How to Search for How Much Time Inmates Have Left

By Kelly Gear
An inmate's prison sentence is public record.
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When an offender is convicted of a crime and incarcerated, this information is recorded and made available to the public. For safety reasons, a victim of a violent offender may desire to know the date that their violator will be released from jail. Inmate information can be easily located through one of the many federal and state online databases. Searching for inmates by name and the state where they are incarcerated will provide access to their inmate profile, including their release date. Every state does not offer an online database, but inmate information may be obtained by contacting the jail directly and asking for the release date of a prisoner.

Find out what crime the inmate was convicted of. Federal crimes are categorized as any infraction of federal law, such as drug trafficking and identity theft. State offenses are typically the more violent crimes, like murder, rape and kidnapping. Depending on the criminal offense the inmate is charge with, the inmate will be held in either a state or federal correctional facility. Each entity has their own databases.

Determine what state the inmate is incarcerated in. Knowing which state they are being held in will help narrow down the search and avoid retrieving irrelevant information. Visit the online inmate locator, specific to the state of incarceration. Some state facilities have their own online databases. The entire federal prison population may be searched by using the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) database.

Enter the inmate's full name, (last name is required) or identification number (if known) to access their inmate information. If duplicate listings are retrieved, include their birth date or middle initial. Common names tend to pull up multiple profiles. Providing additional identifying information will assist in locating the inmate you are searching for. If the inmate can't be located under their name and birth date, call the correctional facility and ask for the inmate's identification number.

Click on the inmate's name to view their complete profile. The database will display the inmate's registry number, race, sex, age and release date. Some databases provide more information than others and sometimes include mug shots, current status and other details. All databases disclose inmate release dates.

About the Author

Based in St. Louis, Mo., Kelly Gear has been writing professionally for various websites since 2008. Gear has published informational articles on a wide variety of topics relating to business, finance, beauty, fashion, fitness, family and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Harris-Stowe State University.