Where To Start Your Search?
Can you google it? Well, you can, but you are probably going to have to visit numerous sites to get everything you are looking for. The process of getting all of the various tidbits provided by CheckPeople is something that could take hours and hours to accomplish.
Whatever your reason may be, here are some tips on how to find someone within the system.
Use the TCDJ Website
That stands for the Texas Criminal Department of Justice. You can find a portal located on their website that can be used to search the database called the "prisoner locater portal." The portal can be used to search for inmates on a variety of different criteria.
You can search by first and last names, gender, and race. You can also use specific numbers such as their TCDJ number or their S.I.D. number. Make sure you enter the correct 20-digit S.I.D. number. If you don't have this, it can be a hassle finding what you are inquiring.
You should know though that not all prisoners show up in the TCDJ and that this isn't a foolproof method. There are numerous reasons that someone would be left out of the website's portal location system. Most of these reasons are due to minor offenses. The prisoner might be held overnight and is not fully entered into the system.
CheckPeople takes the hassle out of it. The site will find those tough numbers and search pieces that you have to have to find someone.
The Bureau of Prisons
The Bureau of Prisons or BOP also has an extensive search option. Their search page contains plenty of information on various inmates who have been held in Texas. This website has an extensive database that extends all the way back to 1982. If you are looking for records, this is a great place to start.
The BOP website will ask you to narrow down your search by listing a few different things before you finalize it. It will then pull up all of the records it has on the person or inmate you are looking for.
This is just a basic criminal history look up. It might not be 100% updated depending on how recent the crime was. It could be missing info that is current. CheckPeople uses police reports and mugshots that are taken and filed right away to keep the information 100% recent.
Public Websites or Records
Numerous websites claim that they have the best options for searching public records. They claim that they search every hole and check every cranny for information on the person you are searching for. Some of these websites work, and others don't have the power actually to search like they claim to be able to do.
CheckPeople is the best service among these websites. It searches through millions of public records that are held on file by various government entities. Use our software to quickly grab a multitude of pieces and find your prisoner.
First off, try emailing a prisoner's name and TDJC number to the address firstname.lastname@example.org. If you aren't sure of their official number, you can provide a date of birth and the county where they were convicted. This makes it hard to find someone if you don't know specifics. You need numbers, dates, and possibly precise areas to get the information on an inmate.
Another option is to call the TDCJ's General Information Line. The line is open Monday through Friday. It opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. The Information Line numbers are 800-535-0283 or 936-295-6371.
The problem with this method is the wait time. CheckPeople happens instantly. There's no wait time at all. You enter the information, and you know everything you are looking for right away!
Use Texas Tribune
The website texastribune.org has an exhaustive library where you can search for inmates based on crimes committed, areas, and sentence length. You can also narrow down your search with distinctions like age, race, and gender.
Texas Tribune is also a pretty helpful website to use if you are looking for some overall data, but it does have its limitations. It doesn't provide you with a detailed report of inmates. Instead, it's more of a check to see statistics on the subject. You can see their crimes, but you cannot see police reports or other government records that are provided by CheckPeople.
Imagine that you have exhausted all of those websites and you still can't find what you are seeking. What do you do then?
If you are trying to contact a person inside the prison system, it will be pretty tricky. Prisoners aren't allowed to take phone calls inside the system. They are allowed to make a limited amount of calls, but that would require them knowing your number already.
Prisoners aren't allowed on social media either. So if this person entered prison before the social media era, you might have a tough time finding them on your own. Don't lose hope. We can help you!