California Inmate Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How Are Inmate Records in California Created and Stored?

California inmate records are created when someone is arrested and put in jail. All the original intake paperwork, starting with the RAP sheet goes into a prisoner’s file with their name, address, physical description, and crimes, etc. When the prisoner moves to another facility, the record is updated to reflect the new location. Anything that happens to the prisoner is kept in the file, which is updated daily. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is the entity in charge of creating, keeping, storing, and updating inmate records.These records are kept online in a database repository and are searchable, making it easy for anyone to conduct an inmate search.

How Does a California Inmate Locator Work?

Inmate records for both jails and prisons in the state of CA are stored online so that friends and family members can easily find someone incarcerated within the state by using a California prison inmate search. Finding out if someone is in jail or prison in the state can be accomplished by the following methods:

  • Contacting The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
  • Visiting the CDCR online and using the state of California inmate locator and searching with either their inmate number or last name
  • Contacting the state or local police who were involved in the arrest; they keep paper records also and can issue copies

 

If an inmate has recently moved to another facility, it may take a couple of days for the records to catch up. For official purposes use the state lookup facilities. Another option available for finding inmate records is to use the Infotracer search tool.

What Does California’s Prison System Look Like?

California’s jails and prisons are all run under the umbrella of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. This entity falls under the direction of the Governor and the CDCR Secretary who provide guidance and leadership for the corrections system in the state. CA splits up its facilities by gender and age. The CDCR lists all adult facilities, all youth facilities, then fire camps and other facilities such as community correctional facilities and out-of-state prisons. The prison system consists of the following:

  • 35 State Adult Prisons
  • 44 Fire Camps
  • 1 Out-Of-State Prison
  • 4 Youth Detention Centers
  • 7 Community Correctional Facilities

Additionally, the state has two parole divisions, one for the northern part of the state and one for the southern region. Within this system, 110 locations handle parole services for the corrections department.

Did you Know?

  • 0.33% of people in California are under correctional control, from which 239,735 are on probation, and 93,598 are on parole.
  • Every year, about 80,589 people walk out of prison gates in California, but people go to jail 1.0 times more each year
  • 95% of prison inmates in California are male, 5% female.
  • From 1979–80 to 2012–13, state and local government expenditures on corrections in California increased by 369 percent (from $2,722,506,379 to $12,763,436,000).
  • California has 100 facilities under state or federal authority that provided educational programs to inmates, from which only 63 provided College courses.

Types of Jails/Prisons in California

The state has some different types of jails and prisons within the state. Jails are located in counties whereas state and federal prisons are usually on large parcels of state or federally-owned land in remote areas to keep them secluded and safe. CA has more than 110 county jails with at least one long-term facility in each county. Federal prisons hold prisoners who have committed federal crimes and state prisons hold inmates who were incarcerated due to breaking state laws. CA  has thirteen federal prisons spread all over the state. Along with federal prisons, there are various state-run facilities which house men, women, juveniles and then also fire camps and community corrections centers.

How Many People are Locked up in California?

California’s prison system holds 130,390 residents in various kinds of correctional facilities, from which 121,655 residents are held in state prisons, 79 in federal prisons, and 1,651 in local jails.

Correctional Facilities: Totals:
Federal Prisons79
State Prisons121,655
Local Jails1,651
Private Prisons7,005

California State Prisons

California has thirty-five adult state prisons. Some are men-only and some house only women. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation offers a California state prison inmate search on their website so that visitors can find someone incarcerated in the prison system. All prison facilities are funded by the state budget which the Governor oversees and approves. California is in the process of prison reform to address the problems of overcrowding and also reallocate budget dollars towards more rehabilitation programs rather than funding to house prison inmates. The state’s reform program requires federal approval to proceed.

How to Perform a California Prison Inmate Search

It is quite easy to find someone incarcerated in CA. The steps to take are as follows:

  1. Visit the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website
  2. Look for the Inmate Locator ca link
  3. Read and agree to the terms
  4. Enter the inmate’s CDCR number or last name. If you have first and middle names, the search will yield better results
  5. Review the results and narrow down your search by age, date of admission, or location

California Federal Prisons

CA has a total of thirteen federal prisons spread across the state. If someone is engaged in a California federal prison inmate search, they will need to contact the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FOB) or visit them online. This organization lists each federal prison, the gender of the population, the location address, phone, and email contact information as well as inmate population totals and other details. They also offer instructions on how to visit someone incarcerated at the facility or how to send inmates goods. The site also provides driving directions and employment opportunities.

California's Federal Prison Population During 2011-2016 years

201120122013201420152016
Total49451948253079379
Male46240438336149276
Female32115991693013

How to Search for Federal Prison Inmates

The Federal Bureau of Prisons does have an inmate locator feature. However, anyone searching for an incarcerated person must have their Inmate Register Number, there is no way to search by the last name. Instead, follow these instructions:

  • Visit the BOP website. You may have to call them to get the inmate’s ID
  • Enter the Inmate Register Number and view the results. The contents will reveal where the inmate is being held and other details about their incarceration

 

California County Jails

CA has more than 110 county jails with at least one long-term facility in each county. Many counties have short-term holding cells for people awaiting a court hearing as well as short-term facilities for inmates who are sentenced to less than a year of confinement. Anyone looking to conduct a CA county jail inmate search should first consult The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). They are the entity in charge of all incarceration facilities and prison inmates throughout the state. They keep everything automated and online for easy access.

