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Washington Inmate Records

Washington inmate records are documents containing information on individuals incarcerated in correctional facilities in Washington. Persons who obtain these records can expect to see offenders’ non-confidential biodata, such as their name, gender, age, race, inmate number, and mugshot. These documents also provide administrative information about inmates’ offenses, incarceration, and release from correctional facilities. Interested persons may obtain inmate records per the Washington Public Records Act.

Inmate records are considered public in the United States and therefore are made available by both traditional governmental agencies as well as third-party websites and organizations. Third-party websites may offer an easier search, as these services do not face geographical limitations. However, because third-party sites are not government-sponsored, the information obtained through them may vary from official channels. To find inmate records using third-party aggregate sites, requesting parties must provide:

  • The location of the sought-after record, including state, county, and city where the inmate resides.
  • The name of the person listed in the record, unless it is a juvenile.

Facilities Operated by the Washington Department of Corrections

The Washington State Department of Corrections (WADOC) manages 12 minimum, medium, and maximum security prison facilities in the state of Washington. Persons who wish to obtain the physical address and contact information of these facilities may peruse the Washington state prisons directory. Besides state-run prisons, Washington also has several city, county, and regional jails managed by local law enforcement agencies. Police departments oversee city jails in Washington, while Sheriff’s Offices operate county jails. Regional jails serve multiple counties or groups of counties and cities.

How to Visit Inmates in Washington Prisons

The WADOC sets visitation rules and policies for state-run prisons in Washington. Individuals who wish to visit an inmate must be on the inmate’s visitor list. So, all intending visitors (adults and minors) must first complete and submit a visitor application. Adults applying on behalf of children must also complete and attach completed copies of DOC 20-441 Consent Form with the application.

This electronic application takes about one month to process, and applicants are informed in writing if denied. Individual visitors can only be on one inmate’s Approved Visitor List unless they are immediate family members of multiple inmates. Generally, adult visitors approved for visitation must submit a valid, government-issued photo ID during visits. Specific facility visitation rules are available on the prison visits page of the WADOC’s website.

Besides in-person applications, the WA DOC lets approved visitors schedule video visits remotely based on the WA DOC policy on video visitations. Note that video visits are only available for individuals on inmates’ approved visitor lists. Such visitors must schedule their visits through a registered JPay account. Video visits are scheduled in 30-minute sessions, which cost $7.95 each.

Local jails in Washington set their own rules for inmate visitation. Check on a county/city/regional jail’s website to find the facility’s policy and regulations for visitation. These web pages will also provide visitation days and times and steps required before and during visitations.

How Do I Send Money to Inmates in Washington Prisons?

The WADOC provides these three means of funding the accounts of inmates in Washington state prisons:

  • JPay
  • Western Union
  • Cashier’s Check or Money Order

Use JPay Send Money service to transfer money directly into an inmate’s trust account. Western Union also has a send money to an inmate page on its website. Simply select Washington Dept Corrections from the drop-down list of correctional facilities and choose a preferred method (online, in person, by phone, and through the mobile app). Other information required to send money to an inmate via Western Union are:

  • City Code: WA DOC
  • State Code: WA
  • Account Number: Inmate’s DOC number + Last Name

State prisons managed by WA DOC also accept cashier’s checks and money orders mailed to the specific facility’s address. The sender can choose to deposit the check or money order into any of the four sub-accounts held by an inmate: spendable, postage, medical, and education.

When sending a cashier’s check or money order, write the inmate’s full name and DOC number on the payee line and specify the sub-account you want to fund. Letters and documents sent along with the payment must also bear the inmate’s full name and DOC number. Also, write identifying information on the back of the envelope used to send the fund. For example, include the facility address where the inmate is held and a return address on the envelope.

Meanwhile, municipal jails in Washington allow friends and family members to fund inmates’ commissary accounts by various means. Most accept cash deposits at kiosks located in jail lobbies. These jails also accept checks and money orders mailed to the facility. Alternative payment methods include credit/debit card deposits online and by phone.

How to Perform a Washington Prison Inmate Search

The WADOC provides a Washington prison lookup tool to help the public locate incarcerated individuals in the facilities it manages. To perform an inmate lookup with this tool, enter their last name or DOC number. The DOC number is a six-digit identification number assigned to each inmate in Washington prisons. Another way to perform a free inmate search by name is to visit the WA DOC headquarters during business hours on regular days:

7345 Linderson Way Southwest
P.O. Box 41100
Olympia, WA 98504-1100
Phone: (360) 725-8213
Email: DOCCorrespondenceUnit@doc.wa.gov

How to Perform a Washington Jail Inmate Search

The most convenient way to perform an inmate search in Washington is to query a county or city website. Most counties or cities in Washington provide inmate locators on their websites to assist researchers that need to learn how to find out if someone is in jail. In addition, some publish regularly updated jail registries or inmate rosters. Such lists provide the names of inmates currently in custody and their personal information such as age, sex, and inmate numbers. To find a person in jail in a Washington city or county:

  • Visit the county/municipality official website
  • Find the web pages dedicated to the local law enforcement agency (Sheriff’s Office or Police Department)
  • Search the local law enforcement webpage for jail or inmate roster

The Difference between Washington State Prisons and County Jail

There are a total of 12 Washington state prisons and county jails. The two types of facilities differ in their purpose, function, and inmates. Prisons are managed by the state Department of Corrections and are intended for people who have been convicted of serious crimes. County jails are managed by local sheriff's departments and typically house people who have been arrested but not yet convicted of a crime, or people who have been convicted of less serious crimes.

There are several differences between prisons and county jails in Washington state. For example, prison sentences are typically much longer than jail sentences, so prisoners can expect to spend several years in a state prison, while most people who are jailed will only spend a few days or weeks in a county jail. In addition, prisons are typically much larger than jails, housing hundreds or even thousands of prisoners, while county jails typically only house a few dozen inmates. Finally, because prisons are intended for people who have been convicted of serious crimes, they tend to have more security features than county jails, such as high fences and multiple guard towers.

How Do I Find Out an Inmate Release Date?

The most convenient way to know when a Washington inmate is due for release is by using the WA DOC inmate search tool. With this tool, the public can find inmates and get their conviction information and potential release dates. Interested persons can also call or visit the correctional facility where the inmate is serving time.

Note, however, that release dates are often limited to the month and year, especially in sensitive cases. In such cases, the exact release date is only available to the inmate’s immediate family members, crime victims, attorneys, and authorized criminal justice officials.

Washington State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Outer walls and watchtower of Washington State Reformatory

The reformatory opened in 1910 that provide facilities for the reform and rehabilitation of young offenders who had been convicted of minor crimes.

  • There were over 1,240,000 reported violent crimes in the United States in 2017.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, approximately 3.4 million violent crimes went unreported.
  • Around 73 million (29.5%) of Americans have criminal records, many of which are eligible for sealing or expungement.
  • There were nearly 7.7 million property crimes in the United States in 2017. This represents a 3.6% decrease from the previous year.
  • Some newspapers have reported the cost of a public record can cost between $5 and $399,000.
  • In 2017, there were 1,920 presidential pardon requests. Of those, 142 were granted.