Jail Records: What Are They and How To Search For Them

In the United States, an individual’s criminal history is usually handled by every state’s department concerned with public safety. These criminal records include arrests, convictions, inmate, and/or jail records.


What Are Jail Records?


Jail records are public records that usually contain information about any individual who has spent time in jail. Such records are maintained by the county, city, and state governments. Since they are considered public records, they are typically free to access by the public. Certain exemptions may apply depending on the state and surrounding circumstances.


There are several ways to access jail records :


  • In-person

    Go to the record-handling agency such as the bureau of corrections, local police stations and law enforcement agencies, and/or county sheriff’s office.

  • Mail/Email

    Send an official request or a filled-out request form via mail or email.

  • Phone/Fax

    Call the record-holding agency to inquire about an individual’s jail records. You can also receive such records via fax in some states.

  • Online

    Most states have online public record repositories where jail records can be accessed. In some cases, receiving a copy of the records may entail a different process.


A name search or background check on an individual may turn up jail records. The information included in a jail record may vary depending on the state or jurisdiction. In most cases, jail records include:


  • First and last name
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Height and Weight
  • Hair and Eye Color
  • Arrests and warrants
  • Misdemeanors and Felonies
  • Place and Date of Birth
  • Case Name
  • The Charge
  • Facility of incarceration
  • Incarceration Date
  • Next Court Date
  • Disposition
  • Projected Release Date or Discharge Date

Take note that physical copies of jail records are usually acquired by directly getting in touch with the jurisdiction’s record-handling agency. If, for instance, jurisdiction does not provide a database, you can check searchable databases of sexual offenders and predators and cross-check the individual you’re searching for. Take note some counties withhold information on inmates released more than 30 days subsequent to the applicable date of arrest. You can still check the county sheriff’s office for the incarceration or detention location.


In-depth information on jail and criminal history may also be obtained through a criminal background check. Keep in mind that such background checks may be subject to various laws.


How To Search For Jail Records With Kiwi Searches


jail records search kiwi searches

In performing any record search, the more information you have on the person, the better. In most cases, basic information such as legal first and last name is needed to initiate a search. The more accurate your information, the more accurate the results.


Kiwi Searches has an extensive repository of reliable information from various databases. That said, it is a great option in getting hassle-free and accurate information including jail records.


Simply do the following:


  • Go to kiwisearches.com
  • Type in the individual’s name and state.
  • Make sure to choose the right individual from the generated list of names.
  • Get access to public records report including jail records.

What Is The Difference Between Jail and Prison?


jail records search kiwi searches

Jail and prison are often used interchangeably but the two terms are different. The difference mostly lies in the purpose and the governing bodies operating them.


  • Jail

    Jails are facilities used for the short-term holding or detention of an individual in the time immediately following an arrest. They are often operated by the local government and county sheriff’s offices.

    Jails house individuals who are awaiting arraignment or their trial but can’t afford bail. They can also house people serving shorter sentences for misdemeanors or those awaiting their transfer to a larger prison.

  • Prison

    Prisons are facilities designated for long-term criminal housing, usually after sentencing. They are run by states or the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

    Prisons house individuals convicted of felonies and are serving their court-appointed sentence of one year or longer.






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