Jail Record Lookup

Jail records in the United States are all the documentation collected after someone commits a crime. Records include intake paperwork from the time of arrest, court dates and hearings and sentencing. Jail records will consist of basic personal information about the inmate and then details of their activities while in the penal system.

Jail is generally short-term and managed by local law enforcement. Jail records are related to incarceration while in jail awaiting trial or sentencing. Prison, however, is operated by state or federal government agencies, and the records for inmates will be more long-term and germane to incarceration after sentencing.

How to Find Jail Records

You may know someone who was arrested and being held in county jail and want to visit or send them money. You may also be a victim of the crime a person committed that landed them in jail. There are many reasons why you might want to look up someone who is currently in jail.

It is very easy to find jail records and look up inmates using government website resources and also online search portals. You can quickly find someone with just a name search and see all their arrests, the charges against them, court dates, rulings, their sentencing and even when they are scheduled for parole or release.

Jail System in the US

Jails are typically operated and funded by local law enforcement, and generally, house inmates who are awaiting trial, sentencing or have been given a particularly short jail term. Sometimes jails offer work-release programs, support for substance abuse and even educational resources while incarcerated. However many jails are underfunded, and conditions are not as pleasant as a prison.

Inmates in jails have usually committed less severe crimes like misdemeanors rather than felonies which generally earn a longer sentence. Jail populations are quite transient with a variety of different types of low-risk criminals.

History of the Local Correctional Facilities

American prisons have been around since the 1700s and in other parts of the world even before. One of the first major prisons was constructed in the 1700s. The first prisons and jails were dirty, rodent-infested buildings providing horrible living conditions and the appalling treatment of prisoners.

Then in 1779, the Penitentiary Act was passed offering prisoners healthy food and clean, reasonable living conditions. In these modern times, living conditions in prisons have improved considerably with the addition of rehabilitation aspects such as education, addiction support, work-release programs, progressive healthcare and outreach programs for after release.

Facts & Stats

  • There are about 2.3 million people in jail and prison in the United States. These inmates are housed within 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 901 juvenile correctional facilities and 3,163 jails.
  • America incarcerates one-fourth of the world’s total inmate population with only 5% of the worlds total population. 1 million people per year are arrested and imprisoned for drug possession.
  • 77% of prisoners who are released, end up back in jail at some point with 43% going back within the first year.
  • The United States prison system costs roughly $80 billion a year.