Lancaster County Arrest, Court, and Public Records

Crime Numbers

The latest annual crime data from the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System shows that Lancaster County recorded 1,126 violent crimes and 7,232 property crimes in 2017. Compared to crime numbers from 2013, the five-year trend in the county reveals a 24.6% rise in violent crimes and a 26.9% dip in property crimes.

In the breakdown of 2017 violent crime data for the county, there were 15 murders, 198 rapes, 241 robberies, and 672 aggravated assaults. Incidences of property crimes include 959 burglaries, 5,923 larceny thefts, 314 motor vehicle thefts, and 36 arsons. The latest five-year crime trend for Lancaster County shows that murder (50%), rape (32.8%), aggravated assault (58.9%) motor vehicle theft (7.9%), and arson (26.5%) rates are on the rise. On the other hand, there were fewer cases of robbery (29.1%), burglary (44.9%), and larceny theft (24.3%) between 2013 and 2017.

Criminal Records

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office does not provide incident and accident reports or conduct criminal background checks. These duties are performed by the various law enforcement agencies in the different municipalities of the county. The largest law enforcement department in Lancaster County is the Lancaster City Bureau of Police. To obtain criminal justice records from this law enforcement agency, visit its Records Department at 39 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster or call (717) 735-3300.

By Pennsylvania law, the State Police is responsible for collating information about registered sex offenders living in all the counties of the state. This law enforcement body provides the information online on the Pennsylvania Megan’s Law website. To find registered sex offenders residing in Lancaster County, use the County Search tool to query the database of the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry. Select Lancaster from the drop-down County list or click it on the provided map.

The Lancaster County Prison is located at 625 E. King Street, Lancaster. Its contact information includes a phone number (717-299-7800), a fax number (717-299-7813), and the email address of the Warden (prisonmail@co.lancaster.pa.us). The county provides a handy inmate locator on its website to help members of the public find individuals in the county jail.

Cash, credit card, and debit card payments are accepted for depositing money in inmate’s commissary accounts at the kiosk located in the prison lobby. Money order is only accepted when sending money by mail. For more information about the prison’s payment instructions, visit its Finances webpage.

Court Records

The Court of Common Pleas is the only county court in Lancaster County. Its contact information are:

Lancaster County Courthouse
50 N. Duke Street
P.O. Box 83480
Lancaster, PA 17608
Phone: 717-299-8000

The courthouse opens to the public from Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Its records are on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania Web Portal. Use this portal to find docket information for cases heard at the court. To access those records, download, complete, and bring a Request Form to the courthouse.

To view and search the calendar of the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, follow the links of the Court Case Calendar webpage.

Find property records in Lancaster County by searching documents recorded by the county’s Recorder of Deeds. Note that the search portal requires visitors to create accounts and log in to access documents. Conduct a map search of properties registered with the Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds and Property Assessment offices by using the GIS Property Search function. Some estate records are also available on the Search Portal of the Register of Wills.

Vital Records

The Office of Prothonotary files and records divorce records for the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas. To obtain these records, contact the county’s Prothonotary by visiting the courthouse at 50 N. Duke Street, calling 717-299-8282, or sending an email to kwoodjacobs@co.lancaster.pa.us.

The Register of Wills for Lancaster County is also the Clerk of the Orphan’s Court. The Register is the official responsible for maintaining all probate records for the county including marriage records. Find records of marriage licenses on the Register’s Case Search portal. For additional information about obtaining marriage records, call the Marriage Department of the Office of the Register of Wills at 717-295-3533 or send an email to CBinderup@co.lancaster.pa.us.

To obtain certified copies of your marriage certificate, visit or send a mail request to the Register of Wills & Clerk of Orphans’ Court at:

Marriage License Department
Lancaster County Courthouse
50 N. Duke Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

Send a completed Certified Marriage Request Form with your mail application. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope and a check or money order for copy fee ($10 per certified copy) made payable to Lancaster County Clerk of Orphans’ Court.

The Division of Vital Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health provides certified copies of birth and death records for events that occurred in the various counties of the state. To obtain these records, start by downloading and completing an Application for a Birth Certificate (also available in Spanish) or an Application for a Death Certificate (Spanish). Mail the completed application to:

Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
PO Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

Include photocopies of a valid ID and a check or money order for fees made payable to VITAL RECORDS. The fee for each certified copy of a birth or death certificate is $20.