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How to Find an Inmate in Iowa (Online)

iowa state trooper arrest patrol car

Finding an Inmate in Iowa can be done online. Here’s our 4 tips to run an inmate search. If you’re having troubles finding a public records through the State website, skip to #4.

1. Iowa Department of Corrections

The state of Iowa operates nine adult correctional facilities throughout the state. Unlike many other states, Iowa owns and operates all of its own facilities; none are privatized. Headquartered in Des Moines, the state capitol, Iowa’s pre-trial policies have driven up their total incarceration rates since 2005 (1). That means that even before a conviction is made, accused persons may be held in an overcrowded correctional facility in Iowa, making a search for them more complicated.

The state’s nine correctional facilities are listed below:

* Fort Dodge Correctional Facility
* Iowa Correctional Institution for Women
* Iowa Medical and Classification Center 
* Iowa State Penitentiary 
* Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility 
* Newton Correctional Facility  
* North Central Correctional Facility 
* Anamosa State Penitentiary
* Clarinda Correctional Facility

Try the official Offender Search feature, but be prepared to dig and dig some more. You’ll need the inmate’s full legal name, date of birth, offender number, location, offense, and county where they were processed for the best results.

Results will include the offender’s charges (past and present), their location, birth date, tentative discharge date (if any), and offender number. You’ll have to use these results to get other information you may need, such as how to send mail, visit, or call an inmate, by then searching the specific facility’s website.

Iowa Polk County Court House

2. Iowa County Records

As you can see, finding one of the thousands of Iowa inmates can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Depending upon the status of their criminal case, you may have luck searching for a given inmate through the Iowa Sheriff’s office in their local area. If you don’t know where to start, consider beginning your search with larger, more populous counties like Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Des Moines; since searching these will cover the most potential inmates.

With 99 counties, Iowa is divided in an almost grid-like pattern. [This website, for the Iowa State Sheriffs’ & Deputies’ Association, offers a map and helpful links to each of the state’s Sheriff’s Office websites. From here you can navigate to the county where your inmate may have offended or been taken into custody, and search the current county jail rosters. This search will provide you with basic information like the inmate’s booking date and time, any outstanding warrants, the charges that are pending, any bond that’s been assigned, and their ID number. Be aware that each site has a different search option, so in some cases, you may need to scroll through all of the records to find the person you are seeking.

If you find an inmate is being held at the local level, these sites can also help you determine whether there are visiting hours, how to contact the inmate and more.

3. Iowa Court and Arrest Records

Searching court records in Iowa is another way to narrow down your Iowa inmate search. The state offers several options for searching court records online. Trial court records are searchable by name, case ID, or citation number. The results will vary depending on how much you may know about the case. Accurate search terms make a big difference. The broader your search terms, the more results you will need to sift through. Approaching this system with the inmate’s full legal name, last known residence address, the type of criminal offense that was committed, and any aliases the person used will help you get the most accurate results – especially on a statewide search.

An Iowa case ID search will let you select the Iowa county you are searching, the type of case that you are interested in researching, and requires the case ID number. However, you will need to register as a user to access this system, meaning it will not be an anonymous search. If protecting your privacy is important to you – for example, if you are the victim of a crime – you may not wish to use this function.

To conduct an advanced Appellate Court search for an Iowa inmate, you can search by docket number, case title (usually formatted as ‘locality v. defendant’s name’), or name. The Iowa court records search also allows you to search by the name or title of the court officers if known. This is good and bad when you are seeking specific, detailed information. You may get a tremendous number of results, which means your odds of bringing up your desired results are better, but it is also a problem because sifting through the overwhelming number of search results can be extremely time-consuming when you need information fast.

4. Search for an Iowa Inmate with CheckThem

CheckThem offers fast, secure, private, and accurate Iowa inmate searches. Why waste days, weeks, or months on fruitless searches in public databases, when the inmate you’re looking for may be transferred or released before you even find them? Don’t get nickel-and-dimed on fees for certified documents, registering for databases, or paying for copies of records that may not even get you the results you need.

With CheckThem, you get quick, reliable results with only a few keystrokes. Our servers have the capacity to scour billions of records in moments – ensuring complete and confidential reports with up-to-date information. You can move on with your business fast, with no more lines, waiting, or stress over your situation. Stop worrying, stop wondering, and get the information you need today. Finding people is our business, so your business can be, well, your business!

5. Looking for Mugshots?

If you’re looking for mugshots, the process can be a bit different. Check out our blog article on how to find mugshots online.