California Arrest Records and Inmate Search
There are various reasons why you may need to find out if a person is in jail. Maybe a person you know has been missing for a while; maybe you have not heard from a relative for a while. Depending on the person, it might be worth your time to check if the person is in prison. However, it is important to note that if a person has just been arrested or if the person is being moved between prisons, it can take up to seven days for the details to be updated.
In the state of California, if the police arrest someone known to you, it might be troublesome for you to gather your thoughts and track down the person to be able to help him or her. However, the CDCR has made it quite easy for you to locate an inmate in prison. All you need is the basic information related to the person.
Searching for California State Prison Inmates Online
If you have an inkling that a person may be arrested, but you aren't sure, it is best to wait for seven days so that you can get the updated information for the online portal. All you need to do to find if a person is in prison in California is to visit the CDCR website here and run a search. Once you reach the inmate locator page, you will have to read through the disclaimer and click on agree. Once you are taken to the next page, you need to submit the inmate's personal details.
You will be asked to submit the CDCR number or the last name of the inmate you are looking for. If you are not sure if the person has been arrested, and want to find out if the person is in prison in California, you obviously will not have the CDCR number. In such a case, the name of the person should suffice. The last name of the person is mandatory, and the first and middle names are not. However, if you do have the person's full name, it will help narrow down your search.
Once you run a search, you will be shown results of people of the name you have entered who are incarcerated in California. You can click on the inmate's names to check for details, including the CDCR number, admission date, age, location as well as parole details. Please note that the portal will show you details only of adult inmates who are in custody. Some records may be sealed due to security reasons, and you will have to contact the CDCR over the phone. In order to check sealed records, you may be asked to visit the prison. Make sure you make an appointment before you visit.
Using Third-Party Sites
You can also use third party sites like this to find an inmate in California. The VINE site also allows you to choose to get notified when the inmate is released or moved.
How to Find if Someone in Jail via Phone or Fax
If you are not comfortable using the online inmate locator, you can always choose to find if someone is in jail using fax or the telephone. All you need to do is call the CDCR Identification Unit at the number - (916) 445-6713. You will be asked to provide details of the person you are trying to locate. Having details like the inmate's full name and their date of birth will be helpful. Make sure you keep these details at hand before you make the call.
The identification unit will provide you with the current location of the inmate. You will also be given the inmate’s identification number. Note that the identification unit is available on the phone from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 4.30 pm. The unit will be closed on state holidays. You can also find out if a person is in jail in California by sending a fax to this number (916) 358-4099.