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Tennessee Inmate Search

Tennessee Inmate Search is a database maintained by the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) that provides information about state prison inmates incarcerated or released from custody within the state.

It is a valuable tool for crime prevention and public safety. Law enforcement officials, victim advocates, and concerned citizens can use the database to search for information about inmates who may pose a risk to the community.

By providing this information to the public, the state of Tennessee is helping to promote transparency and accountability in the criminal justice system.

When you run this inmate search, the database will provide information such as the inmate's name, current status, mugshot, location, and active sentences.

While the state inmate search can be a helpful tool for accessing public information about inmates in Tennessee, there are several limitations to remember when performing a search.

The information available through this inmate search may not be comprehensive or up-to-date. Some data may be missing or incomplete, and not all inmates may be included in the database. Additionally, privacy laws may protect some information and may not be available to the public.

Moreover, the search tool has limited search criteria. The user can only search by the inmate's name or TDOC number. It means that users may have difficulty finding an inmate if they don't have this information or if the information provided is incorrect.

Lastly, technical issues can also limit the effectiveness of state inmate searches. The online system used for the search may experience technical difficulties or downtime, which could impact the availability of the search tool.

What Are Tennessee Inmate Records?

Inmate records in Tennessee consist of all the files and supporting documents that follow an offender through the state's correctional system.

Attorneys and legal professionals rely on these comprehensive Tennessee Inmate Records to prepare for trials and other legal proceedings. These records provide detailed information about an individual's criminal history and can be used to determine the appropriate course of action in a given case.

In addition to the TDOC, other agencies may keep inmate records in the state. For instance, county jails may maintain records for persons incarcerated in their facilities, and court records may include information about an inmate's criminal history and sentence.

The Tennessee Public Records Act makes these records publicly accessible. Under this law, all records of state and local government entities are public records, including records of the Tennessee correctional facilities.

It means that Tennessee Inmate Records are available to the general public upon request, with certain exceptions for information that is confidential or exempt from disclosure under state or federal law.

You will get more information about the inmates if you request these records rather than performing a Tennessee Inmate Search. Most of the time, you may obtain copies of the following documents or information:

  • Inmate's full name, TDOC number, mugshots, and fingerprints
  • Inmate's personal information, such as the inmate's address, date of birth, and emergency contacts
  • Details of the inmate's criminal records
  • Arrest information such as the arrest date and location, the arresting agency, and the charges filed against the inmate
  • Incarceration information, such as the location of incarceration, the inmate's custody status, and the inmate's disciplinary record
  • Sentencing information, such as the length of the sentence and the date of sentencing
  • Release information, such as the projected release date, actual release date, and any conditions of parole or probation

What Are Tennessee Prison and Jail Records?

In Tennessee, several correctional facilities, including jails and prisons, house individuals convicted of crimes or awaiting trial.

County jails in Tennessee house individuals arrested and awaiting trial, sentencing, or transfer to a state or federal prison. This penal system houses individuals convicted of less serious crimes and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year or less.

On the other hand, Tennessee state prisons house individuals convicted of serious felonies and sentenced to more than one year of imprisonment. State prisons hold inmates for a more extended period and typically offer more extensive programming and services than county jails.

Based on the October 2022 data, Tennessee state prisons contained around 19,180 inmates occupying 21,430 active beds, while county jails recorded around 25,350 inmates with 31,979-bed spaces and 6,640 empty beds.

Here are other statistical data obtained from Tennessee Prison and Jail Records:

  • Tennessee houses 90% male convicts and 10% female offenders.
  • The incarceration rate in Tennessee rose by 7% between 2007 and 2016.
  • In Tennessee, around 9,400 prisoners are released yearly, although the number of those entering prison is just one-tenth as high.
  • Between 1979-1980 and 2012–2013, Tennessee's local and state spending on corrections climbed by 288% from $273.8M to $1B.

What Are the Types of Prisons and Jails in Tennessee?

Like many other states, Tennessee has a complex correctional system that includes various kinds of prisons and jails. Understanding the different types of prisons and jails in Tennessee can be helpful for those navigating the criminal justice system and those doing a Tennessee Inmate Search.

Here's a breakdown of Tennessee's several types of prisons and jails:

Tennessee State Prisons

Tennessee state prisons are correctional facilities operated by the TDOC. As of 2023, the TDOC oversees ten state prisons throughout Tennessee, categorized based on their security level and the type of offenders they house.

