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Inmate Search Iowa: Guide To Finding Inmates In Iowa

Inmate Search Iowa: Guide To Finding Inmates In Iowa
August 2, 2022

So you need to find that long-lost friend or acquaintance of yours who happens to be incarcerated in a prison or jail in Iowa.


Or you want to run a criminal background check on a prospective tenant, business partner, or employee of who you have strong suspicions.


An inmate search can help you reconnect with that old friend, as well as help you set the record straight, in the second case. 


Whatever reason for which you may be out looking for an inmate in Iowa, you can get all the answers from an inmate search.


This article intends to point you to the right places where you can find an inmate in Iowa. 


the inside of a prison


Iowa Inmate Records


When a person is sentenced to serve time in any of the prisons, jails, and other correctional centers in Iowa, they have an Iowa inmate record generated on their account.


This record will contain everything from their arrest/booking information, police reports, and mugshots to information from their court and conviction records.


In essence, these records will document the main gist of the convicted person's interaction with the state's judicial system. 


The vast amount of information contained in these Iowa inmate records will prove most useful for finding an inmate in the state.


Our recommendations rely on the gains of the Iowa Open Records Law and the free access to public records that it entails, as you'll see shortly.  


handcuffs on a wood table


How to Perform an Iowa Prison Inmate Search


The Iowa Department of Corrections is the primary government agency directly responsible for handling inmate-related matters in Iowa.


They oversee the affairs of all state prisons and keep inmate records in their custody as well. 


These inmate records contain a wealth of information that feeds the online database operated by the HI DOC. 


This online database can be found on the department-run website, and access to the information in its possession can be gotten via an inmate locator tool.


At this search tool/portal, you'll be required to provide the names, birth dates, or gender of the inmate in question to execute the search. 


Alternatively, you may type in the inmate's unique offender number(Inmate ID), their offense, county, or other information that can be used to locate them.


A successful search will yield information such as the inmate's personal information, their mugshots, detention site, booking/arrest information, and sentence among others. 


a gavel on a clipboard that reads criminal records


How to Perform an Iowa Jail Inmate Search


The resources available for use in finding an inmate in any of the counties across Iowa may differ from one county to another.


Some of these counties may run websites providing inmate rosters that contain an exhaustive or recently updated list of inmates in their custody.


Others may provide an inmate locator portal that requires you to search the inmates by their name or inmate identification details. 


In some cases, you may find links to a sex offender registry or the VINE platform.


You can explore any of the available options, armed with the necessary identifying information about your subject(the inmate).


A search may return multiple results if there's a record of multiple inmates bearing names similar to yours. It is left for you to narrow the field and pick out the right one. 




If you or someone close to you is the victim of a crime in Iowa, you can opt to be regularly informed about your offender's interaction with the judicial system.


This service is provided by the Iowa VINE, a victim information and notification platform used for the monitoring of convicted offenders.


Intending subscribers to this service must register their phone numbers at the IowaVINE toll-free line, 1-888-7-IAVINE, or visit the website where they can select Iowa. 


When you provide all the necessary information required of you, you'll be able to get regular status updates about your offender.


You'll be notified via text or email if the offender is released, transferred, scheduled for a hearing, etc. Another way to use this service is to provide the name or ID number of the inmate and you'll be able to find out where they are in real time.


So if you need to locate them at any point, you know how to find them. The Iowa VINE is backed by the Statewide Victim Identification Network which is, in turn, managed by the state's bureau of justice assistance. 


a 3D illustration of a search bar in front of a man holding a mobile phone


Third-party Websites 


Iowa operates an open-access system where public records are, in every sense of the word, easily accessible to members of the public.


This provides the backdrop for the clutch of third-party websites with access to Iowa public records, a good number of which are inmate records. 


You can try out any of these websites whenever you need to find an inmate in Iowa, and you'll mostly be successful in your quest.


You only need to provide the name and address of your subject at the designated boxes, and the system will scour its database in search of the perfect match. 

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