Massachusetts Inmate Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How Are Inmate Records in Massachusetts Created and Stored?

Massachusetts inmate records are created by local police, county Sheriff's Offices, and correctional institutions as the prisoners move through the justice system. The first entry is a RAP sheet that is filled out by the arresting officer. It includes the person's name, address, phone number, physical description, and details about their crime. This form is most often accompanied by a mug shot as well. Then as the inmate is moved to a new facility or attends a hearing or trial, the files get updated. Inmate records are maintained and stored by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections . They provide access to a central database of all the inmates so that friends, family, and the general public can perform an inmate search any time of day or night.

How to Find if Someone is in Jail or Prison in Massachusetts?

The process for finding an inmate in jail or prison in Massachusetts will vary based on the circumstances and location. The state of Massachusetts and the Department of Corrections contracts with the VINELink system to handle all online inmate searches and requests. Along with an online search portal, VINELink also offers a phone number to use to find an inmate in a Massachusetts prison. Follow the instructions below to use the system:

  1. Visit the Mass.gov , inmate locator feature on their website.
  2. Clicking the VINELink button will take you to a third-party website.
  3. Select the state "Massachusetts" in the drop-down field at the top.
  4. Now click the "Find an Offender" link.
  5. Enter either the person's last name or "Offender ID."
  6. If you enter the last name, you must also enter a first name.
  7. Review the results. You can click the "More info" button to see additional details.

The results of each search will show the name, age, race, custody status, location, and contact information for the facility where they are being held.

When searching for other inmate records like arrest, criminal records, divorces, marriages, court records, and other information, try the Infotracer search tool as well.

What Does Massachusetts’s Prison System Look Like?

The Massachusetts prison system is well-organized with various types of facilities and programs to punish and rehabilitate offenders while also keeping the state residents safe. They also have programs to help avoid recidivism through reentry programs, services, and centers for released inmates who need help. The prison system in Massachusetts includes:

  • 16 State Prisons
  • 6 Juvenile detention center locations
  • 1 Federal prison
  • 14 County jails
  • Reentry programs, facilities, and services

Did you Know?

  • 94% of prison inmates in Massachusetts are male, 6% female.
  • From 1979–80 to 2012–13, state and local government expenditures on corrections in Massachusetts increased by 149 percent (from $426,307,153 to $1,061,575,000).
  • As of 2016, there were 583 women in Massachusetts federal prisons.
  • Between 2007 and 2016, the Massachusetts prison population decreased by 18%

Types of Jails/Prisons in Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts has sixteen state prisons. Each houses a different demographic and has specific levels of custody. The Massachusetts Department of Corrections oversees each of these facilities along with the reentry programs and services. The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) oversees the six regional juvenile detention centers that house and educate youth offenders. The state also has one federal prison holding inmates who have violated federal laws. Many counties in Massachusetts also have county jails to hold suspects awaiting trial.

How Many People are Locked up in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts’s prison system holds 9,403 residents in various kinds of correctional facilities, from which 9,036 residents are held in state prisons, 4 in federal prisons, and 363 in local jails.

Correctional Facilities: Totals:
Federal Prisons4
State Prisons9,036
Local Jails363

Massachusetts State Prisons

The state of Massachusetts has sixteen state prisons. Each serves a different demographic and has various custody levels. A couple of facilities also offer mental health and substance abuse treatment. The list of prison facilities in Massachusetts are:

  • Boston Pre-Release Center.
  • Bridgewater State Hospital.
  • Lemuel Shattuck Hospital Correctional Unit.
  • MASAC at Plymouth.
  • MCI-Cedar Junction.
  • MCI-Concord.
  • MCI-Framingham.
  • MCI-Norfolk.
  • MCI-Shirley.
  • Massachusetts Treatment Center.
  • North Central Correctional Institution.
  • Northeastern Correctional Center.
  • Old Colony Correctional Center.
  • Pondville Correctional Center.
  • South Middlesex Correctional Center.
  • Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center.

How to Perform a Massachusetts Prison Inmate Search

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Massachusetts Federal Prisons

Massachusetts has only one federal prison which holds inmates who committed federal offenses while in Massachusetts. The facility is called Devens FMC and is located in Ayer, Massachusetts. It is an "administrative security federal medical center with an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp" that holds 1,110 male inmates. This facility is run and managed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FOB).

Massachusetts's Federal Prison Population During 2011-2016 years

201120122013201420152016
Total886634
Male886634
Female000000

How to Search for an Inmate in a Massachusetts Federal Prison

Finding an inmate in a Massachusetts federal prison is different than when searching for an inmate in state prison. All federal prisons are run and managed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Anyone wanting to perform an inmate search for a federal prisoner in Massachusetts will have to contact the FOB directly or lookup the facility and call them. The FOB does have an inmate locator feature on their website, and along with that, they also have pages for each facility. These pages provide contact details and information about visitation, sending gifts, money, and phone calls.

