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Wisconsin Inmate Search

The Wisconsin Inmate Search is a process that allows individuals to access information on inmates currently incarcerated in Wisconsin's correctional facilities.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WDOC) maintains a comprehensive database of state prison inmates publicly accessible through its online inmate search portal. This database contains the inmate's full name, WDOC number, date of birth, offense(s) committed, sentencing information, and projected release date.

Inmate Search in Wisconsin is helpful for various reasons, including keeping track of a loved one's whereabouts, checking job applicants' criminal history, and conducting criminal justice research.

It also plays a crucial role in maintaining public safety by providing information on convicted felons and helping in the rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates back into society.

While the state inmate search process provides a valuable resource for individuals seeking information on inmates, there are certain limitations to consider.

Though the WDOC updates the information on the database periodically to maintain accuracy, it can still change rapidly. Thus, the information on this date may not reflect the current location, status, release date, or other details about an offender.

Furthermore, the database does not contain information on all possible offenders, such as those sentenced to county jails, federal prisons, or juveniles adjudicated. Additionally, the database does not include individuals of interest to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

It is also worth noting that the information provided through the state inmate search database is not for harassment or discrimination against inmates. The WDOC takes the privacy and safety of its inmates seriously, and individuals who misuse the inmate search process may face legal consequences.

What Are Wisconsin Inmate Records?

Wisconsin Inmate Records refer to documents containing detailed information about individuals incarcerated in Wisconsin state prisons, jails, or other correctional facilities. The WDOC primarily maintains these records, and under the Wisconsin Open Records Law, these are public documents, meaning anyone can access them.

Inmate records in Wisconsin contain more comprehensive information than what Wisconsin Inmate Search can provide.

While the search tool may provide basic information, such as an inmate's name and location, inmate records contain more detailed and complete information about an inmate, which may include the following:

  • Inmate's full name and any aliases
  • Date of birth and age
  • Gender
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Physical description, including height, weight, hair and eye color, and tattoos or scars
  • Mugshot
  • Arresting agency and arresting date
  • Charges and offenses for which the inmate was convicted
  • The court, case, and inmate identifying numbers
  • Date of conviction and sentence length
  • The inmate's facility and location
  • Release date and parole information
  • Prior criminal history, including prior convictions and incarcerations
  • Disciplinary actions against the inmate while incarcerated

Wisconsin Inmate Records are a vital resource for law enforcement agencies, researchers, and individuals who must verify an individual's criminal history or background.

For example, employers may use inmate records to conduct background checks on job applicants or to ensure the safety of their employees. Attorneys may also use these records to build a defense case or to research a client's criminal history.

Inmate records are typically available in digital and physical formats, and requests for copies can be made online or by mail. However, there may be restrictions on accessing certain records, particularly those related to ongoing investigations or those containing sensitive information.

What Are Wisconsin Prison and Jail Records?

Wisconsin has many incarcerated individuals, with approximately 41,000 people behind bars. This figure comprises various facilities, including state prisons, county or local jails, federal prisons, and youth detention centers.

More than half of the incarcerated population in Wisconsin, around 27,000 people, are in state prisons. It suggests that the state has a large and well-developed prison system. Additionally, 13,000 individuals are in local jails, highlighting the significant role that county-level law enforcement and judicial systems play in the state.

It is concerning to note that around 67% of inmates in Wisconsin have been convicted of violent offenses. It indicates that there may be a significant issue with violent crime in the state, as well as potentially indicating the need for more preventative measures to be taken to reduce the likelihood of violent crime occurring in the first place.

Another 13% of incarcerated individuals in Wisconsin are serving time for property crimes, indicating a lower overall prevalence of these crimes than violent offenses. Meanwhile, 11% of inmates are incarcerated for drug charges, suggesting that the state may be struggling with drug addiction and substance abuse issues.

Finally, 9% of inmates in Wisconsin are incarcerated due to public disorderly conduct. While this may not be as severe as other offenses, it still represents a significant portion of the incarcerated population.

What Are the Types of Prisons and Jails in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has a diverse correctional system consisting of several correctional facilities. Each of these facilities serves a distinct purpose and has specific functions. Understanding Wisconsin's correctional facilities is essential for anyone seeking to conduct an inmate search or gain insight into the state's penal system.

Below are the different types of prisons and jails in Wisconsin and their unique characteristics:                                                                                                            

Wisconsin State Prisons

Wisconsin state prisons are correctional facilities operated by the WDOC. These facilities hold individuals convicted of minor offenses to serious felonies and sentenced to serve time in state prison.

As of 2023, the WDOC operates 37 adult correctional facilities, including maximum, medium, and minimum security institutions, correctional centers, camps, and other specialized facilities.

To obtain a list of Wisconsin state prisons, one can navigate to the "Adult Facilities" webpage of the WDOC. For contact information about a specific facility, click on the facility's name on the page.

The primary goal of Wisconsin state prisons is to provide a secure environment for inmates while offering programs and services aimed at reducing recidivism and helping inmates successfully reintegrate into society upon release. These programs may include educational and vocational training, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and more.

