There's a prodigious number of prisons in Pennsylvania. The state's Department of Corrections (DOC) manages 23 state correctional institutions and supervises a further 40 privately-run facilities.
There are also 73 jails spread across 67 counties in the state.
If you were to judge by the above numbers, finding an inmate in a correctional facility in Pennsylvania should be extremely tough.
However, the majority of these facilities provide online inmate search tools that make finding inmates incarcerated in them relatively easy.
That said, you do need to know the inmate's name, along with the specific facility in which they're being held.
If you're interested in finding an inmate in any correctional facility in Pennsylvania, we've highlighted all the best methods for a successful search in this article.
About Pennsylvania Inmate Records
Inmate records in Pennsylvania are official documents that record and document administrative and personal information relating to an inmate incarcerated in any correctional facility in the state.
These documents typically state the inmate's name and other personal identification details such as their age, sex, and race.
Going further, inmate records also provide such information as the inmate's incarceration status, their booking number, and their current location.
These records can be made available to members of the public on request as they're public records, according to the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections maintains an online database and inmate locator tool with which interested persons can locate inmates in state-run prisons in the state.
In the same vein, records of inmates in county jails can be accessed on the respective county website.
The unofficial way to access inmate records in Pennsylvania is to perform your search on third-party websites. However, unofficial inmate searches on third-party websites may come with a fee.
How to Locate Pennsylvania Prison Inmates Online
If your search subject is incarcerated in any of the facilities under the jurisdiction of the state's Department of Corrections (DOC), you can easily find them with the inmate locator tool provided by the department.
Using this tool is completely free of charge, and the database is updated on a daily basis to make the records as accurate as possible.
The Pennsylvania DOC database also covers information relating to parolees under the supervision of the state's Board of Probation and Parole.
Using the DOC inmate locator tool, you can find parolee details such as their name, address, date of birth, and race.
To use the DOC inmate search tool, visit the Pennsylvania DOC website and select the inmate locator tool.
You'll be required to provide a few details about the inmate, such as their name, race, or gender. In case your search yields an overwhelming number of results, you may sort the records by county, location, or date of birth.
How to Find Inmates in Pennsylvania County Jails
People who are held in county jails do not have their records on the DOC websites. Records of inmates in non-state-run facilities are typically maintained by the counties of the jail in which they're incarcerated.
However, these counties also maintain online search tools that make finding inmates and their records pretty easy.
If your requested inmate details are not available online, you may get access to the records by contacting the county sheriff's office or the local city police department.
If you're unsure where that is, you can find the address and other administrative details of the particular county you're looking for on the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections website.
Using the PA SAVIN or VINELink Service
The Pennsylvania VINELink Service (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) helps crime survivors and general members of the public to keep informed of the status of inmates in any correctional facility in the state.
VINE is a third-party platform with footprints in over 48 states in the United States, covering more than 2,900 correctional facilities throughout the country.
Users of the service receive real-time alerts whenever there's a change in the status of their inmate of interest. The service is also offered in a variety of languages, and alerts from the VINE platform are highly accurate.
To find inmates using the Pennsylvania VINELink Service, you may visit the VINELink website and choose Pennsylvania from the list of states offered.
Next, click on the search button and input the name of your subject and their location into the text boxes.
The system will pull up the information of your subject after you click the search button.
In a Nutshell
There are a variety of ways to find inmates in any correctional facility in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania DOC provides an inmate locator tool that makes finding inmates in state-run prisons easy.
Similarly, many counties also offer inmate search tools for people currently incarcerated in county jails. Third-party websites also offer inmate search services on their platforms.
Inmate records in Pennsylvania can also be accessed in person, in case you're unable to use the online methods.