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Michigan Inmate Records

Michigan inmate records are documents containing official identification and administrative information of individuals held in correctional facilities in Michigan. Information in these documents includes inmate names, genders, ages, identification numbers, and booking photos. Besides these, interested persons may also obtain details of offenses, incarceration, and release. Per the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, inmate records are open for public inspection unless restricted or released only to authorized parties.

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 Michigan Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) oversees the operations of the state prisons in Michigan. Its mandate also includes monitoring the probation and parole population. It currently administers 30 state prisons and a Special Alternative Incarceration (SAI) Facility. For more information about each of these facilities, follow the links provided in the Alphabetical List of Michigan Prisons.

The MDOC calls state prisons correctional facilities and classifies them into five levels according to inmate security risk and ease of managing the individuals incarcerated in these facilities. Level I prisons house inmates that pose the least risk, irrespective of their crimes, and are the easiest to manage. Level V facilities hold prisoners that pose maximum security risk and management problems.

The Special Alternative Incarceration Facility is under the administration of the Cooper Street Correctional Facility, one of the major prisons in the Michigan Correctional System. Unlike a regular prison, the SAI facility is a military-style boot camp and a Level I facility. This prison alternative runs a 90-day regimented program for individuals sentenced to the facility. Furthermore, these individuals are referred to as trainees rather than inmates or prisoners. The SAI facility teaches self-discipline and helps trainees change their negative behaviors to socially acceptable ones and acquire and apply rewarding skills/education.

Besides state-run correctional facilities, there are also county and city jails in Michigan. County detention and correctional facilities include jails, youth facilities, boot camps, work releases, and juvenile centers/homes. Local jails and other correctional facilities in Michigan counties are usually run by sheriff’s offices. Some Michigan towns and cities also have local jails managed by their police departments.

How Do I Send Money to an Inmate in Michigan Prisons or Jails?

The MDOC uses a fund processing vendor to accept funds on behalf of inmates in Michigan state prisons. Currently, it contracts this task to GTL Financial Services. There are four ways to send money to an inmate in a Michigan prison. These are by:

  • Money order sent to GTL lockbox
  • Credit/debit card deposit online
  • Credit/debit card deposit by phone
  • Card and cash deposit at select facilities

To send a money order to an inmate in a Michigan state prison, make the money order payable to GTL Financial Services and send it along with a completed deposit form (Spanish version) to:

GTL Financial Services
5700 SW 34th Street
Suite 1315
Gainesville, FL 32609-2835

Each money order deposit must not exceed $300 in value. GTL does not charge processing fees on money orders sent to Michigan inmates. However, it does charge processing fees for credit/debit card deposits made online at ConnectNetwork or by phone at (888) 988-4768. It also credits $1 from each transaction to the Prisoner Benefit Fund. Both fees also apply when making cash and credit/debit card deposits at GTL kiosks located in the lobbies of some of Michigan state prisons.

County/city/township jails in Michigan use different vendors for handling inmate fund deposits. Visit the local jail’s page on the municipality’s website to find out approved methods of sending money to inmates in the facility. Most of these local jails accept cash and credit/card deposits at lobby kiosks, online, and by phone. Some also allow friends and family members to send money orders and checks by mail.

How to Visit Inmates in Michigan Prisons

Before visiting an inmate in prison, the intended visitor must confirm that the inmate is currently incarcerated at that facility using the prison lookup tool. Next, the individual must be approved by the MDOC and placed on the inmate’s visiting list. Each inmate must complete a visiting list form identifying their immediate family members and up to 10 other individuals they want visiting them. Each of these named prospective visitors must then complete and submit a visiting application form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to receive a reply notifying them of the status of their application.

Approved visitors can visit inmates during the visitation days and times for each facility per the MDOC’s visiting schedule (Spanish). Before visiting an inmate in a Michigan state prison, it is also important to also read the MDOC visiting standards (Spanish) for visitation rules and regulations. Michigan local jails have varying sets of rules and schedules for inmate visitation. To find out specific regulations and visitation times for a local jail, check the county sheriff's official website.

Note that a Michigan correctional facility may restrict all visits on short notice in the event of a communicable disease going through the prison population. In such cases, prisoners are quarantined to prevent the spread of the disease.

How to Perform a Michigan Prison Inmate Search

The MDOC provides an inmate lookup tool known as the Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS). Interested persons may use the tool to perform a free inmate search by name. Besides using OTIS for a Michigan prison inmate search, a searcher can also use the tool to obtain records of offenders on parole or probation supervised by the MDOC. Michigan law requires the MDOC to keep inmate records on OTIS for up to three years after their release. You can search the OTIS database by offender name, MDOC number, sex, age, race, and status.

How to Perform a Michigan Jail Inmate Search

Each county/city/town jail in Michigan keeps its own database of inmates currently in custody and recently released. Generally, the Sheriff’s Office can assist parties to find out if someone is in jail. Some Sheriff’s Offices also maintain a dedicated county jail webpage, which the public can use to find a person in jail. Where these are unavailable, interested persons can visit the Sheriff’s Office to perform an inmate search in Michigan county jails. Alternatively, contact the sheriff’s office or police department by calling the administrative main phone lines to enquire about inmate status and records.

The Difference between Michigan State Prisons and County Jail

There are 83 state prisons and county jails in Michigan. The state prison population is about 38,000, while the county jail population is about 10,000.

Most of the state prisons are operated by the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), although a few are privately operated. MDOC also operates a number of juvenile facilities. The largest prison in Michigan is the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, with a capacity of 2,200 inmates.

The majority of county jails in Michigan are located in the Lower Peninsula, with only a handful in the Upper Peninsula. The largest county jail is the Wayne County Jail, with a capacity of over 3,000 inmates.

Michigan has a relatively high incarceration rate, at 655 per 100,000 residents. This is due in part to the state's tough sentencing laws, which mandate long prison terms for many offenses. For example, Michigan has a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for first-degree murder.

How Do I Find Out an Inmate Release Date?

Individuals who wish to obtain information about an inmate’s release date may use the inmate search tool to find the inmate. The release date is available on the status column and date paroled column under the search results.

How Do I Find Out Where Someone is Incarcerated in Michigan?

Inmate release dates are public information unless a court seals this information following proof or petition that making the information public poses a significant threat to the inmate. In that case, only immediate family members, crime victims, attorneys, and authorized criminal justice agency officials will have access to the inmate’s release date.

Michigan 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.

Aerial view of Charles Egeler Reception & Guidance Center (RGC)

Charles Egeler Reception & Guidance Center, opened in 1988, is a reception and guidance center within the Michigan Department of Corrections responsible for the admission and processing of all adult male offenders.

  • 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.