Generally, state prisons in Tennessee house individuals convicted of felony offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, drug trafficking, and other serious crimes. The offenders can be male or female and range in age from young adults to senior citizens.

Tennessee state prisons also have facilities that meet the specific needs of certain populations, such as offenders with mental health issues, medical conditions, or substance abuse problems. In addition, the state has a separate prison system for female offenders, including traditional prisons and specialized facilities for pregnant women and mothers with young children.

Here are the state prisons in Tennessee:

Tennessee Private Prisons

Tennessee private prisons are correctional facilities owned and operated by private companies under contract with the TDOC to house state prisoners. These private prisons are distinct from publicly-owned and operated ones directly managed by the TDOC.

The private prisons in Tennessee emerged as a response to overcrowding in state-run prisons. Private prison companies, such as CoreCivic, began building and operating prisons in the state to house inmates on behalf of the TDOC.

Tennessee private prisons provide safe and secure housing, medical care, educational and vocational programs, mental health services, accurate records, compliance with state and federal regulations, and professional staff training. By fulfilling these responsibilities, private prisons can help inmates prepare for reentry into society and reduce recidivism rates.

As of 2023, there are four private prisons in Tennessee, and these are the following:

Tennessee Federal Prisons

Tennessee federal prisons are correctional facilities owned and operated by the federal government. These prisons house individuals convicted of federal crimes, as opposed to state crimes, and serve sentences of at least one year or more.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) manages and operates federal prisons in Tennessee. As of 2023, Tennessee has two federal prisons:

Tennessee federal prisons are subject to federal regulations governing the operation of correctional facilities, including staffing, security, inmate treatment, and rehabilitation programs.

The FBOP provides inmates in federal prisons access to medical care, educational and vocational programs, mental health services, and other resources to prepare them for reentry into society.

Tennessee County Jails

Tennessee county jails are correctional facilities that local law enforcement and county Sheriff's Offices operate. These jails hold individuals arrested and awaiting trial or sentencing and those sentenced to serve time in jail for misdemeanor offenses.

Inmates in Tennessee county jails are typically held for shorter periods than in other state penal systems. However, conditions in county jails can be challenging due to overcrowding, limited resources, and a high turnover rate of inmates.

As of December 2020, there were 112 jails in 95 counties of Tennessee. However, this number may have changed since then due to various factors such as changes in county boundaries, jail closures or openings, or other factors.

To search for county jails in Tennessee, visit the Tennessee Sheriffs' Association (TSA) website. This site provides a directory of all county sheriffs in Tennessee and their contact information. You can inquire about jail facilities in their area by contacting the relevant Sheriff's Office.

Tennessee Juvenile Detention Centers

Tennessee juvenile detention centers are secure facilities that provide a safe and secure environment for juveniles accused of committing crimes and awaiting trial or sentencing.

The Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) manages these centers in the state.

As of 2023, there is only one juvenile detention center under the supervision of the OJJ, which is the Wilder Youth Development Center. This institution houses young criminals and provides them with education and a road to rehabilitation so that they may turn their lives around before reaching adulthood.

But some Tennessee counties, like Davidson and Rutherford, have separate juvenile detention centers in addition to those operated by the OJJ.

How To Perform Inmate Search in Tennessee?

In performing a Tennessee Inmate Search, you must use the TDOC's online inmate locator tool, Felony Offender Information Locator (FOIL). FOIL allows you to search for inmates in state and private prisons anytime.

You must enter the inmate's name or TDOC number to use the online inmate locator tool. If you're unsure of the spelling of the inmate's name, it will allow you to enter just the first few letters and display a list of potential matches.

Once you've found the inmate you're looking for, the tool will provide information about their location, release date, and other relevant information.

Contact the local county jail or sheriff's department if you're looking for a recently arrested inmate awaiting trial or sentencing. These agencies will often have their inmate locator tools or databases, and they can provide you with information about inmates currently in their custody.

Other Sheriff's Offices, like Knox County Sheriff's Office and Stewart County Sheriff's Office, have inmate rosters where you can check their inmate information.

Performing an inmate search in Tennessee federal prisons differs from searching for inmates in state and county facilities. To locate an inmate in a federal prison in Tennessee, you can use the FBOP inmate locator tool. If you want information from a federal inmate, contact the specific federal prison that held the inmate.

If you want information from a Tennessee juvenile detention center inmate, contact the DCS or the county facility that housed the young offender.

