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Due to different circumstances someone you know, like a friend or family member, may end up in the federal prison system. Unfortunately, it can be easy to lose contact with someone who has entered the Federal prison system. Fortunately, if you are looking to locate a friend or family member who is in a Federal prison there are sources available to help you locate information. The listed sites below can help you locate where someone went to prison at, to find someone still in prison, or to find out information about someone released from prison.

Three Websites that Provide Information about How to Find out Info about Current and Prior Prisoners

The United States Department of Justice offers a resource that allows you to locate a prison, inmate or sex offender. There are multiple links on this page that allow you to search for Federal prison facility locations, maps of federal facilities, Federal inmate locator and public sex offender registry lists. The sex offender registry allows you to search for a person by name or by geographical location. The Federal prison facility information can be used to find a prison by name, state, region, type and security level.

USA.gov offers a similar website that assists you with finding an incarcerated inmate, complaints about federal prisons and prisoner records. To find a prisoner via this website utilizes the BOP inmate locator to do so. To use this locator you will need the BOP number, which is the inmate number from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Register. If this number is unknown you can attempt to look up the prisoner via his first, middle, and last name, age, race, and sex. This site also allows you to access Federal prison records. This is done by date. For records from 1870 to 1981 you can order copies of records, if available, by providing a request with the name, including middle name or initial, date of birth and approximate age at the time of incarceration, race and approximate dates of prison time.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons offers a website that provides information about locating a person’s BOP number. The majority of prisoners convicted after 1982 have had their information input into this system. This website details any circumstances that may have prevented a prisoner’s information from being put into the system and how to access that person’s information. Also, the site provides instructions on how to discover information about prisoners convicted prior to 1982 whose information may not be available through this avenue. To find out more information about how to obtain copies of records you’re directed to visit the National Archives website.

The three sources cited above should provide you with the information you need to find out about a friend or loved one who is in, or has been, in the federal prison system. These websites also provide instructions on how to discover information about a current or former prisoner if you’re having trouble doing so.