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Iowa Inmate Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How Are Inmate Records in Iowa Created and Stored?

Iowa inmate records are first created by law enforcement when someone is arrested. A RAP sheet is filled out with the suspect's name, address, physical descriptors, and details of their crime. Once the person is held in custody, the file begins the paper trail that follows the inmate through the entire prison system. As the prisoner is moved to different facilities or takes part in programs, their inmate record is updated to reflect the changes. The Iowa Department of Corrections is the agency in charge of maintaining and storing these records. They are updated daily and made available for an Iowa offender search through the IDOC website.

How Does a Iowa Inmate Locator Work?

The Iowa Department of Corrections is the government agency in charge of inmate records, and when using a Iowa state prison inmate locator, they are the resource to consult. Directly on the homepage of the Iowa Department of Corrections website is an Iowa inmate locator feature that the public can use to locate an Iowa inmate. The search form is extensive and allows the searcher to narrow the results by specific criteria. The form includes name, a range of birthdates, gender, offender ID, location, offense type, and county where the inmate is held. When performing an official Iowa inmate search, always contact the state DOC to find an inmate. When performing a private inmate records search, try the Infotracer search tool.

What Does Iowa’s Prison System Look Like?

The Iowa prison system is not complicated; it has only a few types of facilities. There are approximately 18,000 Iowa prisoners. About 9,000 reside in state prison, another 4,300 in local jails, 3,700 in federal prison in other states, and about 680 are in juvenile detention centers. Another 150 are in mental institutions. The Iowa prison system is operated and managed by the Iowa Department of Corrections and Director, Jerry Bartruff. The current Iowa prison system is made up of:

  • 9 State Prisons
  • 99 County Jails
  • 1 Juvenile Detention Center/state school
  • 0 Federal Prisons
  • 8 Community Corrections Facility Districts with dozens of facilities

Did you Know?

  • 91% of prison inmates in Iowa are male, 9% female.
  • From 1979–80 to 2012–13, state and local government expenditures on corrections in Iowa increased by 163 percent (from $154,474,619 to $406,800,000).
  • As of 2016, there were 821 women in Iowa federal prisons.
  • Between 2007 and 2016, the Iowa prison population increased by 3%
  • Juvenile Custody Rate (per 100 000) in Iowa is 207, which is lower than national average of 450 by 54%.

Types of Jails and Prisons in Iowa

Along with nine state prisons and eight community corrections districts, Iowa also has county jails run by the local Sheriff's Offices. The state does not have any federal prisons. Iowa has one "State Training School for Boys" which is their equivalent of a juvenile detention center. However, this facility only serves males. Since the closing of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo, there is no place to send female juvenile delinquents. Therefore, Iowa has contracted with a facility in Wisconsin and female offenders under the age of 18 are sent there.

How Many People are Locked up in Iowa?

Iowa’s prison system holds 9,031 residents in various kinds of correctional facilities, from which 9,024 residents are held in state prisons, 7 in juvenile correctional facilities.

Correctional Facilities:Totals:
Juvenile Correctional Facilities7
State Prisons9,024

Iowa State Prisons

Iowa has only nine state prisons spread across the entire state. Each facility has a different security level, and some have minimum-security satellite institutions. Each inmate is evaluated thoroughly before placement in one of the nine following facilities:

  • Anamosa State Penitentiary
  • Clarinda Correctional Facility
  • Fort Dodge Correctional Facility
  • Iowa Correctional Institution for Women
  • Iowa Medical and Classification Center
  • Iowa State Penitentiary
  • Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility
  • Newton Correctional Facility
  • North Central Correctional Facility


How to Search for State Prison Inmates

It is very easy to search for an inmate in an Iowa state prison. The Iowa Department of Corrections offender search is featured right on the homepage of their website. Using this feature, victims, family, friends, and the general public can quickly and easily locate an inmate in the Iowa prison system. Follow these instructions:

  1. Visit the Iowa Department of Corrections website
  2. On the homepage, click the "Offender Search" button
  3. Type in the person's name. The rest of the fields are optional but helpful in locating an inmate. Choose from a range of birthdates, gender, offender number, location, offense, or county
  4. Hit the "Find" button and review the results
  5. The results will show a list with name, offender number, birth date, and gender. Click the name in any row to see additional details for that inmate


Iowa County Jails

The state of Iowa has 99 counties throughout the state. Each county has its own Sheriff's Office that operates and maintains a county jail. These jails hold suspects who have been arrested for crimes and are awaiting an initial hearing or trial. They also hold inmates who have been sentenced to less than a year in jail. Many of the county Sheriff's Offices have a website of their own. For example, the Polk County Sheriff's Office has a website, and they have a link on the homepage where they list the current inmates. Some of these websites have a search feature, but some just provide a list of inmates for review.

How to Perform an Iowa Jail Inmate Search

Although the prisons and community corrections facilities are all under the umbrella of the Iowa Department of Corrections, the county jails are managed and operated by local Sheriff's Offices. Therefore, anyone wanting to perform an Iowa jail inmate search must contact the local county Sheriff's Office. In some cases, local law enforcement has a website with a list of current residents or a search feature, making it easier to find someone in a jail in Iowa.

