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Texas Inmate Search

Texas Inmate Search is an online database maintained by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) that offers whereabouts and status information on inmates jailed primarily in Texas state prisons.

TDCJ is in charge of maintaining inmate records in the state. They retain them online and searchable in a database that is often updated. Thus, the public may conduct an inmate search anytime they want.

When you perform a Texas Inmate Search, expect to find the following information:

  • Inmate name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Race
  • TDCJ number
  • Current location (facility and unit)
  • Projected release date

Note that the database only contains inmates presently detained in Texas state prisons and does not include those in county jails or federal prisons.

What Are Texas Inmate Records?

Texas Inmate Records include all documents that track an individual through the criminal court system. Generally, they may contain the following:

  • Court records
  • Arrest records
  • Police reports
  • Papers from detention facilities
  • Fingerprints
  • Mugshots
  • DNA
  • Audio and video recordings
  • Other evidence

More specifically, these records will include the following information:

  • Offender's name
  • Gender and age
  • Date of birth
  • Race
  • Physical description, including hair and eye color,  height, weight, distinguishing markings, and any scars
  • Criminal charges, sentence, and incarceration

These specifics are available to the general public through the different record keepers under the Texas Public Information Act.

What Are Texas Prison and Jail Records?

As of 2019, the TDCJ is the most extensive prison system in the United States, with nearly 157,000 convicts in 109 facilities. In 2018, TDCJ facilities had a record daily population of 166,000.

County jails in Texas are usually far smaller than state prisons, with a daily average population of little more than 12,000 as of 2016. Typically, the sheriff's office runs them in the county where these facilities are located.

Also, in Texas, there are specialized sections for medical and mental health treatment, senior care, and disabled convicts.

Below are additional statistics from the Texas Prison and Jail Records:

  • Most Texas inmates are 91% male, and only 9% are female.
  • In 2016, there were 14,335 women in federal prisons in Texas.
  • Drug charges are the leading cause of incarceration in Texas, while property and violent crimes are the second most common reasons.
  • State and municipal government spending on incarceration in Texas climbed by 850% from $603.8M (1979–1980) to $5.7B (2012–2013)
  • The reported number of non-U.S. citizens detained in Texas in 2016 was 8,331
  • Texas inmate population declined by 5% between 2007 and 2016

What Are the Types of Prisons and Jails in Texas?

Knowing the types of correctional facilities in the state is crucial when doing a Texas Inmate Search. Finding an inmate in Texas can take less time if you know which center manages them.

Here are the different types of Texas prisons and jails:

Texas State Prisons

There are 95 state-run prisons administered by the Correctional Institution Division (CID) of TDCJ in Texas. Each has a different goal, group of people it serves, and units for varying custody levels (minimum to maximum security).

Texas Federal Prisons

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates 19 federal prisons in Texas. The South Central Regional Office supervises each of these.

Most of these prisons have a website with information on the populations it houses.

Texas Private Prisons or Jails

With many detained individuals in Texas, the TDCJ also outsources a portion of its population to private prisons. Here are the ten private prisons or jails in Texas:

  • Bradshaw (Henderson)
  • Bridgeport (Bridgeport)
  • Cleveland (Cleveland)
  • Diboll (Diboll)
  • Estes (Venus)
  • Kyle (Kyle)
  • Lindsey (Jacksboro)
  • Lockhart/Pre-Parole Transfer (Lockhart)
  • Moore, B. (Overton)
  • Willacy County (Raymondville)

Most state prisons, federal prisons, and private prisons and jails handle inmates with Texas felony charges.

Texas County Jails

Texas jails, run by county governments with the help of elected county sheriffs, contain misdemeanor offenders and those charged with crimes but not yet convicted.

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards is in charge of the rules and regulations of the state county jails.

Here is the list of county jails in Texas.

Texas Juvenile Detention Centers

The Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) is responsible for juvenile offenders. They maintain the following juvenile detention centers to accommodate young offenders in the state:

  • Giddings State School
  • Gainesville State School
  • McLennan Residential Treatment Center
  • Evins Regional Juvenile Center
  • Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex
  • McLennan County State

How To Perform Inmate Search in Texas?

The process for an inmate search differs depending on where an inmate is detained in Texas.