While serving time in a Wisconsin state prison, inmates must follow strict rules and regulations, including maintaining good behavior and participating in required programs and activities. Failure to comply with these rules may result in disciplinary action, such as loss of privileges or extended time in confinement.

Wisconsin County Jails

The state of Wisconsin comprises 72 counties, each with its unique characteristics and demographics. Except for a few, many of these counties have local jails managed by their respective police or Sheriff's Offices.

One of the primary purposes of these county jails is to hold suspects until their trial or hearing. It is often called pretrial detention, a critical aspect of the criminal justice process. Suspects who cannot make bail are typically held in county jails until their hearing or trial, which can sometimes take weeks or months.

In some cases, county jails may also hold individuals sentenced to short stays in jail instead of prison. These individuals have typically been convicted of misdemeanor offenses and serve sentences of less than one year. County jails are responsible for providing these inmates with basic necessities such as food, clothing, and medical care.

Each county Sheriff's Office in Wisconsin has its official website, many of which include information about their local jails. By visiting a county's website, one can quickly access information about the number of jails in that area, their addresses, and other relevant details.

For example, the Dane County Sheriff's Office manages two county jail facilities, the City-County Building Jail and the Public Safety Building Jail, both in Madison.

Wisconsin Federal Prisons

Wisconsin is home to one federal prison responsible for housing inmates who have broken federal laws within the state. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FOB) oversees all federal prisons in the country, including the one in Wisconsin.

The federal prison in Wisconsin is the FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) Oxford. The facility is a medium-security prison with an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp that can house up to 974 male inmates.

Like all federal prisons, FCI Oxford operates under strict guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety and security of staff, inmates, and the public.

Inmates in federal custody are provided with various services and programs designed to promote their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. These may include educational and vocational training, substance abuse treatment, and mental health counseling.

Wisconsin Juvenile Detention Centers

Wisconsin juvenile detention centers are facilities designed to house juveniles who have been charged with delinquent acts and are awaiting court hearings or placement in a long-term correctional facility.

The WDOC and the Division of Juvenile Corrections (DJC) operate these facilities. They promote a juvenile justice system that balances community protection, youth accountability, and competency building for responsible and productive community living.

The primary mission of the DJC is to provide a safe and secure environment for youth offenders while promoting their rehabilitation and successful reintegration into society.

To achieve its mission, the division employs various evidence-based practices that effectively promote positive outcomes for youth offenders. These practices include risk assessment, case planning, programming, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of results.

As of 2023, Wisconsin has three juvenile detention centers: the Copper Lake School, Grow Academy, and Lincoln Hills School. For contact details and other relevant information about a specific center, visit the "Juvenile Facilities & Regional Offices" webpage of the WDOC and click on the facility's name on the page.

How To Perform Inmate Search in Wisconsin

Performing an inmate search in Wisconsin is relatively straightforward, thanks to the Wisconsin Inmate Search Locator Tool of the WDOC. One must follow simple steps to find a Wisconsin state prison inmate.

Firstly, the person must visit the WDOC Offender Locator website. The user must read and click "I agree" on the website's disclaimer to continue.

The individual will then see a form with various criteria fields that they can fill in to narrow down their search. These fields include the inmate's name, race, birth year, gender, age, offender status, and whether or not the person is a sex offender. After giving all the necessary information, click the tiny "Perform Search" link at the bottom of the form.

The system will then search its database and return a list of inmates with essential information that match the search criteria. Click on an inmate's last name from this list to see additional details about them, including their housing facility, a mugshot, and court case details.    

Locating or finding information about a federal prison inmate in Wisconsin differs from a state prison. Individuals seeking information about a federal inmate must contact the FBOP or the facility directly. Alternatively, the FBOP has Inmate Locator that individuals can use to retrieve federal inmate information.

For an inmate in a county jail, an individual must contact the local county Sheriff's Office. Several Sheriff's Offices offer websites with an offender search feature, while others have jail rosters or inmate lists.

Lastly, looking up an inmate in a Wisconsin juvenile detention center online is not feasible since juvenile records are generally confidential. However, those seeking information on a specific individual may contact the WDOC, DJC, or facility directly.

How To Contact an Inmate in Wisconsin

Inmates incarcerated in Wisconsin state prisons can communicate with their loved ones and other individuals, except victims, victims' families, and fellow inmates.

With advancements in technology, here are various communication options available to individuals who wish to contact an inmate in Wisconsin:

Phone Calls

In Wisconsin, inmates can make outgoing collect calls to their loved ones, but only to landline phones, and the receiver of the call will be responsible for the charges.

To receive collect calls from inmates in Wisconsin state prisons, family or friends must create a prepaid account by visiting the ICSolutions website or calling ICSolutions at (888) 506-8407.


Inmates in Wisconsin can receive mail from family and friends. All incoming mail must have the inmate's full name, WDOC number, and the name and address of the sender. The facility will return any mail that does not meet these requirements to the sender.

Friends and family members may send up to five 4"x6" photos to an inmate in a single stamped envelope, but there are restrictions on the type of photos that are permissible. Security reasons prohibit instant photos or Polaroid. Moreover, the authorities ban photographs containing nudity.

