New York Court Records
What Are New York Inmate Records?
In New York, inmate records maintained by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) about persons held in any of the state’s correctional facilities. Inmate records contain personal identifying information such as names, gender, ethnicity, race, mugshot, fingerprints, and date of birth. Other information found on the record includes the New York State Identification (NYSID), Department Identification Number (DIN), the arrest or conviction information, custody or incarceration status, and location of the inmate.
Records of inmates incarcerated at county or city jails are maintained by the police department, department of correction, or sheriff’s office serving such county or City. For example, the New York City Department of Correction is the repository for inmate records of persons incarcerated in the City, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office maintains records of inmates in Monroe County.
Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law, inmate records and information about persons incarcerated with the Department of Corrections and Community Supervisions (DOCCS) and other jails are considered public. Hence, these inmate records are accessible to anyone upon request. However, confidential records such as youthful offenders records and records that have been sealed by court order or state statute are not public, hence inaccessible.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How To Find An Inmate In New York?
Requestors seeking information on an inmate’s location or incarceration status in any Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS facility) may submit requests using the Inmate Lookup tool on the agency’s website. Details required for request include:
- Inmate’s first and last names and middle initial
- Name suffix
- Birth year
- Department Identification Number (DIN)
- New York State Identification Number (NYSID)
Except for youthful offenders, previously-incarcerated persons convicted of non-violent crimes (Correction Law §9),, and persons whose convictions have been set aside by the court, information about all other incarcerations since the early 1970s can be found on the Inmate Lookup. If a person’s conviction is reversed in their favor, as provided by Criminal Procedure Law §160.50, all official arrest and incarceration records will be sealed. Consequently, the person’s incarceration information will be deleted from the DOCCS Inmate Lookup tool. However, if such a person is incarcerated again, the deleted information will be restored.
Additionally, persons convicted of eligible non-violent offenses will have incarceration information removed from the DOCCS database five years after the requirements of the person’s sentence has been completed. This includes maximum jail time, probation, parole, or post-release supervision.
The most efficient way to search for inmate records on Inmate Lookup is by using the Department Identification Number (DIN). Each person incarcerated in any DOCCS facility is assigned a DIN on admission. The DIN is valid though the person’s prison term and another will be issued if the person is sentenced to another prison term. Requestors who have difficulty finding inmates through the Inmate Lookup tool may call DOCCS Central Files for assistance on (518) 457–5000.
Inmate records of persons sentenced to one year or less in New York City jails are maintained by the City of New York Department of Corrections. To find an inmate incarcerated in New York City, requestors may use the Inmate Lookup Service provided by the Department of Corrections. A search can be made using the inmate’s first and last names, NYSID, or Book & Case Number.
Where the inmate is in custody in a county or city jail, the requestor may contact the relevant authority operating such jail. Requestors may use the inmate locators available on the New York State Commission for Correction webpage to find persons in jails across the state.
How To Find A Federal Inmate In New York?
Federal inmate populations comprise persons convicted of federal crimes, persons awaiting trial for violations of federal laws, and felony offenders in the District of Columbia. Federal inmates are incarcerated at various federal correctional facilities across the country. To find an inmate in any federal facility in New York, the requestors may search using the Inmate Locator on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.
Searches for federal inmates can be initiated on the Inmate Locator using personal identifying details such as:
- First and last names
- Middle name
Searches can also be initiated using identification numbers. Acceptable identification numbers include:
- Bureau of Prisons (BOP) registered number
- DC Department of Corrections (DCDC) number
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) number
- Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) number
The Federal Bureau of Prisons maintains information about persons incarcerated in federal facilities from 1982 to the present. Records of persons incarcerated or released before 1982 are held by the National Archives Records Administration (NARA). Records can also be requested from NARA in the following ways:
- Online through the NARA request website
- In person at NARA Archive Facilities
- By email to email@example.com
- By phone on 1–866–272–6272, 212–401–1620, or 1–866–840–1752
- By mail to:
The National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740–6001
National Archives at New York City
One Bowling Green, Room 328
New York, NY 10004
How Do I Obtain Inmate Records In New York?
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) maintains records of inmates incarcerated at the state prisons. Available records date back to the 1970s. While copies of these records can be searched online via the Inmate Lookup, interested persons may have to make a formal request in writing to obtain a certified inmate record from the DOCCS. The following information will be required to complete a request:
- The inmate’s last and first names
- Date of birth of the inmate
- DIN (Department Identification Number)
- NYSID (New York State Identification)
Requests may be sent to the DOCCS via the contact form on its website or by mail to:
New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
1220 Washington Avenue, Building 2
Albany, New York 12226–2050
For further inquiry or assistance, contact the DOCCS by phone at (518) 457–5000 or (518) 457–8126.
Certified inmate records for persons sentenced to county or city jails may be obtained directly from the sheriff’s office or police department in charge of the facility. Call or visit the local law enforcement agency holding the inmate to complete the request. To obtain a certified record on a federal inmate held in a New York facility, the requestor may inquire from the Federal Bureau of Prisons headquarters at:
320 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
How To Put Money On Jail Inmates Book In New York?
Inmates are not allowed to carry cash while incarcerated. However, money gotten from friends, family, and jobs is held in an account. Inmates are allowed to send money to loved ones from their accounts or buy things at the commissary. A statement of account is provided to the inmate every month.
To deposit money in an inmate’s account at the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), visitors may leave cash, money orders, or checks for inmates at the cashier’s office or the visitor’s lockbox provided in each facility. Visitors may also deposit money by phone, mail, or online through third-party providers such as JPay, Western Union, and MoneyGram. The fees associated with these deposits are determined by each provider.
For deposits via JPay, checks and money orders can also be mailed to:
PO Box 531190
Miami, Florida 33153
Alternatively, make payments with credit cards by calling 1–800–574–5729, on the JPay mobile app, or online at JPay website. MoneyGram allows cash deposits at its various locations using the Receive Code 1317. Western Union also provides internet, phone, and walk-in money transfers to inmates in New York city using the code NYCITYDOC. Note, transfer agents may require a service fee.
Deposits can also be initiated via an Inmate’s page on the Inmate Lookup Service by selecting the ‘Send Money’ button at the bottom of the page. To make transfers to an inmate’s account through third-party agents and government websites, the inmate’s first and last names, DIN, or book and case number must be specified.
When making deposits for inmates held at county or city jails in the state of New York, contact the administrating sheriff’s office or police department to determine the appropriate means of funding an inmate’s account. However, the inmate’s credentials (name, case number, or jail ID) will be required to complete such deposits.