Iowa Inmate Search
Iowa inmate records are documents that feature relevant information regarding incarcerated individuals in Iowa. Correctional facilities like county detention centers or jails and state penitentiaries overseen by the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC) produce/preserve inmate records to enable interested persons to find someone in jail or prison and find out important information about their incarceration. Inmate records in Iowa are also maintained for public safety and welfare purposes.
The data contained in Iowa inmate records include Iowa inmate mugshots, inmate personal information, arrest and booking details, court information, release dates, custody status, and other pertinent information about anyone who's in custody. Per the Iowa Open Records Law, these records are sometimes publicly available through record custodians at correctional facilities.
Inmate records are considered public in the United States and therefore are made available by both traditional governmental agencies as well as third-party websites and organizations. Third-party websites may offer an easier search, as these services do not face geographical limitations. However, because third-party sites are not government-sponsored, the information obtained through them may vary from official channels. To find inmate records using third-party aggregate sites, requesting parties must provide:
- The location of the sought-after record, including the state, county, and city where the inmate resides.
- The name of the person listed in the record, unless it is a juvenile.
Are Iowa Inmate Records Public Information?
Yes. The Iowa Freedom of Information Law (the Open Records Law) obliges custodians of Iowa inmate records to divulge offender information to the public. However, because an inmate record in Iowa is a comprehensive file, it may contain sensitive or confidential information about an offender. For instance, an inmate's substance abuse treatment records, mental health data, presentence investigation reports, and pretrial information not available in the public court records. Thus, while correctional agencies may publish lists of prisoners, their custody status, and incarceration details online or provide copies of inmate records to requesters, specific information in an Iowa inmate record is statutorily shielded from public release.
How to Find Someone in Jail in Iowa
Residents curious about how to find someone in jail or who wish to find out if someone is in jail in Iowa should contact their local sheriff's office or jail division. Besides calling the office line (or perhaps visiting the sheriff's office during working hours), a person can also check the sheriff's website for an inmate information database or list. This website feature enables individuals to determine who's in custody in the jail.
The local corrections departments in Iowa do not provide a consolidated Iowa inmate locator (like the State Department of Corrections) that the public can explore to find out what jail someone is in or why a person is in jail. As a result, everyone interested in finding someone in an Iowa jail must conduct an independent search of each local jail facility.
How to Perform an Iowa Jail Inmate Search
Generally, county jails in Iowa maintain an inmate roster that interested persons may use to find a person in jail. Acceptable search parameters include the inmate's name, gender, offender number, and location if known. These inmate rosters are typically available on the sheriff's office official website. For example, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office maintains a publicly available jail roster of incarcerated individuals.
Facilities Operated by the Iowa Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
The Iowa State Prison System comprises nine adult correctional facilities operated by the Iowa DOC. These facilities are situated in various counties and cities throughout the state's 8 districts. Interested persons can find each facility by using the Iowa inmate lookup tool on the DOC's website.
Anamosa State Penitentiary
406 North High Street
Anamosa, IA 52205
Phone: (319) 462-3504
Clarinda Correctional Facility
2000 North 16th Street
Clarinda, IA 51632
Phone: (712) 542-5634
Fort Dodge Correctional Facility
1550 L Street
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
Phone: (515) 574-4700
Iowa Correctional Institution for Women
420 Mill Street SW
Mitchellville, IA 50169
Phone: (515) 725-5042
Iowa Medical and Classification Center
2700 Coral Ridge Avenue
Coralville, IA 52241
Phone: (319) 626-2391
Iowa State Penitentiary
2111 330th Avenue
P.O. Box 316
Fort Madison, IA 52627
Phone: (319) 372-5432
Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility
1200 East Washington Street
Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641
Phone: (319) 385-9511
Newton Correctional Facility
307 South 60th Avenue West
P.O. Box 218
Newton, IA 50208
Phone: (641) 792-7552
North Central Correctional Facility
Rockwell City, IA 50579
Phone: (712) 297-7521
Inmate placements in the above facilities are primarily based on offense class, mental health needs, and security risk. Ultimately, inmate records in Iowa are maintained and disseminated by corrections staff responsible for the management of each facility. These records may be made available to interested persons upon request.
Meanwhile, local law enforcement agencies operate detention centers and regional jail facilities across the state's 99 counties at the county level. Detention facilities mainly serve as temporary holding centers for persons awaiting bail, trial or sentencing; additionally, they sometimes function as minimum security prisons, housing detainees charged with committing misdemeanor offenses. Individuals convicted of felonies (crimes that carry life sentences or sentences above a year) are typically sent to state prison.
How Do I Visit Inmates in Iowa Prisons or Jails?
