Find Prisoner Info and Mugshots

Exploring the criminal justice system on the web

Man's hands on prison bars
Gary S Chapman/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

If you're looking for a prison inmate, a mugshot, or more information about the United States criminal justice system, the internet hosts a number of websites that can help you find inmate pictures and other detailed information about prisoners, prisons, jails, or anything else related to the penal system.

Find Information About State Prison Systems

Corrections Connection (Corrections.com) is an excellent site that offers direct links to every state's prison inmate locator in America.
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For information about state penal systems, use these resources:

  • VineLink, a service of the National Victim Notification Network, gives users the ability to search criminal cases and offender information state by state, as well as the opportunity to obtain information about current criminal cases and the status of offenders.
  • Corrections Connection is an excellent site that offers direct links to every state's prison inmate locator in America.

Find Information About Federal Prison Systems

Find information about any offender incarcerated from 1982 to present day by using the Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator.
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Federal inmates' mugshots are considered the property of the Federal government and therefore are not allowed into the public domain. However, you can get information about any offender incarcerated from 1982 to present day by using the Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator.

Inmate Pictures and Mugshots

Since most states keep an online database of people in the penal system, you can usually find mugshots with identifying information such as the date of the crime and the length of the sentence. Go to your favorite search engine and type in your state followed by the phrase "department of corrections" to find your jurisdiction's offender database.

Not every person who gets arrested gets their picture taken. Arrest information is not necessarily public record unless you are a celebrity or person of note.

If you want a copy of your own individual arrest images, you can go to the jail where the initial booking took place and make inquiries. The process differs by county and state, but you'll most likely need to make a formal records request to obtain this information. If the mugshot is part of an ongoing investigation, it may be exempt from any kind of public records request depending on where you're located.

Searching Department of Corrections Websites

Once you get to your state's Department of Corrections page, you might have to do a little bit of searching for penal records. Each state has them listed differently; some might have a link to "Offender Search" or "Inmate Search."

Find information about Florida state prisoners from the Florida Department of Corrections website.
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Every state's penal search form has a couple of things in common. You will need at least a last name just to get started, and if you have a first name, you'll have even better results. Unless you have a lot of specific information, try a general search first and narrow it down until you find what you're looking for.