How to locate a federal inmate

by John

Posted on June 16, 2019 at 13:23 PM

With so much light being shed on the country’s violent crime problem, gun laws, and the people who enforce them, many are starting to question just how safe our cities and states are. The United States manes away more prisoners compared to any other country. While the annual cost of keeping a person in prison varies by state, tax payers across the country still have to foot the $39 billion corrections bill.

Criminal codes are state mandated, meaning some states put more people in prison than others. The Sentencing Project analyzed the incarceration rate and other correctional data to find the states with the largest and smallest prison systems. Thus which states are more in the offing to put someone behind bars? 

Following is the list of top five cities having high incarceration rate:

  1. Delaware:
    • Prison incarceration rate: 441 per 100,000 people
    • Total corrections expenditures: $291 million
  2. Nevada
    • Prison incarceration rate: 444 per 100,000 people
    • Total corrections expenditures: $290 million
  3. Ohio
    • Prison incarceration rate: 449 per 100,000 people
    • Total corrections expenditures: $1.9 billion
  4. Virginia
    • Prison incarceration rate: 457 per 100,000 people
    • Total corrections expenditures: $1.3 billion
  5. Kentucky
    • Prison incarceration rate: 489 per 100,000 people
    • Prison incarceration rate: 489 per 100,000 people

To locate someone who is currently an inmate in a federal prison, or has been any time since 1982, visit the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator. You can look up inmates in following different ways: 

  1. First and last name (required) 
  2. Middle name
  3. Age
  4. Race
  5. Sex (optional) 
  6. Inmate number from the: 
    • Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Register 
    • D.C. Department of Corrections (DCDC)
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    • Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) 

You can locate someone who is currently detained for possible violation of immigration laws or who was released within the last 60 days from an ICE detention facility by means of the Online Detainee Locator System or by contacting the field offices of the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

  • If you are aware of the facility the person is being held, call that immigration detention facility directly. 
  • For the information about the status of a particular court case, you should contact the immigration court. 

You can select a region of the map to view facilities in that area. 

Another effective measure is using The Correctional Facility Locator:


Mostly the correctional facility blocks in the Locator are not so far labeled, so you will need to identify each one based on our lists of the populations of state, federal and local prisons and jails.

The Correctional Facility Locator provides the following sections of data:

Facility Name

If we have physically identified the correctional facility or facilities in this Census block, we've categorized it here.

Correctional Population

This is the amount of people stated as being incarcerated in this Census block.


Blocks are the smallest units of Census geography and are assigned numbers. The connection goes to a Census map of the block.

Block group

Block groups are collections of Census blocks and are also assigned numbers. The connection goes to a Census map of the block group.


Census tracts are small, comparatively permanent statistical subdivisions of a county, delineated by local committees of census data users for the purpose of presenting data. Census tract limitations normally follow visible features, but may follow governmental unit boundaries and other non-visible features. Studied to be comparatively similar in population characteristics, economic status, and living circumstances at the time of establishment, census tracts average about 4,000 citizens. Each tract in a county has an identifying number. The connection goes to a Census map of the tract.


States are divided in to counties or county-equivalents. Go to the Census map of the county.


The state that the census block is in.


If we have physically recognized the correctional facility by type, we have labeled it here. We have found that the Census Bureau's labels, provided in Summary File 1, Table PCT16, are so error-prone as to be unreliable. If your investigation requires you to remove local facilities and halfway houses, you will need to identify the facilities manually.

Wrong location

If we are aware of the Census Bureau placed a facility in the wrong location, we have noted it here.

Count Question Resolution Program

If the block is cited in the Census Bureau's Count Question Resolution Program, we report the corrected group quarters population and provide a link to the full data report.

Google map

The given below link shows a Google map of the location, including the satellite view. The marker reflects the center point of the block, but the prison itself may be some distance from this center point.