• Kyle Persaud

How to Do a Background Check: How to Find Prison Records and Sex Offender Records

Updated: Apr 26

This is the second of two posts on how to do a background check. In my previous post, I described how to find court records. In this post, I’ll explain how to locate prison records and sex offender records. NOTE: This information is correct as of April 25, 2022. Prison system websites and sex offender registries change frequently. If you encounter difficulty searching a prison record or sex offender registry, contact the appropriate state agency.


How to Find Prison Records in Oklahoma


The Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ Inmate Search website is very simple. All you have to do is go to this site: https://okoffender.doc.ok.gov/ and you can search by name, DOC number, or date of birth.


The site will then show you a list of names. If you click on the name, you will see the person’s photo, identifying information, and all the offenses for which the person has been in the custody of the Department of Corrections. Even if the person is not currently in custody, the website will show you his data if he has been in custody before.


You will also see when the person has served time in custody.


You will also see a list of the Oklahoma counties where the person has been convicted, and the case number of each court case, like this:



Once you have this list, you can look at the court record of each case, by entering the case number into OSCN or ODCR, which are the websites that publish court records in Oklahoma. To see how to use OSCN and ODCR, click here.


How To Find Prison Records in Other States


USA.gov has a list of the websites of the department of corrections in each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia. To see that list, click here:


https://www.usa.gov/corrections


Then, click on the website of the state where you want to find records. If you can’t figure out how to use the website, contact the department of corrections in that state.


How to Find Federal Prison Records


Click on the website of the Federal Bureau of Prisons:


https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/


The site will give you an option of “Find by Name” or “Find by Number.” Click on the appropriate search option and search for the inmate.


How to Research the Sex Offender Registry


To find sex offender records in Oklahoma, click on this website: https://sors.doc.ok.gov/ You can enter a variety of search terms.


To use the U.S. Department of Justice nationwide sex offender database, click here: www.nsopw.gov. This site displays records in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and Indian Country.


If you want to search sex offender data in a particular state, the FBI maintains a site with links to the sex offender registries of each state and territory (except American Samoa). This site also has links to the registries of a number of Indian tribes that post data on their sites. To use that site, click here: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/sex-offender-registry. Then click on the state or territory where you wish to search.