Iowa Juvenile Detention Centers

owa has one juvenile detention center called the Iowa State Training School for Boys. This residential school houses males only. Their focus is on rehabilitation for youth offenders combined with education. The facility is highly supervised and holds males 12-18 years old until the completion of their court-ordered sentence. Female youth offenders are transferred out of the state to a Wisconsin facility since the closing of the Juvenile Home in Toledo, surrounding reports of abuse and mismanagement. The Iowa Department of Human Services oversees the juvenile detention center.

Juvenile Population in Custody During 2011-2016 years


How to Search for Inmates in Juvenile Detention Center Inmates

Iowa's State Training School for Boys is the only juvenile detention center in the state. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Services for the state. Therefore, searching the IDOC won't yield any results for juvenile inmates. Plus, juvenile records are private and cannot be searched online. However, family, friends, and other legally approved personnel can inquire about an inmate in the Iowa State School by contacting the school directly and talking to the administration. They have information on their website regarding visitation and sending gifts or money.

Iowa Community Correctional Facilities

Along with the nine state prisons, Iowa has dozens of community corrections facilities split into eight judicial districts for the state. These facilities handle reentry transition, pre-trial custody, work-release programs, parole, and probation. The community corrections facilities in Iowa include:

  • Beje Clark Residential Center
  • Fort Dodge Residential Center
  • Marshalltown Residential Center
  • Dubuque Residential Facility
  • West Union Residential Facility
  • Waterloo Women's Center for Change
  • Sioux City North Facility
  • Sioux City South Facility
  • District 4 Residential Facility
  • District 4 Residential Treatment Center
  • Fresh Start Women's Center
  • Fort Des Moines Community Corrections Complex
  • Gerald R. Hinzman Center - males/females.
  • Larry A. Nelson Center - men only.
  • Hope House - men only.
  • ANCHOR Center - males only.
  • 605 Work Release Center.
  • District 7 Residential Correctional Facility.
  • Burlington Residential Facility.
  • Ottumwa Residential Facility.

Some of these facilities offer treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, assistance with mental health issues, and treatment for sex offenders.

How to Search for an Inmate in an Iowa Community Corrections Facility

The process for finding an inmate in one of the many Iowa community corrections facilities is the same as with state prisons. All of these facilities are managed by the Iowa Department of Corrections and therefore finding someone in an Iowa jail, or prison is easy; simply follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the Iowa Department of Corrections website .
  2. On the homepage, click the "Offender Search" button.
  3. Type in the person's name. The rest of the fields are optional but helpful in locating an inmate. Choose from a range of birthdates, gender, offender number, location, offense, or county.
  4. Hit the "Find" button and review the results.
  5. The results will show a list with name, offender number, birth date, and gender. Click the name in any row to see additional details for that inmate.

Why are People Incarcerated in Iowa?

More people than ever before are imprisoned in Iowa due to drug charges and related offenses. According to the Iowa Department of Corrections annual report, opioid use and methamphetamines dealing and trafficking are significant factors in the rising prison population in the state. Property-related offenses are another top reason people are in prison in Iowa. Violent crimes fall in between these other two categories, and public offenses account for the smallest number of inmates in the state.

Iowa’s Incarceration Rate and Statistics

Iowa’s incarceration rate for year-end 2016 under state prison or local jail jurisdiction per 100,000 population was 286, which is lower than an average incarceration rate by 36%. The number of Iowa prisoners at the year-end of 2016 was 9,031, from which 9% were female prisoners, whereas the number of male prisoners was 8,210 in 2016.


Where Do Iowa Inmates Go When They are Released?

Although the state of Iowa has only nine prisons, they have more than twenty facilities designed to help with reentry, rehabilitation, and treatment. Therefore, qualified inmates will transition to one of these facilities before being released back to family and friends. To reduce recidivism, these facilities provide help with drug and alcohol addictions. They also help with finding a job, securing a place to live, and other challenging life situations. Inmates who do not qualify will simply return home after release.

How Does Parole Work in Iowa?

As part of their community corrections program, Iowa has dozens of parole offices to make it easy for an inmate who has been released on parole to check-in regularly and comply with the terms of their parole. Parole is only available to well-behaved inmates who are deemed low-risk. These people are released early from prison with stipulations to find work, stable housing, and agree to the parole supervision program for several months or years. Anyone who violates these rules will return to prison to serve out the remainder of their sentence.

Parole Population

Type of Parole Entry:Number of Parolees:
State Parole Population:6,051
Change in 2016:2%

How Does Someone Get Probation in Iowa?

As an alternative to sending an offender to prison, the judge has the option of ordering probation instead. This supervision program allows the offender to live and work as usual, but they must comply with strict rules from the court. These stipulations always include checking in with a probation officer and progress towards specific goals. If an offender does not abide by the rules, their probation will be revoked, and they will immediately go to prison.

Probation Statistics

Type of Parole Entry:Number of Parolees:
State Probation Population:29,254
Change in 2016:-1%

Iowa Inmate Search

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