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California Inmate Records

California inmate records are the official documentations of persons booked or incarcerated in state prisons, correctional facilities, and conservation camps as well as county and city jails in the State of California. The data contained in these records include inmates’ names, genders, dates of birth, registration numbers, locations, and custody status.

Facilities Operated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The CDCR operates 35 adult detention facilities, 4 youth facilities, and 44 conservation/fire camps. It provides an interactive map on its website for locating these facilities. Those meant for adult inmates include state prisons, correctional institutions/facilities/centers, training facilities, and rehabilitation centers. Check the Adult Institutions List to find the physical and mailing addresses as well as phone numbers of these penitentiaries.

California Conservation Camps are minimum-security facilities jointly operated by the CDCR, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), and the Los Angeles County Fire Department. There are Conservation Camps in 27 counties of the state. Inmates in these camps are trained to help combat fires, floods, and other natural and manmade disasters. The camps support local, state, and federal agencies when responding to such emergencies. See the List of Conservation Camps in California to learn more about these facilities.

The California Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) oversees the state’s youth correctional facilities and conservation camps. It is a division of the CDCR.

How Do I Send Money to an Inmate in California?

The CDCR provides certain guidelines for sending money to inmates incarcerated in California prisons. There are three ways to fund inmates’ accounts:

  • By electronic funds transfer
  • By mailing a check or money order to a JPay address
  • By mailing a check or money order directly to the prison

To send money to an inmate in a state prison, you must know their name and CDCR number. For electronic funds transfer (ETF), the CDCR approves three vendors: Access Corrections, GTL/ConnectNetwork, and JPay. These vendors charge processing fees and post funds to inmates’ accounts in 1 – 3 days.

If you opt to send a check or money order to a JPay address, it will take 10 business days for the inmate to receive the fund. Personal and cashier’s checks are accepted. Make the check or money order payable to JPay. The vendor also requires the sender to complete a Money Order Deposit Form. Send the check or money order to:

2202 South Figueroa Street
Box #3001
Los Angeles, CA 90007

There are no processing/vendor fees for checks and money orders sent directly to California state prison addresses. However, there is a 30-day hold before the funds appear in inmates’ accounts. The sender’s name and address must be on a check or money order mailed to a state prison. Make it payable to CDCR and include the receiving inmate’s name and CDCR number.

California county and city jails have varying rules about funding inmates’ accounts. Visit the county/city website or call the Police or Sheriff’s Department in charge of the jail to find out the steps required. Commonly used methods for sending money to inmates in California jails include:

  • Cash and card deposits at payment kiosks in jail lobbies
  • Card deposits over the phone via numbers provided by approved ETF vendors
  • Checks and money orders sent directly to county jails or approved payment processors
  • Card deposits made on ETF/payment processors’ websites

How to Visit Inmates in California Prisons

The CDCR establishes rules and guidelines for visiting adults and juveniles in California prisons and other detention facilities. While planning your visit, make sure to read the CDCR’s Guidelines for Visiting Adult Prisons and Juvenile Facilities.

It is also important to know the exact facility where the inmate is housed. You can use the CDCR Public Inmate Locator System to find this information. Next, schedule an inmate visit using the Visitor Processing Appointment Scheduling System (VPASS). This requires logging into the system. New users must first sign up and create accounts to schedule visits via this portal.

After scheduling an inmate visit, you can check the visitation status of the California prison from the VPASS Visiting Status webpage. Alternatively, call (800) 374-8474 to check a CDCR facility’s visiting status. Since state prisons can unexpectedly cancel visitations, it is best to confirm the facility’s status on the day of your visit.

Visitation rules and information vary from one local jail to another. Visit the website of the county or city where the jail is located for information about visitation hours, parking instructions, and specific regulations.

How to Locate Inmates Currently in California State Prisons

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) maintain the records of inmates held in state prisons. It provides a handy inmate locator tool on its website for anyone trying to find individuals incarcerated in various state-owned prisons and detention facilities. Members of the public can also access some inmate records using this tool. To find inmates and their records, visit the search page of the CDCR Public Inmate Locator System. Provide a CDCR Number or last name to query the database and locate an inmate.

Note that this online access only provides the records of adult inmates. The records of juvenile inmates in California Youth Facilities are not publicly available. The records of adult inmates recently admitted or transferred to California prisons may not be immediately available too. It takes a few days for such records to be processed and added to the database. Lastly, the CDCR restricts public access to the information of certain prisoners due to safety and security concerns. If you have trouble locating an inmate using the CDCR’s online locator search tool, contact the Department’s Identification Unit by calling (916) 445-6713 anytime from Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

How to Find Inmates in California Jails

California cities and counties have jails for offenders awaiting trials and inmates serving short sentences. Previously, these jails only held inmates serving sentences no longer than one year. However, overcrowding in state prisons have led to city and county jails holding individuals serving longer sentences. Currently, California prisons are reserved for inmates convicted of serious felonies such as robbery and murder. Inmates sentenced under the state’s Three Strikes law are also held at state prisons.

County Sheriff’s Departments usually run county jails in California. A few cities also have local jails. These are managed by the cities’ police departments. To locate an inmate in a California jail, contact the Sheriff’s Department in charge of the county jail or the Police Department if the inmate is in a city jail.

Some California cities and counties provide online access to inmate records on their websites. Simply, find the county or city website and navigate to the Sheriff’s or Police Department section. Such sections may provide resources such as inmate locator, jail contact information, and jail visitation information.

You can also call or visit the Police or Sheriff’s Department in charge of a local jail to enquire about obtaining records of inmates in the detention facility.

California State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Police Records
  • Sheriff Records
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Probation Records
  • Parole Records
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Birth Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Personal Assets
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Political Contributions
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Aerial view of Avenal State Prison (ASP)

Avenal prison was formerly known as Kings County State Prison and opened in 1987. It was the first all-new prison constructed in California in 20 years.

  • There were over 1,240,000 reported violent crimes in the United States in 2017.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, approximately 3.4 million violent crimes went unreported.
  • Around 73 million (29.5%) of Americans have criminal records, many of which are eligible for sealing or expungement.
  • There were nearly 7.7 million property crimes in the United States in 2017. This represents a 3.6% decrease from the previous year.
  • Some newspapers have reported the cost of a public record can cost between $5 and $399,000.
  • In 2017, there were 1,920 presidential pardon requests. Of those, 142 were granted.