The state of Iowa has 99 counties. There are dozens of county jails in Iowa, with one in each county. These types of facilities hold pretrial detainees and people who were just arrested. In some cases, Iowa judges sentence short stays in jail as punishment instead of sending an offender to prison.
The local county Sheriff’s Offices are the ones who keep and maintain Iowa county jail inmate records. There is no centralized database where someone can just run an Iowa county jail inmate search. Therefore, anyone wishing to find a person in a county jail in Iowa must contact the local county Sheriff’s Office where the person was arrested.
There are many local county jails in the state of Iowa. They are managed and run by the local law enforcement (usually Sheriff’s Offices). These facilities used to hold only pretrial inmates, but now sometimes they also hold inmates for short sentences who are being punished by the court system for minor infractions or misdemeanors.
The Franklin County jail in Hampton, Iowa is the oldest jail in the state. It was built in 1880. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark and is preserved so that the public can visit and experience what jails were like during that time.
Current jails have been modernized with many more cells/beds, a commissary, visitation and other amenities not offered in old-time jails. Some of the local county jails even offer video chat service so offenders can visit with family members who live far away and cannot visit.
Local county Sheriff’s Offices have websites with information on how to visit, how to send money and gifts to inmates, a posted schedule for visitation hours, and other information specifically designed for family and friends.
The most common reason someone is thrown in Iowa county jail is property crimes such as burglary, shoplifting, theft, stealing cars, and robbery. In terms of violent crimes, the most common charges are aggravated assault, simple assault, and intimidation. Only about 1,300 incidents of rape and sexual assault occur each year in Iowa and only about 72 murders. Roughly 73% of inmates in Iowa county jails are male and the rest female. More than 76% of the people in jail are white, 19% are Black, the rest are American Indian, Asian, and unknown races.