Though juveniles have certain privacy protections under the law, and their records are often sealed or restricted, the DCS and the in-charged facility should be able to provide you with basic information about an inmate's custody status.

How To Contact an Inmate in Tennessee?

The most common ways to contact an inmate in Tennessee are by phone and mail.

Most correctional facilities in Tennessee allow inmates to make outgoing calls, and they can also receive incoming calls. However, phone calls are typically monitored and recorded, so you must be cautious about what you say.

In addition, you may need to set up an account with the facility's phone provider to receive calls from an inmate.

GTL ConnectNetwork is the phone service provider for Tennessee. You can create an account by calling 1-800-483-8314 or visiting its website. You and the offender can add funds to the offender's phone account.

Some CoreCivic prisons use Inmate Calling Solutions. For inquiries, you may email them at or call them at 888-506-8407.

Aside from phone calls, offenders in Tennessee can receive mail from friends and family. In addition to receiving letters, inmates can accept 4x6 pictures. However, there are some restrictions on what you can send. Polaroid photos are prohibited because they pose a security concern, and no photographs may feature nudity.

You can deliver your mail five times or five days per week during regular business hours. Make sure to address the mail correctly. Include the inmate's full name, TDOC number, and the name and address of the facility.

Note that each facility may have its rules and regulations for inmate communication, so it's best to check with the facility directly before contacting an inmate.

Furthermore, the contact regulations above only apply to most TDOC facilities (state and private prisons). For other correctional facility types, contact the facility or the agency in charge, or visit their respective websites for information on their communication rules.

How To Visit an Inmate in Tennessee?

If you want to visit an inmate in a Tennessee state or private prison, you must adhere to the TDOC visitation standards.

First, you must include yourself on the inmate's approved visitors list. To do this, you must complete the visitation application form.

Before applying for visiting rights, ensure that the prisoner is still at the place of confinement. Thus, perform the Tennessee Inmate Search using the FOIL tool before this action. Moreover, it is best to read the guides for adult and minor applicants before completing the form for eligibility and other procedural information.

Once completed, typically, you will send the application to the Associate Warden of Security at the prison where the convict is serving their sentence. Each TDOC facility processes applications regularly, but at least once a quarter.

Aside from the family members, up to eight additional people may be included on the inmate's approved list of visitors.

If permitted, you'll need to schedule your visit. Visitation schedules vary by facility, so checking with the specific TDOC facility is essential to determine their visitation hours and days. You can often schedule your visit online, over the phone, or in person.

In most TDOC facilities, the number of visits permitted per offender is four.

During the visit, follow all facility rules and regulations. Generally, TDOC facility visitors must provide a valid government-issued picture ID to enter the institution and follow dress code requirements. Visitors who violate facility rules may have their visit terminated and be banned from visiting the inmate.

The inmate visitation rules and procedures in county jails, federal prisons, and juvenile detention facilities differ from TDOC facilities. Therefore, you must contact the facility or the administrating agency or visit their websites for information on their visitation regulations and policies.

How To Send Money to an Inmate in Tennessee?

The TDOC establishes a trust account for every inmate in Tennessee state and private prisons. Inmates in the department facility use this account to pay expenses and purchase items from the commissary.

With JPay, a TDOC-approved third-party provider, you can deposit funds into the TDOC Offender Trust Fund Account through the following methods:

Walk-in Deposit

You can send money to an inmate in a Tennessee state and private prison by visiting any MoneyGram agent location and entering the receiving code 6188. The transfer is possible through cash and debit cards.

Online Deposit

Online deposit through JPay is the easiest and fastest way to send money to an inmate in Tennessee. You can use a debit or credit card to pay for the transaction.

Deposit via Phone

You can put money in the account of a Tennessee inmate over the phone by calling (800) 574-5729. You can call this number anytime and talk to a real person.

Mail-in Money Orders

There is no fee when you send money through the mail, but you must buy a U.S. Postal Money Order payable to JPay. Include the inmate's complete name, identification number, and facility location. You must also fill out a deposit slip along with the money order to make a deposit.

Send the money order and deposit slip to the JPay mailing address written in the form.

The Tennessee processing time for money orders is three business days.

Suppose you want to send money to inmates in Tennessee county jails, federal prisons, and juvenile detention centers. In that case, it is best to contact the facility or the relevant agency or visit their websites for more reliable information.


Counties in Tennessee