Did your loved one get locked up? Have you been unable to locate your family member? What resources can you check and see where they have been locked up at?
Generally, the prison system is split up into a few different types of facilities. There are federal prisons, state prisons and county jails. Typically, the separation relates to the type of crime that an inmate is convicted on, as well as the duration of the sentence. Federal crimes result in incarceration in a federal prison, while state law felony convicts sentenced to more than one year will be housed in state prisons, and those convicted of misdemeanors and sentenced to less than one year are generally held in county jails.
The best way to locate information on a federal prisoner for free is to go to the Bureau of Federal Prisons website at www.bop.gov. Then, go to the inmate locator tab. You can search by inmate number or name.
Finding someone in the local county jail is going to require a little research and patience! Keeping in mind, if they just got detained, they may not show up in the system immediately. Frequently, police stations and local courthouses utilize county jails to house arrestees that are pending arraignment and bond/bail hearings. Typically, larger cities take longer to process you into the jail. Mecklenburg/Charlotte because unless you live in a small town with one or two facilities, you might not know where to call or how to find who you are looking for.
The phone and internet are going to be your best way to locate your loved one. Thanks to the internet, it has become much simpler in nearly every jurisdiction to find out if and where someone has been taken into custody, incarcerated or imprisoned. If the arrest took place in a small county, they may not have a website jail page, in this case you will need to call.
Before you start your search, you will need pertinent information about the potential inmate. You will need at least their full legal name and you may need their date of birth. The first place you want to start is the city/county they reside in. Go to Google and put in the search bar: City/County Arrest record. For example: Charlotte/Mecklenburg County Arrest Record. First item that should come up is Mecklenburg County Arrest inquiry. Once you click on the website, you should be able to put in potential inmate’s legal name.
If you search and cannot find who you are looking for try searching with less input. For example, if you are looking for John Anthony Smith and get no results you may want to redo your search using less information. For instance, it is better to just search a first and last name, then first last and middle because the inmate may not be listed with their middle name. If you still cannot find the inmate, try your search using an alias or with just a last name, or last name and first name initial.
If you were unable to locate your loved one in the county/city they reside in, then you want to search in the next closest cities.
Nationwide inmate searches are also an option. These sites will allow you to put in your family/friend’s information, but you will have to pay to get access to their record. This information is free, but will take diligence if they got locked up in a different county then they reside in.
Another tool that can be used to check the status of someone’s incarceration is VINE. VINE stands for Victim Information and Notification Everyday program. VINE is a service that allows victims of crimes to obtain information about the custody status of offenders. Most states contract with VINE to provide the service, however, in some states, VINE is only available in certain counties or not at all. To use vine, go to the website: https://www.vinelink.com/#state-selection, click on the state where the offender is located. You can search for the offender by name, or by using an identification number. Additionally, you can register to be contacted by VINE (either through email, text message or a phone call) when the offender’s custody status changes.
If you are sure which county your loved one was arrested, you can always call your local bondsman and they can do the research for you.
Do not hesitate to reach out to 123 Bail Bonding, if you have a loved one you suspect has been arrested in the Mecklenburg, Gaston, Concord, Union county, Salisbury, Rowan, Shelby or Lincolnton area.