Fortunately, locating an inmate in Maine is much easier than looking in other states for a few reasons. For one, there’s no federal prison, so that eliminates the need to search records maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice. There are also not as many prisoners in Maine as there are in most other states. In this article we’ll discuss the 4 quickest and easiest ways to find an inmate in Maine.
4 Ways to Find an Inmate in Maine
1. Department of Corrections
The Maine Department of Corrections is the government agency responsible for running all adult and juvenile correctional facilities and programs in the state. Statistics for 2019 provided by the agency show there are just over 2,300 inmates held in correctional centers around the state. Five facilities hold male prisoners, and two are designated for females.
The Maine State Prison holds the vast majority of the state’s prisoners, which are just under 1,000. The Maine Correctional Center in Windham holds around 560. The other inmates are held either in the Boldoc Correctional Facility in Warren, or the Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston. There are about 250 female prisoners held either at the Maine Correctional Center, or the Southern Maine Women’s Reentry Center, also in Windham.
You can by the MDOC number assigned to them, or you can search by standard information, like first and last name, gender, age, crime, and even eye or hair color. The website also offers technical assistance to search the database by phone or by email. The state recommends entering as much information as possible in the search fields to find an accurate match.
2. Maine County Records
If you find a person in custody is not in a state correctional facility, they’re likely in one of the county jails. There are about a dozen county jails, and they’re easy to find in a Google search. The Cumberland County Jail in Portland is by far the largest and holds up to 600 inmates. The Cumberland County website has an active list of all people currently held in the county jail.
The other county jails are not so easily searchable and would require you contacting the jail if the person was recently arrested. The county jails, like in any other state, are run by the county sheriff’s department. If the person has been convicted, they are probably listed in the database of state prisoners and probationers.
3. Maine Public Records
Maine’s state government website provides a number of services to help you find public records. Some of the services are free and some charge a fee. There is a fee to access criminal records.
Maine Arrest Records
The Department of Public Safety Maine State Police offers access to all criminal history records of adult and juvenile offenders provided by the state police, and the State Bureau of Identification. The state has records relating to any crimes committed within the state, and pending cases that have happened in the past year.
The fee to obtain a criminal record is between $21 and $31 and requires the person’s full name and date of birth. Search results are supposed to arrive by email within two hours. The state advises checking your spam filter if results are taking a while.
The state of Maine requires you to fill out a form to obtain any records from the court system. The state website will direct you to a PDF form. There is a fee of $20 per person related to the record. You will need to know what court the record was issued in. To find specific court records, you might be better off using a service like[Checkthem.com. Checkthem scours millions of public records to find any available information on a person in question for one fee.
Maine Vital Records
You have to contact Maine’s Division of Public Health Systems to obtain vital records, such as a death, birth, or marriage certificate. The agency only issues record requests in person at an agency office, or by mail. The fee is $15 per copy. Maine partners with a private company called VitalCheck to process requests online.
Vital records in Maine are also available from the city the record was issued. A birth certificate out of the city of Bangor, for example, can be obtained through the city clerk’s office. Again, you can only get city records in person or by mail from the city clerk’s office. The fee is $15 per record and $6 for each additional copy.
4. Run a Comprehensive Background Check
Online services like CheckThem can find more than just an inmates location. These types of websites can dig up arrest records, court records, bankruptcies, liens, licenses, employment history, and more.
How Maine is Helping Prisoners
Maine has been recognized nationally for setting up a work program that is helping prisoners stay busy and resourceful, and helping private companies make money. The programs are run out of five of the DOC’s adult facilities and include upholstery, garments, wood harvesting, and engraving services. In fact, all of the state’s license plates are made in the plate shop located in the Bolduc Correctional Facility.
The DOC says the average program generates more than $1.5 million a year and involves more than six private vendors. Prisoners make money in the program which goes to reimbursing the state for room and board expenses.
The DOC runs a prison showroom at the state prison that features more than 600 crafted products and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. The department is expected to launch an online catalog soon.