additionally, pursuant to the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997, the BOP is responsible for housing persons convicted of a felony under District of Columbia laws. While the BOP also houses a few state inmates from other jurisdictions, most inmates convicted of violating state or local laws are sent to state prisons or city or county jails.
The Bureau does not have any information on non-Federal inmates. However, most states have their own locator systems. Contact the department of corrections for the state in question for further information.
Our records contain information about anyone who was in BOP custody
It is possible that a record may exist for an individual who was in BOP custody but never served a federal sentence of incarceration. Here are some examples of when this might occur:
- when someone was detained pre-trial but criminal charges were dismissed
- when someone was held as a material witness
- when someone was held for civil contempt
Answers to common questions regarding the inmate locator system.
What do the search results mean?
- Self-explanatory. For a common name such as "Charles Brown," there will be many duplications. Fill in the Middle Initial field to help reduce duplications.
- Register No.
- Even if you entered another type of number for your search, this shows the inmate's Federal Bureau of Prisons Register Number.
- This is based on the inmate's date of birth, so it shows current age rather than age at release. If the inmate is known to be deceased, that will appear in the "Date Released" column.
- Self-explanatory. Hispanic refers to ethnicity and race will vary.
- Release Date
- Most inmate searches will result in a date being posted in the "Release Date" field. If the listed date is in the future, it reflects the inmate's projected release date based on BOP calculations. If the listed date has passed, the release occurred on the date listed and the inmate is no longer in BOP custody. Note however that the inmate may still be on parole or supervised release or in the custody of some other correctional/criminal justice system. If the Release Date field indicates "UNKNOWN", the inmate's confinement term is not determined (e.g. he or she may be in pretrial status, has not yet been sentenced, etc.).
- For inmates still in BOP custody, this shows the name of their location. Inmates shown as being in a Regional Office are serving a concurrent state sentence in a state prison. Inmates shown as being in a Community Corrections Management (CCM) center are in a contract "halfway house" (not in the CCM). "IN TRANSIT" means the inmate has been moved from a BOP facility, and may or may not be returned. For example, a pretrial inmate may have been removed by the U.S. Marshals Service and subsequently released by the court with no further notice to the BOP. "RELEASED" means the inmate is no longer in BOP custody.
How do I conduct a new search?
After submitting a search, you can click the "Clear Form" link that appears on top of the search results. Then, simply type your new search query.
How up-to-date are the search results?
Data is extracted from the BOP's main inmate database and is updated on this website daily.
How do I find more information about an inmate?
Two Federal laws - The Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 - authorize the release of certain information about Federal inmates to any member of the general public requesting it. To get information beyond that provided here, please e-mail the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) office. FOIA requests are processed as quickly as possible. Usually, there is no charge for inmate location requests; but if you request more information, you may be charged for research time. Read through the FOIA page for information about fees.
Trouble finding an inmate?
First, check to make sure you put the information in correctly. Is the name spelled correctly? Is the number correct? Searching for John Doe will not find Jon Doe (the name must be an exact match). If you still do not get a result, either the person is not a Federal inmate (he/she may be a state or local inmate), or he/she was in the Federal system before 1982.
If you are experiencing problems when using the inmate locator system, please go to our Contact Us page and send us a Technical Issue email. You may also contact us by writing to:
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Attn: Inmate Locator
320 First St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20534