While most county-run jails have unique visitation guidelines, the Iowa DOC policies serve as a template for local and state facilities. Intending visitors must be listed on the detainee's approved visitors list before scheduling any visits. To meet this requirement, the visitor or inmate must download and complete the IDOC visitor application. The form must legibly indicate the personal information of the inmate and visitor and must be submitted to centralized visiting authority at:
Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility
1200 East Washington
Mount Pleasant, IA 52641
Approved persons may proceed to schedule visits with the administrative staff of the facility. As per Iowa state laws, all visitors are subject to routine searches that are mainly non-intrusive. Adult visitors will also be required to present a government-issued ID before gaining access to the facility. In contrast, visitors under 18 will be required to complete a separate questionnaire and be accompanied by an approved adult visitor.
Persons whose visitation applications are denied may use the visit appeal form to appeal their initial denial. Inmate attorneys are initially required to complete a visitation application form which, if approved, will make them eligible to be listed on multiple visitor lists. Subsequent to the first application, interested attorneys may request addition to other lists from the central visiting authority at (319) 385-9511. As attorneys are not regarded as friends or family, criminal history checks are not required. However, all attorneys are required to provide an ID at the facility.
How Do I Contact Inmates in Iowa Prisons or Jails?
Respondents may contact inmates in Iowa prisons via phone or mail.
To access telephone services, interested persons may download and complete the offender telephone services form. The application must be accompanied by a minimum of $20 for pre-paid phone credits. They must submit the form and deposit to:
IDOC Offender Telephone Accounts
Post Office Box 1417
Fort Madison, IA 52627
Persons with approved applications may call (319) 372-5432 extension 41821#.
Friends and family may also write to prisoners in Iowa state facilities. This may be done by regular US mail or using the online approved vendor. Intending senders must follow the department's mail, telephone, and visiting policies. These policies include what may, and may not be, sent via mail.
Mail envelopes must state the offender's name, IDOC number, and the writer's return address as follows:
- Offender's Name and IDOC ID#
- Facility Name
- Facility Address
- City, State, Zip
How Do I Send Money to Inmates in Iowa Prisons or Jails?
Interested persons may find detailed information regarding sending money on the Offender Banking Policy page of the IDOC website. Summarily, all incoming payments to offender accounts are processed by the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility (FDCF). Thus, all other locations do not conduct banking operations. However, benefactors can fund commissary accounts online through any vendors indicated on the banking page.
Individuals that wish to send inmates money must make all mail-in deposits via money order or cashier's check. Each order must include the offender's full name and DOC number and the sender's name and complete address. All orders should be mailed to:
IDOC Offender Fiduciary Account
1550 L Street, Suite B
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
Meanwhile, interested persons may also send items to Iowa state inmates through the IDOC offender care package program during the holidays. Interested persons may find details of the process on the state's PI website. Alternatively, funds may be deposited into the offender's account to make purchases.
How to Find a County Inmate Roster in Iowa
A county inmate roster lists all incarcerated individuals in a county jail facility. This roster (otherwise called an inmate list or jail inmate roster) is created by each sheriff's office in Iowa to keep track of the incarcerated population. It is made available to the public under the Iowa Open Records Law. Thus, to find any county inmate roster in Iowa, a person must contact a county sheriff's office. Most Iowa sheriffs also publish their inmate rosters on their official websites and frequently update this list to provide current information to the public.
A county inmate roster does not list inmates in federal or state correctional facilities. To find such inmates, an individual must conduct a state or federal inmate search using the inmate locators provided by the Iowa Department of Corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, respectively.
How to Perform an Iowa Prison Inmate Search
Interested persons can perform an Iowa free inmate search by name by querying the Iowa DOC or by using the department's online resources. The IDOC website features publications on crime data, victim services, inmate-related press releases, and an Iowa inmate lookup tool. The public may use the tool to perform an Iowa inmate search, obtain current detainees' details, view their mugshots, and obtain information regarding their arrest and booking, primary charges, bail/bond amounts, and unique identifiers.
The Difference Between Iowa State Prisons and County Jail
There are several types of correctional facilities in Iowa: state prisons, county jails, juvenile detention centers, and private prisons.
The Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC) oversees Iowa's state prisons and county jails. There are nine state prisons in Iowa, all of which are operated by the DOC to hold inmates serving life sentences or sentences of over a year. The largest state prison is the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, which can house up to 1,162 inmates.
County jails are operated by individual counties and typically hold inmates who are awaiting trial or have been sentenced to a term of one year or less. There are 96 county jails in Iowa. The Polk County Jail is the largest, with a capacity of 1,500 inmates.
Juvenile detention centers are operated by either the state or individual counties and are used to hold minors who have been accused of a crime. There are four juvenile detention centers in Iowa, all of which are operated by the state. Private prisons are operated by for-profit companies and typically hold inmates sentenced to a term of one year or less.
How Do I Find Out an Inmate Release Date?
Inmate release date is generally available on the inmate lookup tool for convicted inmates. Suppose releasing the inmate release date will expose the individual to significant safety risk. In that case, the record custodian will remove the specific release date from public access and may only show the month and year. Under such circumstances, only the inmate's immediate family members, crime victim, and authorized criminal justice officers will be privy to the exact release date.