Conduct a Free Washington Inmate Search (Resource Lookup)

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

Perform a free Washington inmate search today; conducting such a lookup is one of the quickest ways to determine if someone is currently incarcerated and can typically be done conveniently using online databases.

Inmates are individuals currently incarcerated in jail or prison, and the tools throughout this resource streamline this search process, empowering the citizens by promoting access to public information on anyone incarcerated in a correctional facility in Washington.

What Is the Distinction Between Prison & Jail Inmates?

Before diving into how to perform an inmate search in Washington, it’s important to understand the difference between facilities, as inmates can be housed in either jail or prison.

Typically, jails exist on the county and municipal level. County sheriffs operate county-level jails and can hold people arrested anywhere within county limits.

They may also have a database of all inmates throughout the county, whether they’re held in the county facility or a municipal-level jail. City or municipal jails house inmates arrested by local police departments.

Prisons operate on the state and federal levels. State prisons are typically overseen by the state’s Department of Corrections (DOC). The Washington State Department of Corrections (WADOC) oversees 12 prison facilities in the state, which house individuals who have committed state crimes.1

A screenshot showing a chart listing the prison population by age, including information such as age category, number and total percentage, from the Washington State Department of Corrections website.
Source: Washington State Department of Corrections1

Federal prisons, on the other hand, house those who have committed federal crimes. The federal-level Bureau of Prisons oversees all 122 institutions across the country at five different security levels.

By sheer numbers alone, jail inmates are the most common. Of those housed in prison, there are typically more at the state level, with federal inmates being the least common. In fact, Washington state is home to just one federal prison: FDC SeaTac.2

How To Run a Free Washington Inmate Search

When performing an inmate search on someone suspected to be in jail in Washington, knowing which county or city they were arrested in can streamline things. Some online databases contain a comprehensive database of every county jail’s contact information as well as links to inmate rosters, if applicable, which can further expedite a search.

In Washington, King County is the largest, most populous in the state, consisting of several large cities.3 Here, it’s possible to find King County inmates online using the Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention (DAJD) Portal Subject Lookup Tool.4

This tool allows results to be narrowed by several criteria, including:

  • Name (Last, First & Preferred)
  • Birthday
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Facility
  • Booking Number
  • UCN
  • Custody Status

While this tool reports on people in all holding facilities in the county, selecting the “King County Correctional Facility” option under the facility dropdown menu will only show those in the county jail. The results will show:

  • Inmate’s Identifying Information
  • Current Jail Location
  • Arresting Agency
  • Booking Number
  • Booking Date
  • Aliases
  • Preferred Names

When expanding the menu and selecting subject details, information about their court cases, charges, booking, bail amount and visitation information appears.

If the online search does not yield the desired results, reach out to the King County Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention using the contact information provided below.

Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention
516 Third Ave., Rm. E245
Seattle, WA 98104

Phone: 206-296-1234
Office hours: 8 AM – 4:40 PM

In Kirkland, a large city near Seattle, some inmates stay in the City Correctional Facility. This city jail offers a Current Jail Register Tool online, showing the name, location, booking date, booking number and release date (if applicable) for all inmates.5

A screenshot showing the current jail register from the Kirkland City Correctional Facility displaying information such as complete name, location, booking date and number, and release date.
Source: Kirkland City Correctional Facility5

Placing a name in the search bar on the top right-hand corner can help locate the correct individual, or it’s possible to scroll through all of the names manually.

Clicking on an inmate’s name reveals information about their case, including a description of the charges, a charge date, relevant statutes, the reason for incarceration, their location and their scheduled release date.

When records cannot be obtained online, searchers may also consider reaching out to the Kirkland City Jail directly.

Kirkland City Jail
11750 NE, 118th Street
Kirkland, Washington 98034

Phone: 425-587-3465
Email: [email protected]

There are valuable resources that may help obtain Washington criminal and inmate records. Resources offers a compilation of contact information for every county jail, along with any available inmate search links, facilitating thorough research opportunities.

Verify if Someone Is Being Held in a Washington State Prison (Free Lookup)

The State’s Department of Corrections makes performing an inmate search in Washington simple, as it offers an Inmate Search Tool Online.6 It will retrieve information about everyone currently in DOC custody.

To search, fill in fields for first and last name or a known DOC number. The state’s database doesn’t provide many details about inmates, simply reporting on their DOC number, full name, age and location. It also provides a link to the Washington VINELink notification system, letting individuals opt into notifications if the custody status changes.

A screenshot showing inmate search results with information including DOC number, full name, age, location, and WA VINE notification from the Washington State Department of Corrections website.
Source: Washington State Department of Corrections6

Because this source doesn’t provide many details about an individual’s charges, individuals seeking more information can contact the Washington Department of Corrections (WADOC) directly to learn more about prisoners. This can include information such as:

  • Jail Credit Time
  • Date of Release
  • Conditions of Supervision
  • Date of Conditional Discharge from Supervision
  • Facility Assignment or Movement
  • Legal Financial Obligations & Fines Imposed
  • Parole Date

The WADOC will not provide information about criminal history. For more information about this, it’s necessary to use the State Patrol’s Washington Access to Criminal History (WATCH). This application charges fees for inquiries, regardless of the search outcome.

Other links that may be useful when searching for a Washington inmate include:

Track Down Details on Someone Held in Federal Prison

The Federal Bureau of Prisons maintains an online tool to locate inmates.10 They can be searched by BOP Register Number or by name.

Using the name search, there are fields for first, middle and last name, race, sex and age. Try to include as much information as possible to narrow down the search. At a minimum, the search requires a full first and last name — partial searches are not allowed.

A screenshot showing a find an inmate search showing a search toolbar to find by name with criteria such as first, middle and last name, race, age and sex, and results with additional details such as register number.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons10

Results include the individual’s:

  • Name
  • Register Number
  • Age
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Release Date (if applicable)

Because the BOP shows incarcerated individuals from 1982 to the present, it may include individuals released years or even decades ago. This makes it a thorough tool to identify whether an individual has been held in federal custody. If records from before this date are required, they must be sourced elsewhere.

Records of federal prisoners incarcerated before 1982 can often be sourced through the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA). When requesting information about a prisoner from NARA, include:

  • Full name (including middle if possible)
  • Date of birth (or estimated age when incarcerated)
  • Race
  • Date range while in prison

The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) may also have information about court cases from before 1982.11 It’s possible to search by court or nationwide index, but users will have to register for an account and may accrue fees to access this information.

With the above tools, performing a Washington inmate search or locating federal prisoners is doable.


1Washington State Department of Corrections. (2023, October 11). Prison Facilities – Prison Population by Age. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

2Federal Bureau of Prisons. (n.d.). FDC SeaTac. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

3King County. (2022, September 23). Send us an email. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

4King County Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention. (2024). Subject Lookup. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

5Kirkland City Correctional Facility. (2024). Kirkland Police – Jail Register. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

6Washington State Department of Corrections. (2024). Inmate Search. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

7Washington State Department of Corrections. (n.d.). Prisons Map. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

8Washington State Department of Corrections. (2024). Warrant Search. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

9Washington State Department of Corrections. (2018, August). Report Tips and Leads. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

10Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2024). Inmate Locator. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>

11Public Access to Court Electronic Records. (2024). Find a Case. Retrieved March 19, 2024, from <>