Instant Accessto State, County and Municipal Public Records

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ALERT provides access to CRIMINAL, PUBLIC, and VITAL RECORDS (arrest records, warrants, felonies, misdemeanors, sexual offenses, mugshots, criminal driving violations, convictions, jail records, legal judgments, and more) aggregated from a variety of sources, such as county sheriff's offices, police departments, courthouses, incarceration facilities, and municipal, county and other public and private sources. is a privately owned, independently run resource for government-generated public records. It is not operated by, affiliated or associated with any state, local or federal government or agency. is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") and should not be used to determine an individual's eligibility for personal credit or employment, tenant screening or to assess risk associated with a business transaction. You understand and agree that you may not use information provided by for any unlawful purpose, such as stalking or harassing others, and including for any purpose under the FCRA.

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Illinois Inmate Records

Illinois inmate records contain documents detailing information on persons held in correctional facilities at the county and state levels in Illinois. Persons who obtain these records can expect to see the inmate's name, identity number, birth date, mugshot, and sentencing information. Per the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, inmate records are considered public records and available to interested members of the public.

Inmate records are considered public in the United States and therefore are made available by both traditional governmental agencies as well as third-party websites and organizations. Third-party websites may offer an easier search, as these services do not face geographical limitations. However, because third-party sites are not government-sponsored, the information obtained through them may vary from official channels. To find inmate records using third-party aggregate sites, requesting parties must provide:

  • The location of the sought-after record, including state, county, and city where the inmate resides.
  • The name of the person listed in the record, unless it is a juvenile.

Facilities Operated by the Illinois Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Below are the names of state prisons and correctional inmate facilities managed by the Illinois Department of Correction (IDOC).

  • Big Muddy River Correctional Center
  • Centralia Correctional Center
  • Clayton Work Camp
  • Crossroads Adult Transition Center
  • Danville Correctional Center
  • Decatur Correctional Center
  • Dixon Correctional Center
  • Dixon Springs Impact Incarceration Program (IIP)
  • Du Quoin Impact Incarceration Program (IIP)
  • East Moline Correctional Center
  • Elgin Treatment Center
  • Fox Valley Adult Transition Center
  • Graham Correctional Center
  • Graham Reception and Classification Center
  • Greene County Work Camp
  • Hill Correctional Center
  • Illinois River Correctional Center
  • Jacksonville Correctional Center
  • Joliet Treatment Center
  • Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center
  • Lawrence Correctional Center
  • Lincoln Correctional Center
  • Logan Correctional Center
  • Logan Reception and Classification Center
  • Menard Correctional Center
  • Menard Medium Security Unit
  • Menard Reception and Classification Center
  • Murphysboro Life Skills Re-Entry Center
  • North Lawndale Adult Transition Center
  • Northern Reception and Classification Center
  • Peoria Adult Transition Center
  • Pinckneyville Correctional Center
  • Pittsfield Work Camp
  • Pontiac Correctional Center
  • Pontiac Medium Security Unit
  • Robinson Correctional Center
  • Shawnee Correctional Center
  • Sheridan Correctional Center
  • Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center
  • Southwestern Illinois Work Camp
  • Stateville Correctional Center
  • Stateville Minimum Security Unit
  • Taylorville Correctional Center
  • Vandalia Correctional Center
  • Vienna Correctional Center
  • Western Illinois Correctional Center

Understanding the Difference Between Illinois Jails and Prisons

Prisons are correctional facilities operated by the state of Illinois or the federal government. Prisons managed by the state fall under the purview of the IDOC, while federal prisons are managed by the Bureau of Prisons. On the other hand, jails are correctional facilities operated by municipalities.

How to Obtain Public Archived Information About Past Inmates

Interested persons may obtain records of former inmates housed in IDOC facilities by completing an online request form or submitting a mail request to:

Illinois Department of Corrections
1301 Concordia Court
P.O. Box 19277
Springfield, IL 62794-9277
Phone: (217) 558-2200 x 2008


Illinois Department of Corrections
James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph
Chicago, IL 60601

When submitting a request for an archive search, requesters must provide as much relevant information as possible, such as the full name of the former inmate, the dates associated with their incarceration, and a registration number if known.

Can Inmate Records Be Removed From Public Record?

