Pennsylvania Inmate Search
Pennsylvania inmate records are documents containing the official information of persons detained, booked, or incarcerated in jails, correctional inmate facilities, or penal institutions run by the State of Pennsylvania or any cities or counties. These records are collated from Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies, Pennsylvania courts, and correctional facilities (jails and prisons), and are available to the public under the Pennsylvania Right To Know Law.
The data provided in inmate records in Pennsylvania include the inmate's personal information, such as full name, date of birth, height, weight, colour, race, and sex. The records also provide information such as the inmate's booking number, the inmate's current location, custody status, arrest information, and release date. In sum, Pennsylvania inmate records offer details on who's in custody and help the public to find out why someone is in jail or prison.
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 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.
Are Pennsylvania Inmate Records Public Information?
Yes, Under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law (RTKL), inmate records in Pennsylvania are presumed to be public records unless exempted by law or a court ruling debating public access to such records.
For example, juvenile inmate records are barred from public access, except if the offense committed was a felony or if the incarcerated individual was fourteen years or older when they committed the crime (42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6308(b). Also, should a court consider it a matter of public safety to have a juvenile's inmate record open, it may be accessible to the public on request.
In Pennsylvania, inmate records provide identifying information about someone in jail and details of the crime, the court disposition, and the sentence. While these records are publicly accessible, law enforcement and correctional agencies have the right to determine how to respond to requests. Should a correctional facility consider the release of Pennsylvania inmate records as detrimental to public safety or interest, it can deny such a request.
How to Find Someone in Jail in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania jails are run separately from the state correctional facilities; as such, how one finds someone in jail differs from one county jail to another. However, many county jails provide online public resources that interested persons can use to determine what jail someone is in. For instance, some county jails have online Pennsylvania inmate search tools (also called a jail lookup tool) where inquirers can enter an inmate's name or jail number to look up their jail records. Other county jails use online inmate rosters that do not require the entry of a search query to access jail records.
Generally, persons interested in finding out who's in custody or why someone is in jail in Pennsylvania must confirm the specific county jail housing the inmate and visit the jail's website to access an inmate locator. Where the results do not show the details of the person of interest, inquirers may contact the jail where the inmate is presumed to be held for further inquiries. Some county jails also have designated phone lines accessible 24 hours daily.
How to Perform a Pennsylvania Jail Inmate Search
Performing an inmate search in Pennsylvania county jails is relatively simple. Most of the counties in Pennsylvania provide access to inmate information via an online search tool. These tools make it easy for the public to find someone in jail. For instance, Philadelphia provides access to its prison system via an inmate locator tool. In contrast, the Bucks County Department of Corrections provides inmate records via the Pennsylvania Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification Service (PA SAVIN). Using this notification service, inquirers can access information on who's in custody, their custody status, and where possible, the release date.
In addition, users can specify different search criteria using the inmate's name. Asides the county inmate locator or inmate lookup tools, the state Department of Corrections also makes available an inmate locator tool on its website for use by interested parties to perform Pennsylvania inmate searches.
Where the information required is not accessible online, individuals that need to know how to find out if someone is in jail or why someone is in jail are free to also contact the support desk of the sheriff's office responsible for overseeing law enforcement in the county or sending a request to the local city police department. The Department of Corrections provides an online list of Pennsylvania county prisons and administrative contacts.
Facilities Operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
The Pennsylvania 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).
These facilities operate with varying rules and regulations that the public must follow to contact, mail, or visit inmates. Inquirers can access specific facilities where inmates are housed when they conduct a Pennsylvania inmate search using the lookup tool provided by the DOC.
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that county jails or county prisons in Pennsylvania are not under the supervision of the DOC. Below is the list of state owned state correctional institutions managed by the department of corrections.
