How to Find Someone in Prison in Texas and Elsewhere

Posted: 17th January 2014 by Texas Magnum in About Prisons

I have found that over the past couple of years, the page on this blog that gets the most traffic, comments and questions is the Inmate Locator page. It is a nerve wracking time for family and friends when a person is incarcerated, and a lot of the time there isn’t very clear information about how to find out where they are, what prison they are at, and how you can communicate with them. I am going to write today’s post with some explanations of all of this, hopefully it will help y’all find your people who might be incarcerated in prison.

First of all, one big source of confusion is who has them locked up? Just because you know someone is incarcerated in Texas doesn’t mean they are at a TDC prison. A person who is an inmate in Texas can be in city jail, county jail, Texas state jail, Texas Department of Corrections prison, or Federal Penitentiary. All of these are different. Both Texas State Jail and TDC prisons fall under the Texas Department of Corrections. These are for felony crimes committed at the state level. You can use the Texas Inmate Locator on here to look for them. Go to Texas Inmate Locator and enter their first and last name and any other details you have. You need at least a first initial. Remember, some names are pretty common and will bring up a lot of results, so knowing their date of birth, race and gender is helpful to narrow down who you are looking for.

When someone is arrested, the typical way it goes is first they are held in a city jail or in county jail. Some people serve sentences that can last many months at the county level, and stay their term in county jail. Texas is a huge state and all counties do not have automated systems to look up inmates at the county level but if you suspect a person is held in county jail you can call and ask if someone is there, by name, or you can search for the county website, find the area for the county jail or sheriff’s department, and sometimes find a search feature.

If someone is arrested for a federal crime then they can be held in a federal penitentiary anywhere in the country, depending on their charges. Things like weapons and arms violations, certain frauds cases, kidnapping, and many other crimes fall under this umbrella. It makes a difference if a crime was committed across multiple states. At any rate, federal pens have the rap of being very different than state prisons. There are federal pens in Texas, including 22 in the state of Texas. I have gone ahead and made a new page here that has the Federal Inmate Search tool for those folks that are looking for somebody at the federal penitentiary level. You can access it here: Federal Penitentiary Inmate Locator. If you want to learn anything else about the Federal Bureau of Prisons you can get information at

By the way, if you are looking at someones history in the TDC Inmate search tool, you will see their TDC criminal history but not their federal or county records. Just something to keep in mind.

So, hope this information is helpful to y’all, and if you have questions or need help or have a comment, give me a holler. Peace ~ Magnum


  1. Bryannah says:

    His name is Jesus Alexis Sargento he is born Oct 22 . 1990 thank you

  2. Bryannah says:

    Hi my name is bryannah from Houston and I’m trying to find my boyfriend he just left Harris county jail on Sun afternoon how long does it take for me to look him up I can’t seem to find him thanks

  3. Felicia says:

    How do I enter someone in prison information so I can know his charges

  4. Jess says:

    I’m trying to find my Husband Tharen Williams Dob 12/13/1987 transferred from brazoria county detention center was wondering if he’s not showing up can I call Holiday and Garza West will they tell me his tdc number over the phone or do I have to play the waiting game and for how long! Lots of people are telling me most likely he at one of those two units!

  5. Jacob says:

    I was just wondering. My girlfriend is in Plane State jail in Dayton texas and is getting released next month. Will she be able to catch a bus to the county I live in or will she be stuck out there unless I get her. She will be thru with everything. No parole or anything. Thanks.

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hey Jacob, glad your girl is getting out soon. Nice she won’t have parole to deal with too. If she does not have someone to pick her up the Good State of Texas should provide her with a bus ticket to wherever she wants to go. They will also provide her with clothing but at least for men it’s usually from a box of leftover used stuff, not sure where they get it but it’s clean at least. Issue is, it won’t necessarily be anything she wants to wear but it will get her home anyway. Peace ~ Magnum

  6. Dawn says:

    My husband was transferred from tarrant county jail on Tuesday and I can’t seem to find him. I see from older posts that it may take a few days for his name to show up but my question is do u know what state jail facility he may go to if he lives in tarrant county?? I’m just so worried about them placing him somewhere far away.