Inmate records may only be removed from the public search database in situations where:

  • A mistrial is ruled in remanded cases
  • The verdict of a case is reversed from guilt to not-guilty by a court
  • Inmates receive a pardon

How to Send Money to Inmates in Illinois Prisons

Members of the public can send money to inmates or deposit cash directly into an offender's commissary account using any three main methods:

  1. Using Western Union
  2. Using Money Gram
  3. Using GTL, JPAY

All electronic transfers must specify relevant details such as the inmate's name and IDOC number. Funds transferred via MoneyGram are typically credited within 96 business hours, while transactions made via Western Union or GTL JPA are completed within 48 hours. Individuals should send transactions made by money order to P.O. Box 260250 Hollywood, FL 33026 (made payable to JPAy).

How to Visit Inmates in Illinois Prisons

The IDOC provides general visitation guidelines for each of its correctional facilities. Offenders in Illinois prisons can receive visits from friends, family, and other members of the community. Individuals held in the general population are allowed a maximum of 7 visits each month, with a maximum of only one visit on any given day. Visit times range from 2 hours on weekdays and 1 hour on weekends for general inmates to one hour for offenders designated as a high-escape risk. Visitors who travel great distances may gain permission for extended visits.

Members of the public that wish to visit inmates must:

  1. Use a prison lookup tool to verify the inmate's location
  2. Review the visitation regulations for the specific correctional facility regarding visiting hours and days
  3. Review the visitation rules governing the behavior of visitors
  4. Verify their date of birth as well as a valid photo identification

Note: Specific details such as the visiting times and the rules and procedures for visits vary with different facilities depending on the security level. Interested visitors may obtain information on visiting rules and regulations from the facility's websites. Members of the public can also direct any questions to the facility's support desk.

How to Perform an Illinois Prison Inmate Search

Interested researchers can perform a free inmate search by name by contacting the IDOC. It provides public access to records and inmate information via several mediums. Interested parties can obtain records by calling the Department of Corrections at (217) 558-2200.

Residents can also perform an inmate lookup in Illinois using the online Illinois inmate search, which searches using a known last name, birthday, or IDOC number. Search results include admission, release and discharge info, and details on the inmate's physical profile. The public can also obtain sentencing information, such as the inmate's sentencing status, offense, and custody date. In addition, the Illinois DOC maintains an online roster of most wanted fugitives and outstanding warrants. It includes the fugitive's name, photo, and offender status.

How to Perform an Illinois Jail Inmate Search

The State of Illinois has 92 county jails spread across its 102 counties. Most of these jails allow interested persons to find a person in jail through an online web service. For instance, the Cook County Sheriff provides an online inmate locator tool, while the DuPage County Sheriff maintains an online roster of current and recently released inmates. In addition, residents of Lake County can search for inmates online using a name, booking number, or the booking date. At the same time, the Will County Sheriff's Office simplifies record access with an online inquiry database.

Online searches are useful for people that need to know how to find out if someone is in jail. The public can also obtain information on individuals held in county jail by signing up for alerts and notices or contacting the support office of the jail.

The Difference between Illinois State Prisons and County Jail

State prisons and county jails in Illinois are operated by the Illinois Department of Corrections. As of 2017, there were 28 state prisons in Illinois, with a total capacity of approximately 40,000 inmates. In addition to these 28 state prisons, there are also 92 county jails in Illinois.

The majority of inmates in Illinois state prisons are incarcerated for non-violent offenses such as drug crimes, property crimes, and public order offenses. However, there is a significant minority of inmates who are incarcerated for violent offenses such as murder, rape, and robbery.

The average length of stay in an Illinois state prison is 4 years. However, some inmates are sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Inmates in Illinois state prisons have access to a variety of educational and vocational programs, as well as recreational and religious activities. Inmates are also able to receive medical and mental health care while in prison.

How Do I Find Out an Inmate Release Date?

Inmate release date is one of the information provided on the inmate search tool. However, this information is not always available on the search results, especially if releasing the information for public perusal puts the inmate in danger. In such cases, the record custodian will restrict access to the inmate's release date to the inmate's immediate family members, the crime victim, and authorized criminal justice officials.

Illinois State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Aerial view of Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago

MCC Chicago opened in 1975 that houses male and female inmates of all security levels and inmates serving short sentences before and during court proceedings in the Northern District of Illinois.

  • There were over 1,240,000 reported violent crimes in the United States in 2017.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, approximately 3.4 million violent crimes went unreported.
  • Around 73 million (29.5%) of Americans have criminal records, many of which are eligible for sealing or expungement.
  • There were nearly 7.7 million property crimes in the United States in 2017. This represents a 3.6% decrease from the previous year.
  • Some newspapers have reported the cost of a public record can cost between $5 and $399,000.
  • In 2017, there were 1,920 presidential pardon requests. Of those, 142 were granted.