Anyone wishing to locate a person incarcerated in Louisiana will need certain information about the individual. The more information that is available, the easier the Louisiana inmate search. Prisoner information is public in Louisiana. It is made available by both government agencies and also third-party providers. Online searches are perhaps the easiest way to find the information.
Correctional Facilities in Louisiana
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections (DPS&C) is the agency in charge of prisons and incarceration in that state. It is also charged with supervising probation, parole and rehabilitative programs. The agency has oversight of more than 35,000 inmates, half of whom are housed in state correctional facilities, the other half in private and parish facilities.
Systems of Incarceration in Louisiana
There are different systems of incarceration in Louisiana. They are:
- Federal prisons.
- Louisiana state prisons.
- Local county and parish jails.
Federal prisons are correctional facilities for those convicted of federal crimes. Jails are correctional/detention facilities managed by the parish or city government, while prisons are secure facilities managed by the state or federal government.
Correctional facilities in Louisiana are those that house offenders after they have been convicted of an offense. Detention facilities house those awaiting trial.
Recently the state has reopened the visitation program allowing family and friends of prisoners to visit them in person. To take advantage of this program or to contact a prisoner in Louisiana, it is first necessary to determine where the person is incarcerated.
Louisiana Inmate Records
Websites that contain inmate records may provide different levels of information about offenders held by the state. Offenders may be held in state prisons, parish jails, correctional facilities or other penal institutions.
The information available can include:
- Sentencing details, like the type and class of offense.
- Parish in which the case was tried.
- Location of the facility where an inmate is being held.
- Inmate’s name, registration number, date of birth, sex and Louisiana inmate mugshots.
Inmate records are not confidential. They are generally considered public in the United States and are made public under Louisiana state laws. That means that they are available to review. They are made available to the public by both traditional governmental agencies as well as third-party websites. Third-party websites may or may not charge fees for the information, and their information is not always consistent with government websites.
Locating Inmates in Louisiana
There are a number of different ways to locate a prisoner incarcerated in Louisiana. Perhaps the easiest method is to use the Louisiana Automated Victim Notification System (LAVNS). This website is updated regularly by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections.
According to this agency, the website is updated every 24 hours, allowing family and friends of prisoners a simple way to search for a prisoner by location, name and ID or case number. This is also a way to get location information on those individuals currently under probation or parole supervision in the community.
LAVNS and Victim Awareness
While the LAVNS system can be used by family members and loved ones to locate an incarcerated individual, that is not the only use for this locator site. The LAVNS system also allows a victim to determine the current status of an adult offender, including where they are being held in custody. Through this system, a victim can also register to be notified automatically if there is a change in case status, such as when an offender is:
- Released from custody.
- Transferred from one location to another.
- Escapes from a parish facility.
- Has a change in case status.
Using the LAVNS Offender Locator
To locate an inmate in a Louisiana state prison using the Louisiana Department of Corrections' Inmate Locator online, it is necessary to know the individual's name or inmate Department of Corrections (DOC) number. Enter this information into the proper field on the website.
Alternatively, it is possible to get this information by using the phone. An interested party can call 225-383-4580 for access 24/7 to the automated Inmate Locator hotline. In order to use this phone line locator to determine at which jail the inmate is located, the caller must have either the inmate Department of Corrections (DOC) number or the inmate name and birth date.
Calling the County or Parish
As an alternative to using the LAVNS system, it is possible to determine whether a prisoner is held in a Louisiana parish or county jail by calling that parish or facility, or calling the sheriff's office in that county. Online lists of the facilities and their phone numbers are available.
Some parishes and counties maintain websites with inmate lookup search engines. Going online to these websites enables a person to review the inmate roster of that county or parish to see if an inmate is located there. For example:
- East Baton Rouge sheriff’s office maintains a parish prison inmate list.
- Jefferson Parish sheriff provides an online inmate search platform that allows for searches by name, race or sex.
- Orleans Parish sheriff’s office provides a similar service with its inmate master search.
- St. Tammany Parish maintains an online inmate roster that lists current inmates and inmates released within 48 hours.
Louisiana Visitation Rules
Anyone thinking of visiting an inmate in Louisiana should first review the visitation rules. Inmates cannot be visited by anyone and everyone. A person who wants to see an inmate housed in a Louisiana correctional facility must first get on the approved visiting list for that inmate.
Generally, the state permits visits by children of the inmates if they are accompanied by a legal guardian or parent. This does not apply to offenders convicted of a sex crime involving a minor. These inmates cannot receive any visits from minors, not even their own children.
Facility Visiting Times and Procedures
In addition, each facility has its own visiting times and procedures. Generally, approved visitors are required to register with officials before entering the visiting area and provide a current photo ID like a passport or a driver’s license. In addition, the department may have a dress code for visitors, forbidding clothing:
- That is sheer.
- That exposes an undue amount of flesh.
- With gang insignia.
- That resembles the uniform worn by correctional officers.
- Louisiana.gov: About the DPSC Facility Locations
- University of Louisiana PoliceL Louisiana Automated Victim Notification System (LAVNS)
- Inmate Search: Louisiana Inmate Search
- East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office: Parish Prison Inmate List
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office: Online Inmate Search
- Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office: Inmate Search
- St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office: Inmate Roster
- Louisiana State Records: Inmate
- Louisiana Public Records: Inmate Search
Teo Spengler earned a JD from U.C. Berkeley Law School. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an MA and an MFA in English/writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.