How to conduct an inmate search in Maine
Again, there are a lot of sources out there to find information on incarcerated inmates. In Maine, one of the best places to look is through the prisoner search feature on the website of the Maine Department of Corrections. This search will give you detailed information about anyone who is in prison or on probation, anywhere within Maine, and is accessible by anyone.
Bear in mind, the prisoner search on the Department of Corrections site will only reveal information about inmates currently incarcerated or on probation. It does not include people who have just been arrested or are being held in jail. It also does not include juveniles. To search using this feature, you will want to have at least the inmate's first and last name (legal – the system will not register nicknames), and preferably their MDOC, or Maine Department of Corrections, identification number. For a more accurate search, you can also input the prisoner's height, weight and eye color, among other details.
Another method of searching for inmate information is to use an online people search database like Checkpeople. This is a good way to see all of an inmate's public records with just their name and location. With the details found on checkpoint, you may then be able to complete a more thorough search using the prisoner search service.
What makes this information accessible
Since 1967, the Freedom of Information act has allowed all Americans to access anyone's public records. Arrest records, criminal records, court cases, offender status and incarceration status all qualify as public information. Today, anyone with internet access can see these records.
Conducting an inmate search is perfectly legal and appropriate in a lot of circumstances. It may seem strange to learn so much about a person with one search, but everything in the criminal justice system is made public, so detailed information on inmates is especially open.
If you want to make contact with an inmate
An inmate search can be a great tool for someone trying to get in touch with an incarcerated friend or relative. With their prison address and specific contact information, you should be able to send them a letter or even set up a phone call or visit. For many people, this is the very reason to conduct an inmate search in the first place.
While contacting an inmate can be a meaningful experience for both sides, we at Checkpeople advise you to use caution if you are reaching out to someone you do not know personally. We are not a channel for contacting inmates; we simply provide the information. If you do want to contact someone, make sure you do a detailed search and know everything about them, for the sake of your own safety.
If the inmate you are looking for is no longer an inmate
Once an inmate is released from the jurisdiction of the Maine Department of Corrections, some of their public information is no longer accessible to everyone. Specific details like housing information and inmate records cannot be found through a prisoner search if the person is no longer in prison or on probation.
Criminal and arrest records, however, are always public information. If you want to know if someone in your life has ever been arrested or incarcerated for any reason, or if they are a sexual or violent offender, you can find out with a quick search on Checkpeople.
An inmate search is an easy and efficient tool to get you back in touch with someone who has been incarcerated, to satisfy your curiosity about a high-profile prisoner, or otherwise answer any questions you might have about a particular inmate. With that in mind, be sure to conduct your inmate search responsibly.
Remember that, in the state of Maine, you cannot look up the public records of a juvenile offender. Children's information remains off the public record until they turn eighteen. You will also not be able to access the inmate-specific details of someone who has been released from prison and is no longer on probation, as they have regained their rights to privacy as an American citizen.
If you choose to use the information you find in your inmate search to contact someone, please do so smartly and cautiously. Do not try to contact an inmate who might be dangerous, and do not use someone's contact information to harass them or send them negative messages.
We hope your inmate search through Checkpeople can quickly and effectively answer your questions.