There are several methods to search for an inmate in jail for free. www.vinelink.com is the best option. Once you go to the site, just click on the state you want to search in. You can search by first and last name or their ID number. You can narrow your search down by adding their date of birth or an age range.
When you find the inmate you are looking for, you can see their offender or inmate ID, race, gender, date of birth (DOB), custody status, scheduled release date and location. Victims or other persons interested in keeping tabs on the status on an inmate can register to be notified when an inmate is transferred or released. Notifications are done by e-mail or phone.
To find the location on a federal prisoner for free, go to the website www.bop.gov - the Bureau of Federal Prisons. Click on the inmate locator tab. You can search by name or inmate number. You will be shown a list of results with inmate names, ID numbers, sex, race, age, release date and prison location. By clicking on a prison location, you will be taken to that prison's website and be able to find all the details on that prison.
If you know the jail or prison that the inmate is in, you can go to the website for that facility and do a search. You will then know whether the offender is still in custody or has been released. Not every jail will have this information online. In the information you are looking for is not online, you can call the jail or prison and ask them to provide the inmate's status.
The BOP website and vinelink are the best free websites as their information is kept up to date and they contain the most information on the prison system inmates nationwide.