Are North Dakota Inmate Records Public Information?
Pursuant to the North Dakota Open Records Act, inmate records are public information. As a result, the general public can access and inspect North Dakota inmate records via traditional government channels and third-party entities. However, N.D.C.C. Section 12-47-36 prohibits the disclosure of certain types of inmate records in North Dakota. Some examples of these records include inmates’ medical, psychological, and treatment records. Only specific entities detailed in the section can obtain these records. Some of these entities include the parole board, the criminal justice system, and the governor of North Dakota.
North Dakota Inmate Search
North Dakota inmate records are official documents containing an inmate's biodata and sentence information. Persons who obtain inmate records can expect to see the inmate's full name, identification number, birth date, charges, custody status, release date, and mugshot. This information is made available to interested persons per the North Dakota Open 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 means to 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.
One of the entities in charge of generating a North Dakota inmate record is the detention or correctional facility where the person who’s in custody is being held. These facilities, as well as law enforcement agencies, are also responsible for generating North Dakota inmate mugshots.
How to Find Someone in Jail in North Dakota
Individuals inquiring about how to find someone in jail can use the North Dakota Inmate Lookup portal (resident-lookup). The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (ND DOCR) maintains the portal. It is a searchable database containing details of incarcerated individuals held in North Dakota correctional facilities. These details include an inmate’s name, date of birth, expected release date, the holding facility details, and North Dakota mugshots. Hence, inquirers can review these details to find out what jail someone is in and other pertinent information about an inmate.
To use the portal, inquirers only need to provide the subject surname. Furthermore, interested persons can find out why someone is in jail by inspecting the inmate roster of the county where incarcerated individuals are held.
How to Perform a North Dakota Jail Inmate Search
Most counties allow the public access to perform an inmate search in North Dakota using an online inmate locator service on the local law enforcement agency's official website. For instance, Ward County Detention Center, North Dakota, allows interested persons to find a person in jail by clicking and downloading its jail roster, updated at midnight every day. Likewise, Cass County Jail provides an online list of persons in custody. Alternatively, persons who need to know how to find out if someone is in jail can contact the jail administrator or the Sheriff's office by phone, mail, or in person during business hours.
How to Get Approved to Visit an Inmate in North Dakota Prisons and Jails
All intending visitors to North Dakota correctional facilities must use the state's prison lookup tool to confirm the location of the inmate they wish to visit. Further, intending visitors must be on the inmate's approved visitor's list. Inmates must send out visiting applications for persons from whom they would want a visit. Applications must be fully completed, signed, and sent to the particular institution in which the inmate is housed. Potential visitors may send applications by mail, fax, or submit in person during business hours.
All applications are considered and approved or denied by the Control Officer within two weeks after the prison administrative staff completes a comprehensive background check. If approved, the visitor must present a valid, government-issued photo ID during visits. Instead of in-person visits, approved visitors may schedule a video visit by registering and scheduling on the video visit scheduling website. A remote video visitor must have an internet connection on their tablet, phone, or computer and a webcam. Video visits can be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., at least 24 hours before the visit.
Note that correctional facilities in North Dakota abide by strict dress codes for visitors and other applicable rules and regulations. Therefore, prospective visitors need to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations applicable to the institution they intend to visit.
How to Find a County Inmate Roster in North Dakota
Most North Dakota county inmate rosters are published on their respective county websites. Therefore, interested parties can locate a North Dakota county inmate roster by navigating to the appropriate official county website and typing "inmate roster" into the site's search bar. Some North Dakota County inmate rosters include the Stutsman County inmate roster, Ward County inmate locator, and Cass County jail roster. County inmate rosters are quite simple to use; they are published in list format, and inquirers can search for an inmate by name.
How to Send Money to Inmates in North Dakota Prisons and Jails
There are several options for sending money to an inmate in North Dakota, including:
- Online payment through JPay. The sender can do so by visiting the JPay website. For more information on how to send money through Jpay, the sender may follow the how-to guide or call (800) 574-5729 to Speak with an agent any day of the week.
- Mobile App payments are available on the JPay mobile App.
- Moneygram by using the Receive code 1304
- Money Orders. A sender can send money using the Money Order Deposit Form provided on the ND DOC website.
Senders must properly and completely fill out the form to ensure the money order is not returned to the inmate without payment. Money orders should be made payable to:
P.O. Box 822700
Pembroke Pines, FL 33082
North Dakota State Prisons and County Jails: Understanding the Difference
The North Dakota state prison and county jail system is one of the largest in the United States. It consists of over three state prisons and 23 county jails. The system houses incarcerated individuals in the state and can hold over 23,000 inmates at any given time. Serious offenders, such as those convicted of a felony or serving a life sentence, are housed in state prison facilities. Meanwhile, those convicted of lesser offenses, such as certain misdemeanors, and those who receive short sentences of less than a year are typically housed in county jails. Lifers (those serving life sentences) may also be transferred to a federally run out-of-state penitentiary facility.
The majority of inmates in the North Dakota state prison and county jail system are male, with females accounting for only about 10% of the total population. The average age of inmates is 35 years old.
Approximately 60% of all inmates in the North Dakota state prison and county jail system are serving time for non-violent offenses, such as drug crimes, property crimes, and public order offenses. The remaining 40% are incarcerated for more serious offenses, such as violent crimes, sex crimes, and homicide.
The North Dakota state prison and county jail system has a recidivism rate of about 50%. This means that about half of all inmates will be rearrested and incarcerated again within three years of their release. The state prison system is overseen by the North Dakota Department of Corrections. The department is responsible for the operation of all prisons and jails in the state, as well as the supervision of all offenders on probation or parole.
How to Perform a North Dakota Prison Inmate Search
The North Dakota DOCR provides an online resident lookup service that allows interested persons to perform a North Dakota prison inmate search. To initiate an inmate lookup:
- Visit the ND DOCR website
- Click the family and friends section on the homepage menu
- Type the inmate's name in the box provided.
While partial information, such as the first two letters of the inmate's last name, is acceptable, the agency advises that requesters fill in the inmate's name completely to narrow down the search results. Interested persons can also query third-party inmate record providers for a free inmate search by name. Although there are no federal prisons in North Dakota, anyone can look up inmates of federal prisons in neighboring states using the federal Bureau of Prison’s (BOP) federal inmate search tool.
How Do I Find Out a North Dakota Inmate Release Date?
Individuals who wish to find out a North Dakota inmate's release date may query the Department of Corrections online resident lookup service. This tool provides North Dakota inmate records, which contain all inmates' details - including their potential release date.
Facilities Operated by the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation serves as the primary agency with administrative powers over correctional institutions in North Dakota. It oversees four adult state prisons.
North Dakota State Penitentiary
3100 Railroad Avenue
P.O. Box 5521
Bismarck, ND 58506-5521
Phone: (701) 328-6100
James River Correctional Center
2521 Circle Drive
Jamestown, ND 58401
Phone: (701) 253-3660
Missouri River Correctional Center
1800 48th Avenue Southwest
Bismarck, ND 58506
P.O. Box 5521
Bismarck, ND 58506
Phone: (701) 328-9696
Dakota Women's Correctional and Rehabilitation Center
440 McKenzie Street
New England, ND 58647
Phone: (701) 579-5100