California's County and Local Jail Prison Population During 2011-2016 years

201120122013201420152016
Total5700001,651
Male5700001,651
Female000000

How to Perform a California Jail Inmate Search

Searching for California county jail inmates is precisely the same process used for finding state inmates. Therefore, anyone wanting to perform a California jail inmate search should follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website
  2. Look for the Inmate Locator link
  3. Read and agree to the terms
  4. Enter with inmate’s CDCR number or last name. If you have first and middle names, the search will yield better results
  5. Review the results and narrow down your search by age, date of admission, or location

 

California Juvenile Detention Centers

CA has four juvenile detention centers in the state and they are: N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility, O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility, Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp, and Ventura Youth Correctional Facility. They house only offenders who are younger than 18 years old. Three of them house only males and the fourth house, both males and females. One of the male facilities is a conservation camp only. When executing a California juvenile detention center search, visitors are urged to use the inmate locator ca feature on the website or call the facility in person for up-to-date and accurate information. Rules about giving out information on youths vary, and often, only family or approved friends will receive information.

How to Search for Inmates in Juvenile Detention Center Inmates

The steps to finding someone incarcerated in a California juvenile detention center is the same for state and county searches. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Visit the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website
  2. Look for the Inmate Locator link
  3. Read and agree to the terms
  4. Enter the inmate’s CDCR number or last name. If you have first and middle names, the search will yield better results
  5. Review the results and narrow down your search by age, date of admission, or location

 

California Conservation (Fire) Camps

CA has forty-four Conservation (Fire) Camps designed to support state, federal and local agencies in charge of responding to natural disasters or emergencies such as floods, fires, and other manmade or weather-related issues. These camps employ about 3,700 inmates. Two thousand six hundred are qualified to assist with firefighting and other emergency-related tasks; others simply support the entire organization. All inmates receive extensive training. These are minimum-security facilities but are fully staffed with correctional employees.

How to Search for Conservation (Fire) Camp Inmates

The steps to find someone incarcerated in a CA conservation (fire) camps is the same for state and county searches, follow the instructions below:

  1. Visit the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website
  2. Look for the Inmate Locator link
  3. Read and agree to the terms
  4. Enter the inmate’s CDCR number or last name. If you have first and middle names, the search will yield better results
  5. Review the results and narrow down your search by age, date of admission, or location

 

California Private Prisons

CA contracts with one out-of-state facility in an effort to alleviate overcrowding. Inmates are transferred to this facility through the corrections system, and their care and support are coordinated between the two organizations. The partner facility is called La Palma Correctional Center (LPCC) and is located in Arizona. The California corrections department has a special department to specifically work with out-of-state facilities called the Contract Beds Unit (CBU). This unit is headed by Joseph W. Moss, Chief, Contract Beds Unit.

How to Search for Out-of-State Prison Facilities Inmates

The steps to find someone incarcerated in an out-of-state prison facility is the same for other California inmate searches, just follow the instructions below:

  1. Visit the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website
  2. Look for the Inmate Locator link
  3. Read and agree to the terms
  4. Enter the inmate’s CDCR number or last name. If you have first and middle names, the search will yield better results
  5. Review the results and narrow down your search by age, date of admission, or location

 

Why are People Incarcerated in California?

Everyone who is incarcerated in CA was sentenced to confinement by a judge or jury after committing one or a series of state or federal crimes. A California offender search shows that CA’s prisons have high populations with a diverse group of gang members, serious violent crime offenders, and white-collar criminals. California’s judicial system is very tough on crime, which is what has led to overcrowding and more substantial than average prison populations. Because of this overpopulation the state was sued and is now under federal observation and undergoing a radical reform program to fix the problem.

California’s Incarceration Rate and Statistics

California’s incarceration rate for year-end 2016 under state prison or local jail jurisdiction per 100,000 population was 331, which is lower than an average incarceration rate by 26%. The number of California prisoners at the year-end of 2016 was 130,390, from which 5% were female prisoners, whereas the number of male prisoners was 124,487 in 2016.

2011201220132014201520162017
Total393351352349330331328
Male749674676670635636630
Female42313233293029

Where Do California Inmates Go When They are Released?

Many inmates will simply go home to family or friends when they are released. Other criminals, specifically those who perpetrated serious crimes, may be ordered to live in a supervised community for a specific length of time. These are often referred to as halfway houses, and CA has dozens of them staffed by correctional employees and volunteers.

How Does Parole Work in California?

Parole and probation are often confused. Parole only applies to felony cases, and it begins when an inmate is released from prison. Parole is a supervision program that helps to guide the inmate back into society by securing gainful employment and a stable living environment. Parolees must check in weekly with their parole officer and may receive surprise inspections to see how they are doing.

Parole Population

Type of Parole Entry: Number of Parolees:
State Parole Population: 93,598
Entries: 26,007
Exits: 23,212
Change in 2016: 8%

How Does Someone Get Probation in California?

Probation also applies to felony crimes and is a supervision program where an offender can serve out their sentence outside of prison but must follow specific guidelines and check-ins with their probation officer. It usually lasts from three to five years. A judge may sentence probation instead of prison when the person is a first-time offender or has circumstances that offset the need for confinement.

Probation Statistics

Type of Parole Entry: Number of Parolees:
State Probation Population: 239,735
Entries: 138,876
Exits: 136,166
Change in 2016: 1%

California Inmate Search