Erie County (25)
10745 Route 18
Albion, PA 16475-0001
Phone: (814) 756-5778
SCI Benner Township
Center County (14)
301 Institution Drive
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Phone: (814) 353-3630
SCI Cambridge Springs
Crawford County (20)
451 Fullerton Avenue
Cambridge Springs, PA 16403
Phone: (814) 398-5400
SCI Camp Hill
Cumberland County (21)
P.O. Box 8837, 2500 Lisburn Road
Camp Hill, PA 17001-8837
Phone: (717) 737-4531
Delaware County (23)
500 E. 4th Street
Chester, PA 19013-4551
Phone: (610) 490-5412
SCI Coal Township
Northumberland County (49)
1 Kelley Drive
Coal Township, PA 17866-1020
Phone: (570) 644-7890
Luzerne County (40)
1000 Follies Road
Dallas, PA 18612
Phone: (570) 675-1101
Fayette County (26)
50 Overlook Drive
LaBelle, PA 15450-1050
Phone: (724) 364-2200
Forest County (27)
286 Woodland Drive, P.O. Box 307
Marienville, PA 16239-0307
Phone: (814) 621-2110
Schuylkill County (54)
1111 Altamont Boulevard
Frackville, PA 17931-2699
Phone: (570) 874-4516
Greene County (30)
169 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370-8090
Phone: (724) 852-2902
Clearfield County (17)
P.O. Box 1000
209 Institution Drive
Houtzdale, PA 16698-1000
Phone: (814) 378-1000
Huntingdon County (31)
1100 Pike Street
Huntingdon, PA 16654-1112
Phone: (814) 643-2400
SCI Laurel Highlands
Somerset County (56)
P.O. Box 631, 5706 Glades Pike
Somerset, PA 15501-0631
Phone: (814) 445-6501
Schuylkill County (54)
301 Morea Road
Frackville, PA 17932
Phone: (570) 773-2158
Mercer County (43)
801 Butler Pike
Mercer, PA 16137
Phone: (724) 662-1837
Lycoming County (41)
Box 180, Route 405
Muncy, PA 17756-0180
Phone: (570) 546-3171
SCI Pine Grove
Indiana County (32)
189 Fyock Road
Indiana, PA 15701-6542
Phone: (724) 465-9630
Center County (14)
Box A, 1 Rockview Place
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Phone: (814) 355-4874
Huntingdon County (31)
P.O. Box 999, 1120 Pike Street
Huntingdon, PA 16652
Phone: (814) 643-6520
Somerset County (56)
1590 Walters Mill Road
Somerset, PA 15510-0001
Phone: (814) 443-8100
Wayne County (64)
P.O. Box 256 Route 6
Waymart, PA 18472-0256
Phone: (570) 488-5811
Lancaster County (36)
1451 North Market Street
Elizabethtown, PA 170
How to Send Money to Inmates in Pennsylvania Prisons
In Pennsylvania, when an incarcerated individual is admitted into custody, a trust account is opened for them and deposits are made into the account.
Friends and relatives can send money to inmates by depositing the funds in person using the kiosks at the lobby of the facility housing the inmate; by making online deposits via platforms approved or recommended by the county or state prisons, or via telephone deposits or money orders.
To send money to a prison inmate's account, members of the public must fill out a deposit slip, clearly listing the inmate's name, the inmate's ID number, the sender's name, and contact details.
Pennsylvania state prisons use JPay for processing all money order transactions to Pennsylvania inmates. The payment service provider is also used to send online and over-the-phone transactions. In addition, residents of the state can deposit funds into an inmate's account using a lobby kiosk situated at any individual prison or online. Acceptable forms of payment for kiosk deposits include cash, credit cards, and debit cards.
To send money to an inmate's account, members of the public must fill out a deposit slip, clearly listing the inmate's name, the inmate's ID number, the sender's name, and contact details. A maximum of $300 per card is permitted for payments with one or multiple credit cards and $999.99 for money orders. Walk-in transactions have a maximum limit of up to $5,000.
County jails, on the other hand, have distinct payment platforms. Before sending money to an inmate in a county jail, interested persons should read the guidelines that a jail provides for making deposits.
How to Visit Inmates in Pennsylvania Prisons
While the rules for visiting inmates vary with different facilities, some general guidelines are maintained across most facilities. Inmates are permitted to have visits of up to an hour. Longer visits are allowed, depending on the available space and the inmate's custody level. Visitors are encouraged to arrive at the facility at least 120 minutes before the end of visiting hours.
