How to Get Info About a Federal Inmate Online


The federal government has made it easy to check the status of its federal inmates online. With just some simple information, people can get access to an inmate's release date. The Federal Bureau of Prisons will also allow people to see whether an inmate is still in federal custody.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
  • Offender's first and last name

Find Information about a Federal Inmate Online

  • Go to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. The address is

  • Click on the Inmate Locator link. This is located in a toolbar on the left and on the toolbar across the top of the page.

  • Click on the link within the page to locate a federal inmate. The Bureau of Prisons includes instructions and specifics, so people know what to expect before they look for information on an inmate.

  • Type the inmates first and last name. You must know the full first and last name to find the inmate.

  • Find the inmate on the list. Some inmates have the same name. You may need to verify the age, race, or register number to make sure you are looking at the correct inmate.

  • Look for the location and release date. At the very right of the page there will numbers for the projected release date for the inmate. The inmate is not guaranteed to get out on this date. If the inmate has already been released, you can see the actual release date. You can also see whether the inmate has been released, or which prison the inmate is staying at.

  • Go to the prison's website. Most prisons will have their own website, or you can find additional information from the state. For example, if you are looking for a John Smith in Illinois, you may be able to find additional information about charges by going to the state's Department of Corrections website. Some websites will include a picture of the inmate and a list of charges. Some will even give detailed information about the inmate's aliases, and description of his or her tattoos.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also search for an inmate by his or her FBI, INS, Register or DCDC number.
  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons only includes information online about inmates imprisoned from 1982 to the present.
  • Photo Credit prision-4357 image by Paco Ayala from
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