Iowa Inmate Search

Iowa Inmate Search

Iowa inmate search records are publicly made available by the State of Iowa, which includes information such as full name, date of birth, gender, race, mugshots, and/or criminal record. Iowa’s public record laws made these records possible to be accessed by the public through the department of corrections and other detention facilities.

How do I find an inmate in Iowa?

Individuals who are interested in an Iowa inmate search may utilize the Iowa Department of Corrections (IDOC) Inmate Search tool. This feature will help with providing personal information on current inmates in all state prisons and jails. To utilize the tool, individuals will be required to provide basic information regarding detainees such as name, gender, and offender number.

On top of locating the inmate, the inmate locator tool will also help provide additional information about the detainee which may include criminal record and charges. Inmate records that do not show up within the online archive can be requested directly from any facility.

Where are Iowa inmates housed?

Iowa inmates are housed according to a custody classification that takes into consideration their mental health needs, backgrounds, and associations. Iowa state prison inmates are housed accordingly between the nine adult correctional facilities operated by the IDOC.

The nine correctional institutions and their information are available below:

  1. Anamosa State Penitentiary
  2. Clarinda Correctional Facility
  3. Fort Dodge Correctional Facility
  4. Iowa Correctional Institution for Women
  5. Iowa Medical Classification Center
  6. Iowa State Penitentiary
  7. Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility
  8. Newton Correctional Facility
  9. North Central Correctional Facility

On the other hand, county jails and detention centers across Iowa state are operated by the local law enforcement agencies. Most of these facilities act as temporary detention centers for people awaiting parole, the conviction of sentencing; that being said, they often operate as minimum-security jails, housing inmates convicted of committing misdemeanor crimes. Most high populated counties are famous for having county jails with a large inmate capacity, such as Marshall County Jail, Polk County Jail, Woodbury County Jail, Scott County Jail, Linn County Jail, Pottawattamie County Jail, and many more. Among these counties, the three most popular Iowa county jails based on inmate populations are:

Polk County Jail

This county jail is located in the city of Des Moines, in the most populated county in Iowa, Polk County. The facility currently has a capacity of 2,500 inmates and houses both federal inmates as well as local inmates. The current daily inmate population in Polk County Jail is approximately 1000 inmates. Inmates are assessed and housed in separate areas based on their committed crimes, risk assessment, and behavior.

Linn County Jail

The jail is the only jail in Linn County with a maximum capacity of housing 401 inmates. This facility holds detainees awaiting trials for state, county, and local offenses and serving time. Currently, this county, under the supervision of Sheriff Brian D. Gardner, houses 340 inmates consisting of federal inmates and state inmates waiting for trials.

Scott County Jail

The Scott County Jail located in Davenport, Iowa, has a maximum inmate capacity of 324 people. The current jail inmates in custody are at an approximate daily average of 290 inmates excluding federal inmates. The Scott County Jail incarcerate both pre-trial detainees and post-conviction inmates sentenced to one year or less by the Scott County Court System.

How do you contact an inmate in Iowa?

There are two ways of contacting an incarcerated person in Iowa correctional facilities.

Contacting inmates through phone calls

In order to contact inmates via phone services, individuals need to download and complete the Offender Telephone Services Form provided. A minimum of $20 deposit for pre-paid phone credits must be included during the submission. The completed form, along with the pre-paid deposit must be submitted to the following address:

IDOC Offender Telephone Accounts

Post Office Box 1417

Fort Madison, Iowa 52627

Approved individuals can call 319-372-5432 extension 41821# on weekdays between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Individuals are required to understand and abide by the Phone Call policy prepared by the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Contacting inmates through mail

Contacting an inmate through mails is only allowed by regular U.S. mail or using the approved online vendor. Letters will be thoroughly inspected by jail staff for their content for safety purposes, therefore before sending a mail-out to an inmate, please read the Mail Policy provided by the IDOC to ensure mail will not be declined.

The envelope must follow the following format:

Offender’s Name and IDOC ID Number

Facility Name

Facility Address

City, State, Zip Code

The approved vendor, CorrLinks also provides an online messaging platform for individuals to contact inmates. Each mail sent will cost 0.25 cents and is limited to only 13,000 characters or 100 lines only. Individuals will need to deposit money in the offender’s account in order for them to reply.

How to contact the Iowa Department of Corrections?

The Iowa Department of Corrections can be contacted through their Central Office phone number 515-725-5701 or fill the Contact Us form on the IDOC website to inquire general questions.

Individuals with an open records request (aka FOIA), or data requests can further their inquiry at [email protected]

How do you find out the release date of an inmate in Iowa?