If you are looking for inmates from state and private prisons or jails, you can use the Texas Inmate Information Search tool of the TDCJ. You can use this Texas Inmate Search database for free by name, TDCJ number, or SID (state identification) number. You can also filter results by race or gender.

In addition, the TDCJ has a tool that allows you to look up inmates by phone. You can obtain information from an inmate record in Texas by calling the general information line at (800) 535-0283 or (936) 295-6371.

If you want to know an offender's status, call (844) 512-0461 if the Board of Pardons and Paroles has not yet voted and (512) 406-5202 following the vote. In this method, you must provide the TDCJ or SID number or date of birth.

If you want to send a request personally, you can use this prison lookup tool for Texas prison locations and contacts.

But if you want information from a Texas federal prison, you have to contact the FOB directly. Their website has a Texas inmate locator and information about visiting and giving money to inmates.

On the other hand, since the local Sheriff's Offices run and manage all Texas jails, anyone looking for a jail inmate would have to contact the county Sheriff's Office directly (see the link in the "Texas County Jails" section for the contact information).

Note that juvenile records are private, and you can't find them online. So, if you want to know about a juvenile detention center inmate in Texas, you must contact the TJJD or the appropriate facility.

How To Contact an Inmate in Texas?

According to the TDCJ Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Offenders, some inmates can use the Inmate Telephone System (OTS) to make paid phone calls to friends and family.

But before a TDCJ inmate can call you, you must first register your phone number. To register, you will need the inmate's TDCJ ID number. If you don't know this information, you can get it by performing the Texas Inmate Search using the Inmate Information Search tool.

Also, in this process, you need to confirm the following to register:

  • You are the owner of the phone number
  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You allow the inmate to call the number
  • You understand that qualified inmates can't communicate with any adults who are not on their authorized calling list.
  • You won't utilize a speakerphone, forward calls, or conduct three-way conversations while in the inmate calls.

In addition to that, the system is also subject to the following guidelines:

  • You only have 30 minutes to call inmates.
  • Except for calls to the attorney of record, the prison or jail warden will monitor and record all calls.
  • Your driver's license or state identification card name must appear on your telephone listing or bill to accept calls.
  • You can only call using pre-paid cell phones, post-paid mobile phones, and home landline lines. You can't use the internet, companies, pay phones, call 800 numbers, or make overseas calls.

How To Visit an Inmate in Texas?

Those wishing to visit inmates in Texas state and private prisons or jails must adhere to guidelines set out by the TDCJ.

Here are some rules to remember and follow if you want to visit an inmate in this state:

  • You can only visit an inmate once per weekend.
  • You can only visit on Saturdays and Sundays and some Monday and Friday holidays between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
  • You must be one of the ten names on the inmate's visitors list.
  • You must plan visits with prison or jail wardens that last only between one and seven days.
  • When planning visits needing specific accommodations, you must get permission from correctional wardens. Such visits consist of at least three adults, the elderly, and those with special needs who need more monitoring and more than two hours.
  • There may be a limit of two adults for each visit. The amount of space in the area limits the number of minors visiting. Additionally, the prison or jail warden may use discretion to admit more than two adults.
  • If you are an adult visitor, you must provide a photo of a government-issued ID, such as a state driver's license, passport, and the like. Prison authorities may seek extra identification verification, such as credit cards with photos, birth certificates, or other official identification from visitors.

On the other hand, if you want to visit inmates from the county and city jails, it is best to contact or visit the website of the appropriate jail for visitation hours and rules.

Likewise, call the FOB or check their website for information about visiting a federal prison.

How To Send Money to an Inmate in Texas?

You can send money to an inmate in Texas since the TDCJ provides each inmate with a trust fund account at the correctional facilities that supervise them. This account accepts deposits from family members and friends.

In Texas state prisons and private prisons or jails,  the seven financing options listed below are available for inmate accounts and allow you to transfer money to them:

  • Money orders or cashier's checks
  • Access corrections – secure deposits
  • Monthly checking account debit (ACH)
  • eCommDirect
  • America's Cash Express (ACE)
  • JPay
  • TouchPay Payment Systems

You can see detailed instructions on each method in this guide.

Conversely, Texas county and city jails and federal prisons have varying policies and procedures for transferring funds to detainees. Most of the time, jail sections of county and city websites usually include information on commissary account funding. If this information is not accessible online, call the county or city jail. The same applies to federal prisons

Counties in Texas