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District of Columbia Inmate Search

The following is for informational purposes only

How Are Inmate Records in District of Columbia Created and Stored?

Washington D.C. inmate records are created every step of the way through the justice system. From the moment when someone is arrested until they are released on parole, paperwork follows them that becomes their inmate records. The RAP sheet is generally the first document which contains the person's name, address, physical description and a mug shot along with details of the crime. Every time the suspect is moved, appears in court, or engages in other events, it is noted in the file. The Washington D.C. Department of Corrections is the agency in charge of all inmates and inmate records. They keep these records online and readily available for an inmate search.

How to Locate an Inmate in District of Columbia?

Washington D.C. makes it easy for friends, family, or other interested parties to find someone detained in a Washington D.C. jail or prison. The Department of Corrections is the government agency in charge of all records and inmates. Therefore, they are the ones to contact. They offer two methods on their website of finding an inmate within the system. First, they do not have an inmate locator feature, but they do partner with the VINELink system. The other option is to call their records department at (202) 523-7060 to find someone located in jail or prison.

What Does District of Columbia’s Prison System Look Like?

The Washington D.C. prison system is quite simple, consisting of only two main state facilities and some other contracted resources. The Washington D.C. prison system consists of the following:

  • 2 State Prisons
  • 1 jail which is part of the state prison
  • 0 federal prisons
  • 2 Contracted halfway houses for transitioning inmates
  • 2 Reentry programs including: substance abuse treatment, mentoring, life skills training, conflict resolution, parenting, GED preparation, and adult education classes

Did you Know?

  • Every year, about 2,781 people walk out of prison gates in District Of Columbia, but people go to jail 1.0 times more each year
  • District Of Columbia has 5 facilities under state or federal authority that provided educational programs to inmates, from which only 1 provided College courses.

Types of Jails and Prisons in District of Columbia

Washington has two main state prisons. One is actually a jail called The Central Detention Facility (CDF/DC Jail). This facility houses about 2,164 male pretrial detainees awaiting sentencing. The second facility is called the Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF). This facility was opened in May of 1992 and houses juvenile offenders and women along with male offenders sentenced to long-term stays. The CTF consists of five buildings, each with a separate demographic and staff. It is a medium-security complex on 10.2 acres. Washington D.C. does not have any other local jails, nor do they have any federal or private prisons.

District of Columbia State Prisons

The District of Columbia is a rare state in that is has only two state prisons, and one of them acts as the only jail in the state housing pretrial inmates. Both facilities are overseen and managed by the D.C. Department of Corrections and Director, Quincy L. Booth. The two corrections facilities in Washington, D.C. are:

  • The Central Detention Facility (CDF/DC Jail) - housing pretrial detainees (male only).
  • The Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF) - housing men, women, and juveniles.

How to Locate a State Prison Offender in Washington, D.C

Searching for an inmate in a Washington D.C. state prison is quite easy since there are only two facilities. Although the Department of Corrections does not have their own online searchable database, they do contract with the VINELink system so that family, friends and the general public can locate an inmate in either jail or state prison in Washington, D.C. They also offer the records office phone number (202-523-7060) as another option for finding someone incarcerated in the state.

District of Columbia County Jails

Unlike most states, the District of Columbia has only one facility to hold pretrial detainees and suspects who have been arrested, and that is the Central Detention Facility (CDF/DC Jail). This facility also holds regular inmates as well, and both units are overseen and managed by the D.C. Department of Corrections as part of the D.C. government. The Mayor, Muriel Bowser works closely with the director to provide funding and direction for the entire system.

How to Perform a Washington D.C. Jail Inmate Search

The only jail in Washington, D.C. is overseen and managed by the Department of Corrections. They do not have an inmate locator on their website, but they do contract with the VINELink system so that anyone wanting to perform a Washington, D.C. jail inmate search can do so. They also provide a local phone number (202-523-7060) to speak with someone in records to locate a Washington D.C. jail inmate.