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hey Dawn – what a start of the new year for you. I’d like to tell you there is some formula or reasoning behind inmate placement but as far as I know there is not. There is a chance he will be placed somewhere reasonably close to you but there is no sort of attempt to accommodate the inmate or their family when assigning the unit. So – basically – just keep hoping for the best and keep checking the inmate locator till he shows up. I’ll be hoping you guys get lucky and he ends up close to home. Peace and hope to you both, with the New Year just minutes away ~ Magnum

      • Dawn says:

        Hi magnum….Happy New Year and Thank u for answering so quickly. One more question for u…do u know how long it usually takes to get visitation after he is placed??

        • Texas Magnum says:

          Hey Dawn, just like where he will end up its near impossible to say and just depends on how his intake goes but I would count on a couple weeks usually. As soon as he shows up in the system you can write him and also use or another service to get some money on his books for the basics he will need. Now that the holidays are past I bet he will show up pretty quick. Peace ~ Magnum

  7. Shari says:

    I am trying to find my husband. He was transferred from Parker County Jail yesterday morning and I can’t Find him. His name is David N. Pacheco, 30. Please Help.

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hi Shari, it’s going to take a couple days for your husband to show up in the TDC Inmate Locator. It can be stressful to be the family and loved ones of an inmate and not know what is going on with them during the time they are first transferred from county to TDC. First they go to intake and go through interviews and physical exams, and all that. Just keep checking the Inmate Locator daily, and within a couple days he will show up. As soon as he does you can write to him right away. He will be assigned a TDC number and that will show in his record in the Inmate Locator. Be sure to put that number on letters and TDC will get the mail to him. You can also add money to his commissary account as soon as he shows up in the system. is a good way to do that online. Then he can purchase his hygiene products he needs as well as stamps, paper and envelopes so he can write you. Don’t panic or freak out while you wait for him to show up. It can take a couple days or more. Just keep checking. Good luck to you and your husband. Peace ~ Magnum

  8. lacey says:

    Im desperatly trying to find one of the closest people iv had in my life who was arrested suddenly and none of his family is here and friends. Were never really friends r people i care to assoisate with.its so impt.that i talk to him but i cannot seem to locate him.he was from terrell/kaufman area(texas)and was last staying off751 either hunt co or van zant he was sent to safe pea

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hey Lacey. If you have your friend’s last and first name just use the inmate locator to find out if he is in TDC. But, if he was just arrested then it’s not likely he has made it to TDC. You need to call the county jail where you are at and see if he is there. Usually they will tell you on the phone if a person is incarcerated at their facility. I am sorry you are going through this and hope you find his whereabouts soon and it all works out. Hang in there, peace ~ Magnum

  9. Sabrina says:

    Pls help me find my husband, he was transferred on Friday morning from Harris county to TDC , I’m looking for him I can’t find him pls help me his name is Israel Froylan Martinez born 05/24/1976, pls help me

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hey Sabrina, maybe you found your husband by now. He is showing up at the Holliday Unit. When you write to him put his TDC number on his letters after his name. His number is #02012330. The address at Holliday is:
      Holliday Unit
      295 I.H. 45 North
      Huntsville, TX 77320-8443

      Good luck and peace to you and your husband ~ Magnum

  10. Robert Lynn says:

    Hi am trying to find my girl friend who has been in jail since May 29 and was out on bail Jun 2. But was arrested on jun 8 2015. On a traffic stop 150 miles north on I-30. I can’t seem to find her in the system. Name is Ginger Porticoulas from Arlington, Tx. Any help would help. Thank you. Robert

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hey Robert, your girlfriend is not in Titus County Jail, which is the county that is in the 150 mile range north of Arlington on I-30. She is also not in Hopkins County, which is more in the Sulpher Springs area. I also checked the Morris County Jail over near Naples, and she isn’t there either. So that leaves the Bowie County Jail for that area, but I couldn’t get information. You might try calling there yourself. The number of the jail is 903-798-3199. Good luck ~ Magnum