Note that the mailing addresses will vary depending on the type of mail being sent. To obtain general rules and facility mailing addresses, individuals can visit the "Money, Mail, & Property" page of the WDOC website.

Electronic Message

Offenders in Wisconsin can utilize the CorrLinks system to communicate with their friends and family members electronically. The CorrLinks system, also known as the kiosk, allows messaging to and from WDOC inmates, but the inmates need to initiate the contact by adding their friends or family member to their contact list.

Afterward, an automatic request, including the inmate's name and WDOC number, is sent by CorrLinks to the email address of the friend or family member.

To accept the request, the friend or family member must click the link in the email and go to the CorrLinks website, where they can create an account for free. Anyone who receives a contact request or message from an inmate can choose not to respond or accept, or they may block the request. Blocking a request will prevent the inmate from contacting them further.

Individuals can send inmates electronic messages through the CorrLinks system, but there is a fee per message. Messages remain within the CorrLinks system, and CorrLinks does not forward them to personal email accounts.

To send or receive messages, individuals must always log in to CorrLinks. For appropriateness, the staff will review all messages.

Court Calls and Virtual Court Appearances

The WDOC offers videoconferencing capabilities for court hearings between individuals in their care and the Wisconsin Court System. One can contact the Court Scheduler at the inmate's housing facility to schedule a court call or virtual court appearance.

To verify the location of the WDOC inmate, use the Wisconsin Inmate Search Locator Tool of the WDOC. To identify the designated facility contact, refer to this Court Scheduler List.

Making requests at least two working days before the scheduled appearance is essential because each facility has different schedules and equipment availability.

Videoconferencing for court hearings offers numerous benefits to both the courts and inmates. It saves time, reduces costs associated with transportation and security, and promotes safety by limiting the need for physical transportation. It also allows for greater efficiency in the court system by reducing delays and scheduling conflicts.

The WDOC methods discussed above only apply to facilities under their jurisdiction. To communicate with an inmate incarcerated outside the jurisdiction of the WDOC, individuals must contact the appropriate agency or facility directly. Furthermore, visiting the facility's website can help individuals explore communication options.

How To Visit an Inmate in Wisconsin

Visiting an inmate in Wisconsin can be daunting, but it can be a smooth and rewarding experience with the correct information and preparation.

Adherence to the WDOC visitation rules and regulations is essential to ensure a successful visit with the inmate in Wisconsin.

Visitors must adhere to many regulations and procedures during in-person visits, including submitting a completed Visitor Questionnaire for visiting permission.

The prison staff notifies the inmate when they approve and add a visitor to their list, and they limit the number of visitors to 12. This number excludes approved minors under 18.  

An approved adult must accompany a youngster during visitation unless the minor is lawfully married to the inmate.

Each WDOC facility establishes visiting schedules and procedures. To schedule a visit, one must select the facility from the list of Adult Facilities (use the link in the "Wisconsin State Prisons" section) and study the materials under "Visiting Information" to get all site-specific guidelines.

Generally, visitors must present a valid photo ID when visiting the facility. Also, it is necessary to pass through metal detectors to get entrance—inability to do so after three attempts results in access rejection.

Furthermore, authorities will prosecute visitors caught with contraband, making it crucial to leave all personal belongings at home or in the vehicle.

Visitors subject to no-contact visiting limitations may be subject to additional restrictions, such as duration and visitor limit conditions or the use of audio-visual equipment.

To visit an inmate in a county jail, federal prison, or juvenile detention center in Wisconsin, one should contact the responsible agency or the housing facility of the inmate. They can also visit the facility's website for up-to-date visitation rules, protocols, and schedule information.

How To Send Money to an Inmate in Wisconsin

The WDOC offers several options for sending money to inmates through the Access Corrections Secure Deposit.

Access Corrections Secure Deposit is a popular method for sending money to inmates in Wisconsin. It has a daily limit of $2,900, and an individual can send funds at a walk-in location, by mail, or through phones or the Internet.

For a walk-in option, Cashpay is a walk-in affiliate provider of Access Correction that accepts walk-in payments. However, it comes with a service fee. To enroll, call (844) 340-2274 or visit their website. In this method, the sender must visit any Access Corrections Cashpay Locations to make the payment.

By mail, the sender must accomplish the WDOC money order/check deposit slip available at the WDOC website or through its facilities.

The sender must write the inmate's WDOC number, verified through the Wisconsin Inmate Search Locator Tool, on the money order and the deposit slip, and the writing must be legible and in black or blue ink.

Make the money order payable to 'Access Secure Deposits.' After completing the money order and deposit slip, the sender must send them to the mailing address provided in the form.

Finally, the WDOC offers the option of sending money through phones or the Internet. The sender can use Visa or MasterCard, but this method incurs a service charge. Call (866) 345-1884 or visit the Access Corrections website to inquire.

The payment system above is specific only to WDOC correctional facilities. For the accepted payment methods of a county jail, federal prison, or juvenile detention center, contact the responsible agency or the facility or visit their website for accurate information.


Counties in Wisconsin