How to Find an Inmate's Release Date

Our product recommendations are made independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions if you use a link on this page.

When a person is sent to prison for a specific length of time, it can be both a relief and a concern for those who were victims of the crime. This is because while the perpetrator is in prison, they will likely be released at some point in time.

For family members of incarcerated individuals, it can also be troubling to know just how long their loved one will be in prison. It can be a relief to be able to find out when their inmate may be released, even if it is long in the future.

If you are wondering how to find an inmate’s release date, read on because whether you are a victim or a family member, the information can come in handy.

How Do You Find an Inmate’s Release Date?

Depending on where the inmate is incarcerated, you may be able to find their release date with a few pieces of vital information. This information includes not only the inmate's name but also some essential information, such as what type of facility they are incarcerated in and the name of the prison if you have access to it.

Other information that may be important to have is the inmate’s identification number, birth date, and other information if you have access to it. If not, however, you can start with their name and the state in which they are incarcerated to find them and their release date.

In most cases, VINE, or Victim Information and Notification Everyday, the database can be used to find the information you are looking for. In addition to vital statistics of the inmate, you will also be able to learn when their release date is.

Federal Inmate

When it comes to finding an inmate’s release date for those who are incarcerated at a federal facility, it can be pretty simple. This is because the Bureau of Prisons website has a database called “Find an Inmate” that allows you to search for someone who is incarcerated at a federal prison.

While much easier if you have access to the inmate’s identification number, there is also the option to enter their name and some vital information. By using this resource, you should be able to find the inmate you are looking for and when they may be set to be released.

It may be important to note that it does state on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website that the release date of any inmate can be changed. This is mostly because some inmates may become eligible for early release based on their behavior while incarcerated.

State Inmate

If the inmate you are looking for is incarcerated in a state correctional facility, you will need to go to the state’s Department of Corrections website. Here, depending on the state, you should have access to some resources that will help you find the inmate you are looking for.

Since the various DOCs vary in the way you can search for an inmate, you may find that it is more difficult to find the release date you are looking for. In some cases, you may have to call the correctional facility to ask for the release date for the inmate.

Another thing to keep in mind about the various DOC websites is that the search functionality may include minimal or more extensive search options. Because of this, you may need either more or less information about the specific inmate to find their release date.

Local Inmate

When it comes to local jurisdictions such as county and city correctional facilities, the ability to find an inmate’s release date may be difficult. This is because it will depend on the facility itself and whether or not they provide this option on its website.

Many local correctional facilities may have a similar program such as the state DOC that allows you to enter various information to help find a specific inmate. With these systems, you may be able to find the date for the inmate you need to find.

It is important to point out that some local correctional facilities do not release this information on their websites due to privacy policies in place. While you may be able to contact the county clerk to find the release date, they may or may not give you the information.

Why Would You Want to Find an Inmate’s Release Date?

There are many reasons why you may want to find an inmate’s release date which may vary from person to person. Some of the reasons include being the victim or a family member of an inmate who is incarcerated.

If you are a victim of an inmate, depending on the state in which you live and the crime itself, you may be entitled to know when the inmate is set to be released. In most cases, victims typically want to know this information since it may affect their well-being and safety.

For family members, if you have a loved one who is incarcerated, you likely want to know when they may be coming home. This is because you may worry about their well-being and most likely miss them being around.

Overall, while there may be other reasons you may want to find an inmate’s release date, these are the most common ones. Whether you are a family member or a victim, you may be interested in finding out the release date of a specific inmate.

Is There a Way to Be Notified of an Inmate’s Release Date?

Similar to the reasons why you may want to be notified of an inmate’s release date, there are also ways to be notified of this information. This will save you from constantly having to look the information up time and time again for updated information.

In most cases, depending on the type of correctional facility they are sentenced to, you may be eligible to receive information on when an inmate may be released. For this to happen, in most facilities, you have to either be a family member or a victim of the inmate.

If you are a family member, for most correctional facilities, you most likely can sign up through the VINE website. By doing so, you can be notified of a specific inmate’s release date, so you are able to keep up with your loved ones while they are incarcerated.

This is a similar process for those who are victims of a person who has been incarcerated in a correctional facility. For victims, you can contact the Department of Corrections Victims Services and request to be notified.

The bottom line is that if you have a right to be notified, such as those who are victims of the inmate or family, there are ways you can do that. This typically comes from other places and not specifically the correctional facility itself.

Can an Inmate’s Release Date Change?

It is important to understand that there are times when an inmate’s release date can change depending on a variety of factors. This can be whether or not they are in a federal, local, or state correctional facility.

While inmates that are incarcerated for violent crimes are not likely to be released early, some circumstances can cause this to happen. In most cases, instead of being released early, a court can change their sentence to a lesser length of time.

Other inmates may qualify to be released early based on a variety of factors, the most common of which is due to good behavior. This is typically determined by correctional facility personnel, who then makes recommendations to the court of jurisdiction.

At the end of the day, if an inmate’s release date is changed, as soon as it is processed, the updates are usually made quickly on the appropriate websites. This means that when you check the database for the release date, you will see the updated timeframe.

Additionally, those who signed up to be notified of an inmate’s release will also receive notification if they have been granted an early release. This helps victims prepare for safety issues and allows family members to plan those special events to welcome them home.

How Can Knowing an Inmate’s Release Date Keep a Victim Safe?

The bottom line when it comes to finding an inmate’s release date is that it can go a long way to keeping the victim safe. This is because when they are aware of when an inmate is due to be released, they can take better precautions.

Many of these precautions include either leaving the area where the inmate may return after being released or many other safety steps. At the very least, knowing that an inmate will be returning to the area can change the way a victim thinks about their overall safety and awareness as they go about their day.

Reference Legal Explanations

If you use any of the definitions, information, or data presented on Legal Explanations, please copy the link or reference below to properly credit us as the reference source. Thank you!

  • "How to Find an Inmate's Release Date". Legal Explanations. Accessed on October 3, 2023. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-to-find-an-inmates-release-date/.

  • "How to Find an Inmate's Release Date". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-to-find-an-inmates-release-date/. Accessed 3 October, 2023

  • How to Find an Inmate's Release Date. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-to-find-an-inmates-release-date/.