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Missouri Court Records

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Where to Find Missouri Inmate Records

Inmate records are official documents that authorized criminal justice agencies create and maintain during and after custody of an offender. For persons seeking to find records on inmates incarcerated in any correctional facility in Missouri, the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) database is the first port of call. In addition to inmate records, interested persons may also request relevant court records from the Missouri judiciary.

Are Incarceration Records Public Information in Missouri?

Yes. Per Missouri Sunshine Laws, non-sensitive records on inmates must be made available to public requesters.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for 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 document or person involved 

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party websites may vary.

What Information is Contained in a Missouri Inmate Record?

Missouri inmate records typically contain information that provides an overview of an offender incarceration status as well as personal information:

  • Inmate legal name
  • Aliases
  • Date of birth
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Mugshot
  • Physical description (height, weight, hair, & eyes)
  • Unique DOC number
  • Date of Incarceration
  • Offense history
  • Facility of incarceration
  • Contact information of the facility

Where do I Look Up an Inmate in Missouri?

The methods available to individuals looking for incarcerated persons in Missouri depend on the facility. Generally, these include:

  • In-person visits
  • Phone calls
  • Online search

How Do I Conduct an Inmate Search in Missouri?

  • In-person visits & phone calls:

This method largely depends on knowing the facility of incarceration, i.e., local jail or state prison. To find the address of a local county or city jail, visit the Sheriff Department’s official website. A general web search with the name of the county + jail will help find this information. Searchers interested in state prisons need not perform this search. The Missouri Department of Corrections maintains a list of the contact information of correctional facilities in the state.

  • Online search:

Alternatively, an online search is a faster way to find a person locked behind bars. For inmates of state prisons, the searcher may query the Department of Corrections’ central repository of information on inmates. The agency operates Offender Web Search, a useful tool in finding any inmate within the state. To use Offender Search, the searcher must know necessary search details such as the offender’s full name or Missouri DOC number. Of course, the probability of having inmates bearing the same name is very high. Thus, the searcher may use the date of birth, approximate age, and gender to narrow down the results. Every search result will display the most recent mugshot, personal information, and offense history of the incarcerated offender.

Finding an inmate in a county or city jail is no different: the requester must know the necessary details. However, unlike Offender Search, a central repository, the local law enforcement maintains databases specific to that jurisdiction. These local databases are also known as inmate rosters, and the Sheriff’s Office is in charge of updating information on these rosters. Thus, to find information on an inmate in any county, visit the official website of the County Sheriff. For example, Laclede County Sheriff Office maintains an inmate roster, and Boone County Sheriff maintains an online list of detainees.

How Can I Find an Inmate for Free in Missouri?

Generally, a person who is interested in finding inmate records must cover the cost of searching and reproducing such records. However, requesters may submit an appeal for a fee waiver to the record custodian. If granted, then he/she may find inmate records free.

How to Find Old Inmate Records in Missouri

Old inmate records from 1836 to 1931 are available on the Missouri State Archives for penitentiary records. For records outside this period, submit a research request to archref@sos.mo.gov. The requester must include the inmate’s name, approximate date of incarceration, and identifying information, such as a year of birth, county of crime, or parents’ names. Note that mugshots for incarcerated offenders before 1928 are unavailable as the state only initiated the practice after 1928.

How do I Find Inmate Death Records in Missouri?

Inmate death records are not public records in Missouri until fifty years after the event have elapsed. Thus, only eligible persons, i.e., immediate family members, have immediate access to these records. Other persons must petition a court for an order granting access to that record. The Missouri Department of Health is the official custodian of death records and other vital records. Death records that are considered public are accessible on the Missouri State Archives.

How do I Conduct a Federal Prison Inmate Search? 

Federal prisons house offenders convicted of violating federal laws in Missouri and persons who committed crimes while in the District of Columbia. The federal prison in Missouri is the U.S. Medical Center Federal Prison in Springfield. The prison doubles as a medical center for incarcerated offenders, and it is under the administration of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). To find an inmate at the prison, use the BOP Inmate locator. BOP allows searchers to find information on inmates incarcerated as far back as 1982. To achieve this, the searcher may use the offender’s unique BOP number or full name.

Furthermore, providing additional information such as race, age, and sex helps narrow down the search from thousands of results. Bear in mind that records on inmates incarcerated before 1982 are only available on the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) website. There, the searcher will have access to a database of inmate information from 1870 to 1981.

How Long Does it Take For An Inmate’s Information to Be Published in Missouri Inmate Locator?

It varies. Most local jails update the inmate roster or list of detainees at midnight after jail administrative staff book/process the inmate. Thus, a searcher may have to wait for the information on the website to reflect this status. The same applies to the Missouri Inmate Locator for state prison inmates.

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