So… your loved one, a friend, or family member are in prison or jail. You are scared and worried and you want to help them. You have come to the right place.
Visit the TDCJ website for information about inmates, visitation, writing to inmates, and everything else. Use the navigation on the top of the site to find your way around. If you are sure they are in the TDCJ system, which stands for Texas Department of Criminal Justice, then You will need the inmates last name, and at least their first initial of their first name. The more information you have the better. You can add their Date of Birth and their race. Some people have a common name, like Joe Smith, and there will be many results, so the more details you have the better. If you are using the Inmate locator tool to find someone, and if the person you are looking for goes by a nickname, use their REAL first name initial. You cannot be listed in TDC by a nickname.
Now, sometimes, you know your loved one has been arrested and is in jail or prison, but you do not know where they are. The TDC Inmate Locator will only tell you if they are in prison. A person can stay a good long while in county jail, so if you do not find them in the TDC, you should try looking in the county jail. Most likely start with the county they live in of course. Larger areas have a lookup tool on their website. But you will need to track that down. You can also usually call a county jail and ask if a person is incarcerated there. Remember, these folks working at the jails are just people, like you and me, and they are usually overworked and underpaid, so put a good attitude on and be polite and patient when you call. Have as much information as you can ready to provide them, and use a clear voice when talking to them.
If you still are not finding them but you are positive they are incarcerated, then you need to figure out if they are incarcerated on Federal charges. In that case, they might be in Texas, but in a Federal penitentiary, and they will not show on the TDC Inmate Locator either. Here is a link to the Federal Inmate Search tool. The difference with the Federal Inmate Search tool is that it shows everyone who has been in the Federal pen, even those that are now released, so take a close look at the details.
If you still need help or have other questions, one great place for all questions about prison, prison life, and everything else having to do with it is the online forum www.prisontalk.com. If you are dealing with a loved one in prison, I highly recommend this site as a place to find support and a lot of information.
Meanwhile, stick around my blog for awhile. Read a couple of my blog posts and leave a comment if you wish. I did my time, I am free now, and life is good. I will answer any questions you have and help if I can. Peace to y’all ~ Texas Magnum