California Inmate Search

Basic Information

Are Inmate Records Public in California?

Yes, inmate records in California are public. The California Public Records Act permits access to public records, including inmate records. However, there are certain exemptions to what can be disclosed from inmate records, such as medical records, confidential informants, and security measures. It is important to note that while most inmate records are public, there may be some information that is restricted for safety and security reasons.

How to Search for Inmate Records in California

Members of the public can search for inmate records in California by following these steps:

  1. Visit the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website at
  2. Enter the inmate's CDCR number, if known, or search using the inmate's first and last name.
  3. Review the search results to find the correct inmate. The results will provide information such as the inmate's name, CDCR number, location, and release date if applicable.
  4. For additional information or if the inmate is not found in the online database, residents may also be able to obtain records from the California Department of Corrections directly. The address and telephone number of the California Department of Corrections are as follows:

California Department of Corrections 1515 S St, Sacramento, CA 95811, United States Phone: 916-324-7308

How Do I Send Money to an Inmate in California?

Sending money to an inmate in California is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Friends and families can send money to an inmate by visiting the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website at
  2. Follow the instructions on the website to create an account and add the inmate to your account.
  3. Once the account is set up, you can deposit money into the inmate's trust account using a credit or debit card.
  4. The maximum amount that can be sent to an inmate in California may vary. It is recommended to check the specific facility's guidelines for the maximum amount allowed.

How do I Find an Inmate in California for Free?

To find an inmate in California for free, you can conduct an inmate search using various sources of information. This may include knowing the inmate's full name, CDCR number, or booking number. Inmate search websites or the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website can provide access to inmate records. It is also possible to obtain inmate records for free directly at the correctional facility by contacting the facility's records department or visiting their website.

How to Visit an Inmate in California

If you are a friend or family member looking to visit an inmate in California, follow these steps:

  1. Check the inmate's location and visiting hours by using an inmate lookup tool on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website or contacting the facility directly.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the facility's rules and regulations for visitation. Each facility may have specific guidelines, such as dress code, identification requirements, and prohibited items.
  3. Plan your visit in advance and arrive at the facility on time. Be prepared for security procedures, such as passing through metal detectors and presenting valid identification.
  4. For more detailed information on visiting incarcerated individuals in California, visit the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website at

Visitors are required to meet certain rules and regulations to ensure the safety and security of the facility. For example, visitors may be required to pass a background check, adhere to a dress code, and follow instructions from correctional staff during the visitation process.

Types of Correctional Facilities in California

In California, there are various types of correctional facilities, including state prisons, county jails, and federal prisons. State prisons are operated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and house inmates serving longer sentences. County jails are managed by individual counties and typically hold inmates serving shorter sentences or awaiting trial. Federal prisons are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and house inmates convicted of federal crimes. These correctional facilities play different roles in the criminal justice system, ensuring the custody, care, and rehabilitation of individuals who have been incarcerated.


Prisons and Jails

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