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California launches online inmate search tool

Designed to allow kin to locate family members who are incarcerated

By Drew Johnson
Corrections1 Editor

The California Department of Corrections has launched a free online search engine allowing users to find a prisoner’s location, Southern California Public Radio recently reported.

According the SCPR’s website, users simply have to enter a name or inmate number into the simple search engine to find a prisoner’s most current location, age, date of incarceration, inmate number and directions to the prison.

The Modesto Bee reports that the ultimate purpose of the locator is to help kin find relatives who may be incarcerated in California’s large prison and rehabilitation system.

“Not only does it help the inmate, but it also helps children connect with a parent who may be in prison,” said CDCR Associate Director Debra Herndon in a news release.

Corrections1 editors visited the site and found that, in addition to being able to locate inmates with the search engine, users are able to send money, packages and messages to prisoners.

A search for the generic name “Robert Smith” on the site quickly returned two pages of results.

The Modesto Bee reports that users cannot see an inmate’s criminal history or release dates.

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