District of Columbia Juvenile Detention Centers

Washington, D.C. has one juvenile detention center as part of its prison system. After arrest and processing by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) the youth is detained at the Youth Services Center (YSC). In some cases, youth offenders may be moved to another program outside of the juvenile justice system. While in their custody, the YSC focuses on the following areas of rehabilitation for youth offenders:

  • Substance abuse treatment.
  • Mental health issues.
  • Risk assessment and family meetings.
  • Education.

How to Search for Inmates in Juvenile Detention Center Inmates

Juvenile records are private until the inmate has turned 18. At that time, the person has the option of applying to have them expunged. Therefore anyone wanting information on a juvenile delinquent held in custody in Washington D.C. will have to contact the Department of Corrections directly. They have only one facility, so contacting them should be easy, but only family, friends, and authorized agents will be provided with access.

District of Columbia Halfway Houses

The District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) also contracts with a variety of community correctional centers or halfway houses to provide services too released inmates to help them transition back into society. The facilities they currently work with are:

  • Extended House, Inc.
  • Fairview.
  • Hope Village.

These types of reentry centers offer the following types of programs and services:

  • Case Management.
  • Employment Assistance/Job Readiness.
  • Individual and Group Counseling.
  • Substance Abuse Intervention in-house, NA/AA Meetings/Referrals.
  • Academic Tutoring.
  • GED Preparation.
  • Basic Life Skills.
  • Family Planning.
  • Peer Association.
  • Financial Assistance.
  • Health Issues.
  • Interpersonal Communication/Socialization Skills.
  • Stress/Anger Management.
  • AIDS/HIV Awareness.
  • Bible Study/Prison Fellowship (provided by volunteers).
  • Social Services Assistance/Referrals.

How to Search for an Inmate in a Washington Halfway House

Once an inmate leaves the correctional system and is released into a halfway house or community correctional facility, they no longer fall under the responsibility of the Department of Corrections. Therefore, anyone wanting to search for a Washington D.C. inmate in a halfway house will have to contact the facility directly to inquire.

Why are People Incarcerated in District of Columbia?

About 8,300 people are in prison for committing crimes in Washington, D.C. The majority of them (6,000) has been moved to federal facilities in other states. Only about 2,000 still reside in the two state facilities that operate much like local jails. Another 110 are in juvenile detention, and 180 live in mental institutions. Almost the same number of inmates are in prison due to parole violations as assault (13%). Weapons charges, property crime, and drug offenses are other top reasons someone is sent to a D.C. prison.

Where Do District of Columbia Inmates Go When They are Released?

Although the District of Columbia's prison system is very unconventional, they have contracted with three halfway houses to provide extensive housing and transitional services to inmates who are released. Not only do they provide education, housing, and treatment for mental illness or substance abuse, they also offer help with finding work. Most inmates will process out through these facilities, but others may end up going home to family or friends.

How Does Parole Work in District of Columbia?

Parole is for inmates who have behaved well and are no longer a danger to society. The parole board for the Department of Corrections can release someone early based on a number of factors. When they do grant parole to an inmate, the inmate must agree to strict supervision, regular meeting with their parole officer and other items. If they violate any of the terms of his or her parole, they will return to prison to serve out the remainder of their sentence.

Parole Population

Type of Parole Entry:Number of Parolees:
State Parole Population:4,025
Change in 2016:-11%

How Does Someone Get Probation in District of Columbia?

Washington D.C. judges have the option of releasing an offender into the probation program rather than sending them to prison. This is most often granted to low-risk offenders or someone who has never done anything illegal before now. Probation comes with strict supervision and a list of terms. If the probationer violates these terms, their probation will be revoked, and they will go to prison.

Probation Statistics

Type of Parole Entry:Number of Parolees:
State Probation Population:5,838
Change in 2016:5%

District of Columbia Inmate Search