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Where to Find Pennsylvania Inmate Records

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, inmate records refer to documents containing details of an individual's incarceration. Information in these records includes the crime committed, time of arrests, length of sentence and time spent so far, personal information such as age, gender, and race, which are published on repositories to improve public safety. Pennsylvania inmate records are generated and maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

Are Incarceration Records Public Information in Pennsylvania?

Incarceration records in Pennsylvania are public records. The Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law grants members of the public access to public documents and allows them to make copies. Detention files are made available through an online database managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, where a search can be carried out using the last name, first name, sex, inmate number, race, or date of birth of the convict.

What Information is Contained in a Pennsylvania Inmate Record?

Pennsylvania inmate records are created using information from arrest records, court records, and other personal information obtained from the inmate. In Pennsylvania, a detainee's record will contain the following;

  • Full name
  • Booking number
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Location of the correctional facility
  • Height
  • Parole number
  • Race
  • Inmate's citizenship

Where do I Look Up an Inmate in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections maintains a repository of inmates and parolees under its jurisdiction, which can be accessed by interested persons. However, some inmates whose records are confidential might not be found in this repository, and a standard right-to-know request must be submitted to the governmental body or agency in charge to get the necessary information about the inmate's location. Note that based on the policies guiding the right-to-know law, some requests can be refused or partly granted if the Department of Correction has a valid reason for not releasing the full record. Methods of checking inmates in Pennsylvania either at the county, city or state level include;

  • Through the Department of Corrections Inmate/Parolee Locator
  • Through the inmate roster/listings maintained by some county jails
  • By contacting the correctional facility to enquire about the individual.

How Do I Conduct an Inmate Search in Pennsylvania?

Interested persons may search for Pennsylvania inmates through;

Inmate/Parolee Locator

The Inmate/Parolee Locator is an online repository sustained and updated regularly by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, and it displays information like the inmate's name, booking number, sex, race, or date of birth. Additionally, it shows the inmate's current location and the county where the crime was committed, mugshot, aliases, and permanent residence. The inmate record can be printed from the database through this method.

Inmate rosters/Listings

Most Pennsylvania counties maintain a roster or listings of inmates currently incarcerated in their various city/county jails. Some of these rosters can be accessed through the County Sheriff's website or on the county's official website. For counties without an online database or repository of inmates currently incarcerated in their detention facilities, a call may be put through to the facility to get the necessary information.

Written Requests Invoking the Right-to-Know Law

A written request for inmate record search should be addressed to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' Agency Open Records Officer (AORO) while stating the information needed with specifics to help the department ascertain the records being requested. Also, the name and address the Open Records Officer will address the response to should be provided. The request can be submitted either in person, via mail or email. A standard right-to-know request form should also be completed and attached to the written request when submitting it. A fee of $.50 is charged for each copy of the inmate record. The address of the Department's Right-to-Know office is;

1920 Technology Parkway,
PA 17050.
Telephone: (717) 728-7763
Fax: (717) 728-0312

How Can I Find an Inmate for Free in Pennsylvania?

Inmates incarcerated in the Pennsylvania Jail can be located on the Inmate/Parolee Locator for free. To begin, enter the preferred search criteria; this can be for parolee or inmate. The search procedure requirements include first name, last name, inmate number, gender, race, date of birth, and nationality. Of all requirements, it is imperative to enter the committing county in the state of Pennsylvania to best help narrow the search. The search results may contain inmate information such as release date, booking date, charges, and offense type.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How to Find Old Inmate Records in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania stores both old and new inmate records through an online depository. Members of the public may also access convicts files from the court, law enforcement agencies, and third-party organizations. One of such third party websites is where inmate records tailored to the counties in Pennsylvania can be found by entering the first name, last name, and city. Regarding law enforcement agencies, interested parties can obtain old records from the archives of the County Sheriff's Office involved. Records that have been archived can be collected by mail, by phone, or online.

Furthermore, The Department of Corrections employs a unique search tool for inmates in Pennsylvania, known as PA SAVIN - Pennsylvania Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification. This automated service provides information on an inmate's release, escape, or transfer.

How do I Find Inmate Death Records in Pennsylvania?

Details of deceased inmates in Pennsylvania can be obtained by querying the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in person or by mail. The request letter should contain the inmate's standard information, such as full name, inmate number, and the facility incarcerated in (if known). The address of the Department of Correction is;

1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Phone Line: (717) 728 2573

How do I Conduct a Federal Prison Inmate Search?

For personal or official reasons, federal prison inmate search can be processed online through the Federal Bureau of Prisons in two ways; by inmate name or inmate number. The Federal Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) number, Federal Bureau of Investigations' (FBI) number, or a Department of Corrections' number is required to complete the search. To look up a federal inmate by name, enter details such as the first name, middle name, last name, race, sex, and age. The Federal Bureau of Prisons allows for federal inmate search incarcerated from 1982 to present. If any difficulty is experienced in locating a federal prison inmate, contact the federal bureau of prisons at;

320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534
Phone: (202) 307-3178

How Long Does it Take For An Inmate's Information to Be Published in Pennsylvania Inmate Locator?

After the completion of an inmate's booking process, online registration comes next. However, the booking may take hours to complete depending on the law enforcement agency in the county involved. Nevertheless, it takes about 2 hours after booking for a new inmate to appear on the Pennsylvania Inmate Locator. The Diagnostic and Classification Centre (DCC) in Camp Hill County manages male inmate booking while the DCC at Lycoming County processes female inmates. The classification process can go from weeks to months, based on the security level of the inmate. After a thorough evaluation, the inmate is housed by the Department of Corrections in the male or female facilities.

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