An Iowa inmate’s record, including their release date, can be found using the Inmate Search feature provided on the Iowa DOC website. If no information is available, individuals may request for prisoner’s information directly from their facility.

Can I send a care package to an inmate in Iowa?

To uphold the security level of the facility, food, and other additional items are only to be sent via the offender care package program. This program, however, will only be available during the holidays. More information regarding care packages for Iowa inmates can be found on the Iowa Prison Industries website.

Individuals can also opt to deposit funds into an inmate’s account so that they may purchase their additional items from the commissary.

What can you send inmates in Iowa prisons?

Send mail to inmates in Iowa

All incarcerated persons in Iowa facilities are able to send and receive letters through regular U.S. mail services. However, all mail going in and out of jail will be open, read, and inspected for safety reasons, with the exception of confidential mail. Confidential mail needs to be marked ‘Confidential’ on the envelope.

Send photos to inmates in Iowa

Inmates are only allowed to have a maximum of 10 photos in their possession. Photo sent to inmates must be non-Polaroid and non-instant with size no larger than 4” × 6”. All photos cannot have any violent or sexual element of any kind.

Send money to inmates in Iowa

All inmates will have access to their personal offender account. Sending inmate money will require a person to provide information about the detainee, such as their full name, ID number, as well as their housing location. Money deposited into the inmate’s account can be used to purchase items at the facility commissary. The commissary will have items such as stamped envelopes, food, clothes, electronics, hygiene items, and other pre-approved items.

There are four ways individuals can send money to an inmate in Iowa:


The walk-in method can be done at various places including

  1. MoneyGram (using the received code 6185)
  2. Western Union (Pay to ‘Iowa Dept. of Corrections’, Code City ‘IOWADOC’, State ‘IA’, and the Account number is the offender ID followed by the last name of an inmate with no space in between),
  3. Ace Cash Express
  4. CashPayToday


The online deposits can be done through a few different services which are: CorrLinks, Jpay, AccessCorrections, and Western Union. These services allow users to use a debit a credit card to deposit money, and each has respective fee charges for the transfer.


The following services offer fund deposit through phone calls at a certain fee:

  1. Access Corrections: 1-866-345-1884
  2. JPay: 1-800-574-5729
  3. Western Union: 1-800-634-3422


The most cost-efficient way to send money to an inmate in Iowa is through the mail. Individuals can use a money order or cashier’s check paid to ‘IDOC Offender Fiduciary Account’. The sender will be required to provide the inmate’s full name and ID number along with the sender’s full name and address. The money order is to be sent to the following address:

IDOC Offender Fiduciary Account

1500 L Street, Suite B

Fort Dodge, IA 50501

How do I apply for Visitation of an inmate in Iowa?

The state of Iowa prisons and jails allow individuals to visit an inmate given that they are listed in the inmate’s visiting list. To apply for this, inmates or interested visitors need to download, complete, and submit the Visitor’s Application form to the Central Visiting Authority.

A visitor who has successfully applied and given approval may proceed with the visiting schedule with the inmate’s facility administration. Approved individuals are advised to contact the facility to ensure that the prisoner they wish to see is available for a visit prior to going to the prisons. Visitors can check the visiting schedule of each facility on the Iowa Department of Corrections website.

With the current pandemic situations, some jails and prisons are only allowing video visitation of inmates. Therefore, interested visitors are required to contact the facility where inmates are currently housed to inquire about their status. Contact information on the state of Iowa correctional facilities can be obtained on the IDOC website. Video visitation information and the process can be further read on the link provided by IDOC.

Aside from friends and family visiting, the victim of the incarcerated person can also request to visit given that they contact the Office of Victim and Restorative Justice Programs of IDOC, and follow the provided procedures.

What are the Visitation rules?

Despite each prison and jail having their own visitation rules, the visiting policy introduced by the Iowa Department of Corrections acts as the basic guidelines for visitors to abide by. It will be the full responsibility of visitors and inmates to read the guidelines prepared by IDOC as well as the involved facility to ensure all rules can be complied with during visitation, whether physically or virtually.

  1. The visitation rules include, but is not limited to;
  2. During the visit, before admission, each visitor will be required to display a valid photo identification card.
  3. All visitors will be subjected to a security search by trained correctional staff.
  4. All visiting minors will require a parent or legal guardian on the visiting list of inmates to accompany them during their visits.
  5. Visitors shall be properly attired before entering any correctional facility.
  6. No electronic devices are allowed during the visit.
  7. Inmates and visitors are not allowed to exchange any materials without the specific approval of the Shift Supervisors.
  8. Visiting privileges may be denied, modified, or terminated if visitors or inmates are caught not complying with the policy stated.