Most of the facilities have designated play areas and playrooms for children. However, the kid's welfare and care remain the responsibility of the accompanying adult.
How to Find a County Inmate Roster in Pennsylvania
County inmate rosters provide up-to-date information about who's in custody in a local jail facility, the inmate's booking information, arrest/crime details, conviction status, release date, and bonds (where applicable). Usually, a county inmate roster is accessible on a county sheriff's website as a website feature or an attached document downloadable when required. For instance, in York County, the inmate roster appears as an extension of the county sheriff's website; meanwhile, in Erie County, the roster is a PDF document. Sometimes, a county sheriff's office may provide jail roster mugshots online to complement other offense details on the incarcerated individual.
How to Perform a Pennsylvania Prison Inmate Search
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections manages records of individuals held in correctional facilities managed by the state. Interested persons can use the inmate lookup tool to perform a free inmate search by name. Information on the public platform is updated daily to reflect changes in the state's prison records and an inmate's custody status.
Researchers can also use the tool to obtain information on parolees under the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole supervision. It provides general information such as the parolee's name, race, date, and the county in which the parolee resides. In addition, searches can be sorted by name, parole number, county of residence, district number, and race.
Alternatively, the public can monitor the location of inmates held in Pennsylvania prisons using the Pennsylvania Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (PA SAVIN) or VineLink. It provides regularly updated information on the status of persons held in state prisons.
Note that the above prison inmate search process only applies to inmates in Pennsylvania state prisons. A different Pennsylvania inmate search procedure is required if an inmate is incarcerated in a federal prison in Pennsylvania or another state. To access records or information on persons incarcerated in Pennsylvania federal prisons, requesters can conduct a federal inmate search using the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator.
How to Perform a Pennsylvania Jail Inmate Search
Performing an inmate search in Pennsylvania county jails is relatively simple. Most of the counties in Pennsylvania provide access to inmate information via an online search tool. These tools make it easy for the public to find a person in jail. For instance, Philadelphia provides access to its prison system via an inmate locator tool. In contrast, the Bucks County Department of Corrections provides inmate records via PA SAVIN. In addition, users can specify different search criteria using the inmate's name or a known PPN registration number.
Individuals that need to know how to find out if someone is in jail can also contact the support desk of the sheriff's office responsible for overseeing law enforcement in the county or sending a request to the local city police department. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections provides an online list of Pennsylvania county prisons and administrative contacts.
The Difference Between Pennsylvania State Prisons and County Jail
Pennsylvania's state prisons and county jails are responsible for the incarceration of tens of thousands of people each year. These facilities are operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) and the county sheriff's office, respectively.
The DOC is responsible for the operation of 24 state prisons, which house approximately 39,357 inmates. The department also supervises nearly 88,263 individuals on parole.
Pennsylvania's county jails are operated by the sheriff's offices and are responsible for the incarceration of pretrial detainees and persons sentenced to jail terms of two years or less. The state prisons, on the other hand, hold individuals with longer or life sentences. According to the National Institute of Corrections, Pennsylvania has 73 county jails, which collectively housed 31,790 inmates in 2020.
Both state prisons and county jails in Pennsylvania provide inmates with basic amenities such as food, clothing, and shelter. Inmates are also provided with access to medical care and education programs. State prisons in Pennsylvania offer a variety of educational programs, including adult basic education, GED preparation, and vocational training. These programs are designed to help inmates prepare for reentry into society.
County jails in Pennsylvania typically do not offer the same level of amenities or programs as state prisons. However, some county jails do offer basic education and substance abuse treatment programs.
How Do I Find Out a Pennsylvania Inmate Release Date?
Pennsylvania allows the public to obtain inmate records containing inmates' incarceration details and their potential release dates. Interested researchers can find an inmate's release date using the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' online inmate lookup tool. However, to find out the release dates of individuals in the county prisons, interested persons will need to look through PA SAVIN or VINELink or contact the county jail in charge of the inmate.