Illinois Inmate Search
Illinois inmate records contain documents detailing information on persons held in correctional facilities at the county and state levels in Illinois. Persons who conduct an Illinois inmate search to obtain these records can expect to see details on who's in custody, the inmate's name, identity number, birth date, custody status, sentencing information, and release date. Per the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, inmate records are considered public records and available to interested members of the public. Asides from inmate records, individuals can also access Illinois inmate mugshots, arrest logs, sex offender information, and other offender-related records in the state.
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 means to conduct an Illinois inmate 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 the state, county, and city where the inmate resides.
- The name of the person listed in the record, unless it is a juvenile.
Are Illinois Inmate Records Public Information?
Yes. Per the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, records kept by public agencies, including inmate records, are accessible to the public upon a written request. Under this Act, the Illinois Department of Corrections and other local law enforcement agencies that preserve inmate records are mandated to make records of incarcerated persons available to requesters or persons who conduct an Illinois inmate search.
Nonetheless, not all inmate records in Illinois are provided to the public. The restricted records are outlined in 5 ILCS 140, Sections 2.15, 7, and 7.5. Examples include juvenile inmate records and information that, when disclosed, may threaten public safety.
Note that the IL FOIA does not supersede other applicable statutes at the state or federal level; as such, inmate records exempted under other statutory provisions in Illinois are still not accessible to the public.
How to Find Someone in Jail in Illinois
Per state law, local correctional agencies in Illinois maintain records of individuals incarcerated in their jails or detention centers. Some agencies even provide online inmate lookup services for accessing inmate records on their websites.
To find out if someone is in jail in Illinois, parties can contact a correctional facility in person or via telephone. Alternatively, the requester can go to the agency's official website and conduct an online Illinois inmate search using its inmate locator tool. If the agency has such a tool, inquirers will find out quickly if and why someone is in jail. Also, they can find details about the incarceration, such as the inmate's offense, custody status, and release date. However, inquirers need an inmate's name or booking number to facilitate an Illinois inmate search.
How to Perform an Illinois Jail Inmate Search
The State of Illinois has 92 county jails spread across its 102 counties and most of these jails allow interested persons to find someone in jail through an online web service. For instance, the Cook County Sheriff has an online inmate locator tool, while the DuPage County Sheriff maintains an online roster of current and recently released inmates. The Dupage online platform also allows interested persons to look up jail roster mugshots of incarcerated individuals in their custody. 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, their custody status, release date, and other relevant information with the touch of a button. 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 Department of Corrections keeps a list of county jails and correctional facilities in the state.
Facilities Operated by the Illinois Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
The Illinois Department of Corrections manages the state's prison system. Under its jurisdiction there are 23 correctional institutions, where it houses over 36,000 inmates. It also oversees 14 community corrections facilities, about 40 contract facilities, a training academy and one motivational boot camp (Quehanna Boot Camp).
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.
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
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 Illinois inmate 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.
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:
- Using Western Union
- Using Money Gram
- 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).
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 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:
- Use a prison lookup tool to verify the inmate's location
- Review the visitation regulations for the specific correctional facility regarding visiting hours and days
- Review the visitation rules governing the behavior of visitors
- 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 Find a County Inmate Roster in Illinois
County inmate rosters make it possible for persons with no information about a person to find someone in jail. The rosters provide daily updates on incarcerated individuals online. Some county jails maintain web-based inmate rosters; some maintain app-based jail rosters. Some jails also provide jail roster mugshots, which helps interested people conduct Illinois inmate searches with pictures. Unfortunately, the jails in Illinois do not have a central database for Illinois inmate jail rosters. To find a county jail roster in Illinois, requesters will need to check county jail websites for such resources.
Note, however, that only a few counties, including Knox County, Madison County, and Wabash County, have online jail inmate rosters in Illinois. Most county sheriff's offices maintain online inmate locators or search tools that require the requesting party to enter an inmate's name or booking number before obtaining results
How to Perform an Illinois Prison Inmate Search
Interested researchers can perform a free Illinois 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, mugshot or photo, and offender status.
Note: If an inmate is incarcerated in a federal correctional facility, requesters will not be able to access their records using the IDOC’s search tool. To find out if someone is in a federal prison, interested persons can conduct a federal prison inmate search using the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator.
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. Similarly, for public safety purposes, interested persons can access 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 and county sheriff's offices, respectively. Illinois has 28 state prisons in Illinois, with a total capacity of approximately 40,000 inmates. In addition to these 28 state prisons, the state has 92 county jails.
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.
Based on the 2020 report released by the National Institute of Corrections, over 29,700 inmates were confined in the state prisons, while 19,110 inmates incarcerated in the local jails.
How Do I Find Out an Inmate Release Date?
Inmate release date is one of the information provided on the Illinois 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.