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Washington Court Records

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Where to Find Washington Inmate Records

Inmates admitted into Washington state correctional facilities are usually accompanied by paperwork or documents called Washington inmate records. These are records of public and confidential information regarding the offenders. Typically, inmate records contain personal identifying data of the offender and administrative information of the circumstances surrounding the arrest, sentencing by the court, and eventual incarceration. The inmate records are maintained and updated by the Washington State Department of Corrections. They manage all adult prisons in the state, supervise inmates released into the community, and facilitate public safety by providing information about incarcerated offenders on a searchable consolidated online database.

Are Incarceration Records Public Information in Washington?

According to the Washington Public Records Act, incarceration records in Washington are open to the public. Through the act, the state permits citizens to review and copy government public records, including inmates’ records. Open records comprise electronic or paper documents maintained by law enforcement agencies, which are available on request at the state, county, city, and municipal levels.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in. 

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What Information is Contained in a Washington Inmate Record? 

Inmates records in Washington are created from the moment the individual is arrested. As a result, they contain detailed information about convicted and incarcerated offenders from the beginning of their journey in the state criminal justice system. From the moment of the arrest, the records are updated to include every event in the offender’s life. Therefore, the information contained in a Washington inmate record includes:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • Date of commitment
  • Inmate’s supervision conditions
  • Date of conditional discharge from supervision
  • DOC number
  • Facility assignment/movement
  • Fines imposed 
  • Mandatory release date
  • Parole date
  • Race

Also, if the offender has any prior offenses, arrests, convictions, sentencing, or incarceration records, they will be included in the inmate record. More extensively, they may also contain the individual’s activities or programs during detention, such as educational achievements and jobs while incarcerated.

Where do I Look Up an Inmate in Washington?

Generally, the Washington State Department of Corrections manages offender information in the state. Similarly, several federal, state, and local law enforcement databases document inmate information. Some of them include: 

How Do I Conduct an Inmate Search in Washington? 

The following information is required to run electronic or physical searches for inmates in Washington:

  • The facility where the inmate is held (state or local detention facility).
  • The inmate’s full name 
  • The inmate’s identification and correctional number

Usually, if the inquirer cannot determine where the individual is held, the local law enforcement offices and the sentencing court should be queried before running a search at the state level. Afterward, suppose the individual is held at a local jail. In that case, the offender’s records can be retrieved from the local law enforcement offices because they store and maintain their jail inmates’ records. Most local jails in Washington also provide inmate locators on their websites, while some publish inmate registries and posters that can be reviewed. According to the state Public Records Act, these offices also accept requests for inmate records and provide paper copies on request.

If the individual is held in a state-run prison, the WADOC maintains the required or relevant records. In addition to the possibility of running electronic searches on the inmate search tool provided on the WADOC website, inquirers may also request physical copies of inmate records according to state laws. The requests can be submitted in writing to the Department of Correction Public Records officer via electronic mails or traditional mail. They must include the requester’s name, the date on which the request is made, and the requested records’ specific details.

Public Records Office

PO BOX 41118

Olympia, WA 98504-1118

How Can I Find an Inmate for Free in Washington?

Searches on the Washington State Department of Corrections inmate locator provide basic information on offenders in the state at no charge and in a few seconds. The search can be conducted using the inmate’s DOC number or the offender’s last name. Likewise, all inquiries made directly to state/local penitentiaries and local enforcement agencies are conducted for free. However, this only applies when physical copies are not requested because most agencies provide copies of these records for a fee.

How to Find Old Inmate Records in Washington?

The Washington State Department of Corrections provides information about the present and former inmates incarcerated in state prisons. Inquirers may obtain old inmate records by visiting or contacting the department’s headquarters. They can also send requests for old inmate records via emails and traditional mail.

7345 Linderson Way S.W.

Tumwater, WA 98501-6504

Phone: (360) 725-8213.

 

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 41100

Mail Stop 41100

Olympia, WA 98504-1100

How do I Find Inmate Death Records in Washington? 

State and local correctional facilities maintain explicit and detailed records of all the individuals they monitor, including records of deaths within the facility. The facility Superintendent always ensures that a copy of an inmate’s death record is added to the central file and sent to the WADOC regional correctional records supervisor. Hence, on request, the correctional facility or the WADOC can provide inquirers with inmate death records in Washington, unless access is restricted by law.

How do I Conduct a Federal Prison Inmate Search?  

The Federal Bureau of Prisons manages and runs all federal prisons in the country. Through its websites, it maintains information on federal inmates incarcerated in federal penitentiaries from 1982 to the present. Older records can be retrieved from the National Archives Records Administration (NARA). The website provides a helpful inmate locator feature through which users can run country-wide searches using the offender’s full name or the inmate’s Federal Bureau of Prisons Register Number. It is important to note that only offenders convicted of violating federal laws or offenders awaiting trial for breaking federal laws can be found through this means.

The website also enlists all federal prisons in the country with specific details of their location and how they can be contacted by phone, email, or traditional mail. With this information, requesters can contact the desired facility directly to inquire about a detained offender.

How Long Does it Take For An Inmate’s Information to Be Published in the Washington Inmate Locator? 

The Washington Department of Corrections ensures that the data it provides regularly updated, accurate, and complete information through the statewide inmate locator. For inmate records that seem elusive through this means, requesters can contact the department headquarters directly for assistance on how to retrieve such records.

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