Perform a Free Illinois Inmate Search (Supervised Offender Details)

Free Illinois Inmate Search
Lookup jail and prison inmates in Illinois for free

Complete a free Illinois inmate search in record time using several publicly available tools linked throughout this resource.

Inmates in Illinois may be incarcerated in state prisons or local jails. State prisons are for those convicted of state crimes prosecuted by the state, while local jails handle shorter prison terms and those convicted locally. This article provides information about resources that can give insight into inmate details no matter where they’re held throughout Illinois.

Detained in Jail vs. Prison

There’s a difference between jail and prison, though it’s often a matter of degree. Inmates don’t spend time in prison until after they’re sentenced. Here’s a quick look at the differences and various types of jails and prisons.

County & Municipal Jails: Local jails might have someone held before trial but after an arrest. Inmates might be waiting for a bail hearing or staying in jail until their trial date if they can’t afford bail.

Counties operate their own jails, separate from the state prison system. In most cases, people in local jail have minimal sentences and expect release in a matter of months. Material witnesses and those held for contempt or being detained during an investigation may be held in a county jail.

Some larger cities also have jails available to handle local crime. City jails operate similarly to county jails, though some are not set up for any long-term incarceration.

State Prisons: The state of Illinois manages maximum, medium and minimum security prisons along with a host of impact centers, work camps and mental health facilities, all under the administration of the Department of Corrections.

When running an inmate search, the state prison system online search function is among the most thorough. State prisons accommodate those with longer prison sentences or offenders who have violated state laws. Typically, inmates only spend time in state prisons after their sentence is handed down by the courts.

Federal Prisons: Federal prisons are managed by the Bureau of Prisons, which has correctional facilities across the United States. Only those convicted of federal crimes wind up in federal prisons. Crimes that cross state lines or violate federal laws may wind up in federal court.

How To Run an Illinois Inmate Search for Individuals Held in Jails

Searchers can find out if someone is in a county or city jail by accessing the inmate locator tool for that location or by contacting the county sheriff’s office or city police department.1, 2 Interested parties have a convenient search option with all county jail contact information and inmate search links available, when one is available.

Use the linked resource to get a list of all local jails and inmate search tools when available. Below are examples of city and county search options for some of the most populated areas in Illinois. Use these and similar resources when running an Illinois offender search.

Cook County: The Cook County Sheriff’s Office offers a search tool that locates individuals in custody. Take a look at the FAQ page if planning to use this tool to schedule a visit with someone held in Cook County. To use the Cook County inmate locator search tool, users must agree to the Terms & Conditions, which deal mostly with visitation information.3

This screenshot displays a search for an individual in custody. The search options are to search by custody name, requiring the full first and last name, or by booking number, providing the booking ID.
Source: Cook County Sheriff’s Office3

This search tool helps those who have a loved one in custody. While there are no specific regulations limiting the use of this tool to visitation applicants, there are rights and responsibilities that come with accessing any public records.

To run an inmate search in Cook County, users need the full first and last name of the person in custody or their booking number. Contact the Sheriff’s Department at:

Cook County Sheriff’s Office
3026 South California Avenue

Chicago, IL 60608

Phone: (312)-0603-6444

Chicago: One of the largest cities in the United States, Chicago is the Cook County seat and has its own police department and adult arrest search.4 Arrest records for adults are part of the public record, but minor offenders aren’t listed.

It also only offers arrest records for those in custody on or after January 1, 2014. To run an inmate search in Chicago, users need either the full first and last name of the offender or the central booking (CB) number. Results show:

  • Name
  • Age
  • CB Number
  • Date of Arrest
  • Arrest Location
  • Arresting Agency
  • Release Date
  • Bond Type
  • Bond Amount
  • Bond Date
  • Charges Filed

For information about arrests from state or county law enforcement agents, even if the arrest occurred in Chicago, contact the arresting agency for more information. The Chicago Police Department contact information is:

Chicago Police Department
3510 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60653

Phone: (312)-746-6000 (Non-emergency)

How To Access Details of Any State Prisoner in Illinois

To run a statewide inmate search, use the tool provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC).5 IDOC allows users to search for individuals in custody by:6

  • Last Name
  • IDOC Number
  • DOB (Date of Birth)

Information found through this search includes photo, institution, status and location, the person’s physical profile, admission/release/discharge info and sentencing information.

IDOC also offers search tools for:

Wanted Fugitives – Wanted fugitives on this list have a name and picture posted, along with information about their current status, whether they are known to be armed and information about their time served and in-depth physical description.7

This is a screenshot from the Illinois Department of Corrections showing wanted fugitives with information such as mugshot preview, full name, and offender number.
Source: Illinois Department of Corrections Office7

Sex Offenders – The Sex Offenders registry allows users to run geographic searches to locate any nearby registered sex offenders or murderers besides specific searches. Results include information about the crime committed, a physical description and copies of all offender photographs available.

Parolee Sex Registration – This list includes information about those currently on parole who have a conviction for a sex crime.8 Search results for a listed offender include conviction information, a picture, physical description, sentencing information and their assigned parole office.

Community Notifications of Inmate Early Release – Some offenders earn credits toward an early release through various prison programs. This tool includes inmates released through one of the programs and clicking on the inmate’s IDOC number links to their records page with a picture, description, criminal history and parole information.

Other resources that may be helpful include:

How To Perform a Federal Prisoner Lookup

The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is the federal agency in charge of inmates for those convicted of federal crimes. It has more than 120 correctional facilities located throughout the United States. The BOP offers a public search tool that users can use to locate current and former inmates.9

A screenshot showing a find an inmate search displaying search options by number or name and search filters of finding by names such as first, middle and last name, race and sex.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons9

However, it only contains records for those who were arrested in or after 1982. For records prior to 1982, searchers will need to contact the National Archives.

The BOP search tool requires the user to have the full first and last name of the inmate in question. Results can be further sorted by race, sex, and age.

Search results include basic information for each inmate, including:

  • Name
  • Register Number
  • Age
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Release Date
  • Location

Some people may show up on the BOP inmate list who haven’t committed any crimes. Material witnesses and anyone held for contempt of court might also be included in the list of former inmates. For more information about whether someone is in the BOP inmate list for a crime or not, use the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system to check the court records related to their detainment. Some fees may apply.10

Execute a fast, reliable and free Illinois inmate search using these resources to track down those currently incarcerated and those released completely or with community supervision.


1Illinois Sheriffs’ Association. (n.d.). Sheriffs’ Directory. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>

2Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. (2024, February 01). List of ILEAP-Accredited Agencies. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>

3Cook County Sheriff’s Office. (2024). Individual in Custody Locator. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>

4Chicago Police Department. (2024). Adult Arrest Records Search. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>

5Illinois Department of Corrections Office. (n.d.). Contact Us. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>

6Illinois Department of Corrections Office. (2024). Individual in Custody Search. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>

7Illinois Department of Corrections Office. (n.d.). Wanted Fugitives. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>

8Illinois Department of Corrections Office. (2024). Parolee Sex Registrant Search – Individual in Custody. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>

9Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2024). Find an inmate. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>

10Public Access to Court Electronic Records. (n.d.). PACER Pricing: How fees work. Retrieved March 05, 2024, from <>