Massachusetts County Jails

Massachusetts has fourteen county jails, and these jails are operated and managed by local county Sheriff's Offices. Local jails hold pretrial detainees and inmates who have been sentenced to short-term stays for their punishment. Many of the local Sheriff's Offices and police stations have their own websites with information. The list of county Sheriff's Offices and jails in Massachusetts are:

  • Barnstable County Sheriff's Office.
  • Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction.
  • Bristol County Jail and House of Correction.
  • Dukes County Jail and House of Correction.
  • Essex County Correctional Facility & Sheriff's Headquarters.
  • Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
  • Hampden County Jail and House of Correction.
  • Hampshire County Sheriff's Office.
  • Middlesex Jail & House of Correction.
  • Nantucket County Sheriff's Department.
  • Norfolk County Sheriff's Department.
  • Plymouth County Sheriff's Department.
  • Suffolk County Sheriff's Department.
  • Worcester County Jail and House of Correction.

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

201120122013201420152016
Total163196329279431363
Male147183314267404350
Female161315122713

How to Perform a Massachusetts Jail Inmate Search

The process for finding someone in a Massachusetts jail is relatively simple. All local jails are operated and managed by the local county Sheriff's Offices and therefore when performing a Massachusetts jail inmate search, the person searching will have to contact the Sheriff's Office directly. Many of the Sheriff's Offices have a website of their own with a search feature or listing of the current residents.

Massachusetts Juvenile Detention Centers

The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) is the agency in charge of all youth detention centers in the state. These facilities hold youth offenders under the age of 18. They provide education, rehabilitation, victim services, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services. The juvenile detention facilities in Massachusetts include:

  • DYS Central Office.
  • DYS Central Regional Office.
  • DYS Metro Regional Office.
  • DYS Northeast Regional Office.
  • DYS Southeast Regional Office.
  • DYS Western Regional Office.

Juvenile Population in Custody During 2011-2016 years

201120122013201420152016
Total313000
Male212000
Female101000

How to Search for Juvenile Detention Center Inmates

The best option when performing an inmate search for someone in juvenile detention in Massachusetts is to contact the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services directly. Although they provide a listing for each facility with a phone number on the Mass.gov website, it may be challenging to locate the person without some direction from the DYS. Juvenile inmate records are private, and therefore, an online inmate search will not be possible.

Why are People Incarcerated in Massachusetts?

There are about 22,000 people incarcerated in the state of Massachusetts. Ninety-nine hundred of them are in state prison, and almost as many are in local jails. Only 2,100 are in federal prison, and 430 are in juvenile detention. Another 300 are in mental institutions receiving treatment. More than half of all inmates in Massachusetts committed crimes against people and only 7% against property. More than 70% have violence components to their crimes. Sixteen percent were sex offenses, which is more than the 14% that were drug-related.

Massachusetts’s Incarceration Rate and Statistics

Massachusetts’s incarceration rate for year-end 2016 under state prison or local jail jurisdiction per 100,000 population was 156, which is lower than an average incarceration rate by 65%. The number of Massachusetts prisoners at the year-end of 2016 was 9,403, from which 6% were female prisoners, whereas the number of male prisoners was 8,820 in 2016.

2011201220132014201520162017
Total205199192188171156120
Male405395380373336308239
Female1715151515139

Where Do Massachusetts Inmates Go When They are Released?

Inmates released from Massachusetts prisons and jails will go home to family or friends. Although Massachusetts has a healthy parole and probation program, they do not have any reentry facilities to hold inmates while they transition back into society. The state does, however, offer resources and services for reentry for inmates who have already been released to help with things like finding employment and housing, drug or alcohol issues, and mental health treatment. They also offer programs to help with parenting classes, anger management, and education.

How Does Parole Work in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts parole board reviews each inmate's progress, and when they feel a prisoner is rehabilitated and not a danger to society, they may release them early before finishing their sentence. When this happens, the inmate is given a list of stipulations they must comply with. If the inmate does not check in regularly with their parole officer or violates any of the other rules, they will return to prison to finish out their sentences.

Parole Population

Type of Parole Entry: Number of Parolees:
State Parole Population: 1,851
Entries: 2,111
Exits: 2,255
Change in 2016: -7%

How Does Someone Get Probation in Massachusetts?

Probation is a supervisory program where a Massachusetts judge can order probation instead of prison. This privilege is most often given to first-time or low-risk offenders. Again, these individuals do have to comply with a list of court-ordered rules. If they fail to meet with the probation officer or complete any of the other terms of their probation, it will be revoked, and they will immediately go to prison.

Probation Statistics

Type of Parole Entry: Number of Parolees:
State Probation Population: 61,789
Entries: 65,772
Exits: 68,917
Change in 2016: -4%

Massachusetts Department of Corrections

Massachusetts Inmate Search