The great thing about federal prison records is that they’re all in one spot! The Federal Bureau of Prison has an inmate database that goes all the way back to 1982. And it’s all free. For other federal criminal records, see how to set up a free PACER account at http://sleuthforthetruth.com/free-bankruptcy-records/
How To Use The Federal Prison Database
Most people have seen the movie Wall Street. So let’s click on the tab “Find By Name” and enter in “Ivan Boesky” (this is the real Gordon Gecko the movie was made about)
As you can see, there are other fields for middle name, race, age and sex. Often people are tempted to add in everything they know. DON’T. Ignore all fields except for the first and last name. Then click Search.
As with any record search, less is more. Data entry errors happen all the time. For example: If you listed his sex as “male”, but the record maker accidentally checked “female”, you’ll never see that record. You put in too much information.
Leveraging The Results To Find Out Even More About Your Subject
The best databases give you a lot of extra information when you put in almost nothing. Here you can see that with just a first and last name, you now know his middle initial, his prison registration number, his current age, his race and a release date.
Any site that gives you both their middle name and age is valuable. Often it’s the person’s middle name that helps you know you’ve Googled the right John Smith. And his age is very useful when at the age lookup sites, where you want to further confirm that this is the right subject who lived at these addresses and has these relatives.
Sometimes Google will tell you why he was thrown in jail, not just when. Don’t just Google their name. Google their prison registration number. This usually works best for the more famous crimes. For example: See how this is done with the infamous insider trader Eugene Plotkin.
Googling Federal Prison Records
1. John Smith indicted
2. John Smith federal convicted
3. John Smith “federal prison” (One Term in quotes)
4. “John Smith” “federal prison” (Both terms in quotes)
5. “United States” v “Ivan Boesky” (Both terms in quotes)
6. John Smith charges federal
7. John Smith sentenced federal
8. John Smith sentenced federal Georgia
9. “John R Smith” sentenced federal Georgia
10. “John Richard Smith” sentenced federal Georgia
Hope you enjoyed this tour through federal prison. May your stay be a short one!