Friday, June 09, 2006

Texas Jail Inmate Locators Online

Publishing criminal records online isn't just for drunks or sex offenders anymore. In some places, now everybody who's arrested for anything gets in on the fun.

Websurfing this morning I came across this page on, a genealogy site, listing county jail inmate locators on the web for all 50 states. (This is just for county jails; the Texas prison inmate locator, BTW, is permanently linked in Grits' sidebar.) Here are the ones they listed for Texas:

Texas County Jail Inmates and Arrest Logs

Arlington, TX Jail Inmate List

Baytown Crime Reports ; Who is in the Baytown Jail?

Bell County Jail Active Inmates List

Bexar County Jail Activity Report

Brazoria County Jail Records Search

Denton County, Texas Jail Records Search

Grayson County Jail Records Search

Gregg County Jail Records Search

Hardin County Jail Current Inmate Listing

Harris County Jail Inmate Search

Lamar County Jail Records Search

Lubbock County Online Jail Rosters

Montgomery County Jail Inmates Search

Parker County Jail Records Search

Smith County Jail Records Search

Texas Criminal History Database

Tom Green County Jail Records Search

Wise County Jail Inmates

Texas Arrest Warrants

Austin, TX Arrest Warrant Search Engine

Baytown Active Arrest Warrants List

Plano Outstanding Misdemeanor Warrants

Waco Arrest Warrants

Wise County Arrest Warrants Search

I can see arguments both ways for whether or not to put this information online. It's all public record, lots of different people have uses for the information, and newspapers report that stuff all the time. On the other hand, putting names of people online whose cases haven't been adjudicated seems potentially problematic. At the end of the day, though, if public records aren't available online it only leaves open the door for private businesses to provide that service for a fee - why make the public pay to access data they already paid to generate?

Just to try out the databases (and to check on the relatives), I ran the name Henson through several of them. It turns out I haven't been arrested, at least lately. But in Harris County two of the four names that came up in the inmate locator had no charges listed and had been shifted to the "inactive file."
I'm not sure I see a reason for keeping their names in a public, online database.

UPDATE: See also Travis County's Jail Inmate Locator, Dallas' Current Inmate Listing, and the El Paso Sheriff's Inmate Log Search. Leave links to others in the comments if you know of them.


Anonymous said...

Your link to Gregg County goes to Grayson County, by the way.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks, Alan - fixed it.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure I see a reason for keeping their names in a public, online database."

Not needed for the smooth operation of the court once the case is completed. But those of us who gather information for a living appreciate not having to go to every county courthouse in the country to look up a name. Better the government does it, keeps information free or low cost, because the alternative will be that we'll only be able to get it by paying high fees to private information vendors (such as Westlaw), that are busy digitizing all court records.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks, Tamara - I've done my share of tromping arouund gathering records at jails and county courthouses for a paycheck myself. But in this case if, as Harris County does, they delete the information about the charges, etc., from the inactive file, then I'm not sure it does a PI much good except as the smallest clue - it only tells you someone with an inactive file was in jail, not when, what for, etc., just a name.

I'm pretty sure Harris and the other larger counties (plus many of the smaller ones) in Texas already have courthouse records available online though private subscription database systems that PIs and others use containing a lot more information - for the most part, these links just tell you who's in jail. I agree, though, I'd rather see all courthouse information online for free. I think the average person would be stunned how much information is at the county courthouse.

You've been doing a GREAT job with PI Buzz lately, BTW - keep up the terrific work. And thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

That link for Dallas County, is NOT Texas,..... Just so you know

Anonymous said...

Is there a link for checking current inmate listings at McLennan Jail in Waco, Texas?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if there is a site for finding inmates in Texas, but this site has a bunch of other ones for Texas

good luck

Anonymous said...

I meant to say WACO not Texas...sorry

Good luck again

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your link. I found my sister.

Anonymous said...

Your Dallas County Jail link is for Iowa, not Texas.

Anonymous said...

These are very helpful. An easy-to-use locator like Denton or Grayson County's would be such a worthwhile investment for Dallas County. It would save them so many labor hours if DCSO employees didn't have to answer as many telephone calls from people trying to find out about inmates!

Anonymous said...

Your El Paso County link is for Colorado, not Texas.

Anonymous said...

It would be too much like doing the right and economically wise thing for Dallas County officials to invest in an on-line inmate locator. They'd rather invest 3/4 of a million dollars for zebra striped uniforms or a multi-million dollar computer system that two years after installiation still isn't functioning properly, thus causing delays in the processing and release of inmates.

Those responsible for the jail's operations have proven on more than a few occassions that they are thinking with something other than their brains when it comes to making the jail more cost effecient agency.

lakeith Amir-Sharif ("Sharif")

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Nothing like half-assing a web page. Links are broken,and lead to wrong pages. Great job techno-wizzard.

Anonymous said...

This may be of assistance for
locating inmates.

Inmate Search said...

Thank you for your help, i found my son.

Criminal Records Search said...

Thanks for sharing it here. Looking forward to more stuff from this blog.

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msedrn said...

Collin County
Dallas County
City of Denton
City of Lewisville
Grayson County

Hilary Kimbel said...

Thanks so much for sharing these locators! Do you think I would be able to interview any of these inmates? I'm trying to write a report for my degree, and would love to get an inmate's point of view!

Unknown said...

I actually got to look up a prison inmate the other day. My friend got a letter from a guy in prison. I guess for her job she deals with unpaid bills and one of the inmates wrote to the bank letting them know that he was going to pay the fee when he gets out. I didn't even know you could look people up if they are in prison. I guess once you commit a crime, your information is public.

Zach |