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Prisons and Prisoners
Find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about prisons, jails, and inmates.
To locate someone who is currently in custody or incarcerated in a federal prison, or has been anytime since 1982, visit the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator. You can look up inmates in two ways:
First and last name (required) and middle name, age, race, and sex (optional)
You can locate someone who is currently detained for possible violation of immigration laws or who was released within the last 60 days, by using the Online Detainee Locator System or by getting in touch with one of the field offices of the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Each prison sets its own visiting hours. By law, an inmate gets at least four hours of visiting time per month. If you have a question about a particular prison, contact that facility directly. Review information on visiting a federal inmate to ensure your visit is a success.
Inmates held at a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility have bank-type accounts called commissary accounts that they can use to purchase items. You can deposit money into a federal inmate's account by one of the following three funding methods:
Western Union (electronically)
United States Postal Service (money order through the mail)
If the inmate is at a private contract facility, please contact that facility or contract operator for instructions on how to send funds.
State and Local Correctional Facilities
Options for sending money to inmates in state and local prisons vary. Please contact the appropriate state or local correctional department for more information.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is the agency in charge of ensuring federal correctional facilities are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure. They are responsible for more than 200,000 inmates and nearly 40,000 employees.
In addition to maintaining the federal correctional facilities, the BOP provides resources for: