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Maricopa County Inmate Search

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Maricopa County Inmate Search

Maricopa County Public Records are made accessible to the public per Arizona Public Records laws. Pursuant to the law’s provisions, interested members of the public may perform an inmate search and be provided with details of an arrestee’s location, offense, and penalty (where applicable).

Arrests are usually initiated after probable cause has been established. Per Article 7 of the Arizona Criminal Code, an arrest can occur with or without a warrant and can be performed by private citizens or peace officers.

Individuals arrested in Maricopa County are booked into jail. Booking registers the alleged offender in the criminal justice system for a particular offense. During the booking process, the arrestee will be asked for identifying information, including their full name, address, and date of birth. They will also be fingerprinted and photographed if no record exists in relation to the offense.

Within 24 hours of any arrest in Maricopa County, the arrestee is taken before a magistrate or justice of the peace for their initial appearance (a court hearing where the court reads the charges to the defendant, sets release terms and conditions, sets the next court date, among other actions). Individuals issued a grand jury summons or citation for an offense must also attend an initial appearance or risk the issuance of an arrest warrant. After the initial appearance occurs, the defendant will partake in the criminal justice process in which the court will decide, based on evidence and law, if the defendant should be sentenced (imprisoned, fined, placed on probation, etc.) or acquitted.

Persons whose offenses led to an incarceration sentence may be confined at the county or state level. County inmates are usually those serving short-term sentences. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) supervises these inmates. Anyone who wants to look up Maricopa County inmates or carry out a Maricopa County inmate search in any of the county's five jails can contact the sheriff's office. On the other hand, inmates sent to the state prison system are those with long-term incarceration sentences. Such individuals are supervised by the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry (ADCRR).

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.

Maricopa County Crime and Incarceration Statistics

The Arizona Revised Statutes ("ARS") outline multiple criminal offenses that can result in a person's prosecution in the court system and sentencing to a correctional facility. According to the sheriff's office, county attorney's office, and Department of Safety, individuals may be arrested or charged in Maricopa County for offenses such as:

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Drug Offenses
  • Assault and Related Offenses
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Theft
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Family Offenses/Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Offenses
  • Vandalism
  • Weapons and Explosives
  • Fraud
  • Identity Theft

Each year, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office processes about 100,000 bookings. Specifically, in 2021, 73,550 persons were booked into the county jail system (approximately 19% more than the number booked in 2020). Males constitute the greater inmate population (typically over 70%, per the latest Maricopa County Criminal Justice System Report). Interested individuals may send a public records request to the county sheriff's office for more comprehensive arrest and incarceration statistics.

Maricopa County Prison System

The Maricopa prison system, considered the fourth largest in the United States, consists of five jail facilities managed by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office:

  • Fourth Avenue Jail:

Opened in 2005, this jail facility has roughly 2,064 beds and 1,152 cells (288 beds are reserved for inmates with the highest security classification). It is the most secure jail facility in Maricopa County. It houses the highest security inmates, including male maximum-security general population inmates, medium-security general population inmates, sentenced maximum/medium-security working male inmates, and closed custody inmates.

  • Estrella Jail:

The Estrella Jail is a female-only correctional institution with a capacity of approximately 1,503 inmates. It holds all classifications of sentenced and unsentenced female inmates, including administrative no work, administrative restrictive housing, closed custody, and minimum/medium/maximum-security general population female inmates. The jail was constructed in 1991.

  • Lower Buckeye Jail (LBJ):

With a capacity of about 2,427 inmates, the Lower Buckeye Jail is the largest detention facility in Arizona. It is primarily an all-male facility, but the Mental Health Unit and Medical Infirmary of the jail accommodate female inmates. The Mental Health Unit has a 255-bed capacity, and the Infirmary has a 60-bed capacity. The jail also contains and operates a fully accredited high school for juvenile offenders. Like the 4th Avenue Jail, the Lower Buckeye Jail was built in 2005.

  • Towers Jail:

The Towers Jail is a 720-bed facility that houses the medium-security male general population. Built in 1982, it is the oldest-running jail facility in Maricopa County and has the lowest inmate capacity in the county's prison system. Many inmates sent to the Towers Jail are either awaiting trial or sentencing.

  • Watkins Jail:

Among other jails in the Maricopa County jail system, the Watkins jail is the most recently constructed (opened in 2020). It is an ultramodern facility with a maximum capacity of 1,600 inmates. It houses medium- and minimum-security general population male inmates.

Other facilities within the Maricopa County jail system include:

  • Intake, Transfer, and Release Division (ITR):

The ITR Division accepts and processes new arrestees and persons remanded by the Superior Court, Justice Court, and City Court. The Division also processes all releases from the Maricopa County jail system, and staff ensure that new detainees have their initial appearance within 24 hours of their arrests. In 2021, the ITR processed 68,687 releases and 73,550 bookings. The ITR has an attached 512-bed facility and a transportation hub.

  • 512 Facility:

The 512 is a temporary holding facility built in 2020 for short-term stay (72 hours or less, but inmates have a maximum stay of five days). The facility is used as an intermediary between the jails and the ITR Division to house inmates undergoing the ITR's intake process. It also helps the sheriff's office reduce detainee transport.

  • Transportation Hub:

The ITR's transportation hub is used for the coordinated, safe, and efficient conveyance of defendants and inmates through the jail system.

According to the annual reports circulated by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the average daily population of the five jails in 2021 was approximately 6,000. The 4th Avenue Jail had the highest inmate population at roughly 1,525 inmates.

How to Find an Inmate in Maricopa County

In Maricopa County, one public body primarily houses arrested or incarcerated individuals: the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. Anyone who wishes to find an inmate in Maricopa County has these options:

  • Call the sheriff's office jail information line at (602) 876-0322
  • Use the sheriff's online inmate locator (explained below)
  • If known, contact the initial arresting agency or the attorney representing the arrestee

How Does a Maricopa County Inmate Search Work?

The public viewing or copying of inmate records in Maricopa County is authorized under the Arizona Public Records Law. Under this statute, members of the public can request a search of inmate records held at law enforcement and corrections departments in Arizona; these agencies are required to furnish such records unless doing so will violate a law. For example, A.R.S. §31-221(C) restricts certain records about a prisoner's care and custody from being disclosed to the public. This includes records that will jeopardize a criminal investigation, records whose release will endanger a person's life or physical safety, and records that reveal a confidential informant's identity.

Notwithstanding statutory limitations, individuals who perform a Maricopa County inmate search can usually obtain the following information:

  • An inmate's name
  • Date of birth
  • Booking number and date
  • Arresting agency
  • Arrest date and time
  • Holding facility
  • The presiding court's name and location
  • Court case number
  • Bond amount
  • Court disposition
  • Next court appearance date
  • Offense description
  • Sentence information (which may include a release date)

Where to Find a Maricopa County Inmate Locator

Individuals looking for an inmate locator in Maricopa County can find one on the county sheriff's website. This web tool generates information about inmates in all five jails in Maricopa County. Here's how to search for an inmate with the MCSO's locator:

  • Visit the sheriff's Inmate Information site.
  • Enter one of the two search criteria:
    • A booking number (set of digits that uniquely identifies someone held at a jail facility), or
    • An inmate's last name, first name, and date of birth
  • Answer the CAPTCHA challenge.
  • Click "Search".

If the inmate's details are not displayed in the search results, it may mean that the individual has been released or transferred to another jurisdiction. To find an inmate transferred to a state prison facility, one can access the Inmate Data Search site maintained by the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry to search with a name or ADC number. However, if the individual in custody was sent to a federal prison, the inquirer should query the Federal Inmate Locator offered by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Likewise, persons in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) custody can be searched for using the Online Detainee Locator System.

The trick to finding an inmate locator is determining the custodial agency (the agency having custody or supervision over an arrested or confined person). Afterward, one can check that agency's website for a locator. Often, the custodial agency is the local law enforcement agency or jail stationed where the crime occurred.

A person may also find an inmate locator on a website managed by a public records provider. For such third-party sites, an inmate's name and state of incarceration are the primary search criteria, although certain websites may have an offender ID number search field. However, a requester may be charged a small fee for the search results. Each public records provider offers different pricing.

How to Send Money to a Maricopa County Inmate

Anyone who wants to send money to a Maricopa County inmate must deposit via an authorized vendor. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office does not accept cash or checks for such transactions.

Altogether, there are four ways by which an individual may fund an inmate's account in Maricopa County using the third-party vendor's service:

  • Online
  • Via telephone
  • At cash kiosks located in each jail facility, and
  • At select retail locations

Individuals visiting a jail facility's main lobby to use a cash kiosk (and anyone funding an account with other methods) will require an inmate's name or booking number. Payment at the kiosks can be made with cash or a VISA/MasterCard debit or credit card. Money sent via the kiosks typically takes one hour to reflect in an inmate's account.

Other inmate account deposit options (including kiosk addresses) can be obtained from the county sheriff's website.

How to Visit a Maricopa County Inmate

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office provides onsite and remote video visitation for members of the public who want to visit an inmate incarcerated in a Maricopa County jail.

Remote Video Visitation

To visit a Maricopa County inmate remotely, a person must possess a valid email address, which they must use to create an account and sign in on an authorized provider's website. (The email address is where visitation updates will be forwarded.) Remote video visits occur daily, cost 25 cents per minute, and can last up to 30 minutes for each session. Additional information is available on the vendor's site.

Onsite Video Visitation

Presently, onsite video visits are not offered to the public at the Maricopa County jails. However, attorneys, medical officials, case managers, and other professionals whose video visits should not be recorded or charged are provided onsite video visitation at an MCSO Visitation Center in the 4th Avenue Jail or Lower Buckeye Jail. Such visitors must present a government-issued ID or State Bar card at the jail to confirm their identity.

Anyone visiting an inmate via remote or onsite video must comply with specific rules and regulations, including:

  • Each visitor must be 18 years or older. Underage visitors must be accompanied on-screen by an adult throughout the visit.
  • All visitors and inmates must be identifiable during a visit session. Otherwise, the visit may be canceled, and restrictions/disciplinary action may be imposed.
  • Video visits, except privileged ones, may be recorded or monitored.
  • Objects in the visitor's residence (e.g., furniture) may be visible in the background.
  • Self-stimulation, nudity, or any sexual activity is prohibited.
  • Visitors and inmates must remain properly and fully dressed throughout the visit. Prohibited clothing includes see-through attire, sheer blouses, tank tops, excessively tight or revealing clothing, clothing displaying gang symbols or drugs, swimming attire, and no headwear (unless it is an approved religious headwear worn properly).
  • Visitors cannot take a photo or video recording of an inmate. Nor can an inmate request to be recorded or photographed.
  • No additional cell phones or electronic devices are allowed during a visit.
  • No other inmate besides the one being visited can participate during the session.
  • Visitors can only see the inmate they scheduled to visit. It is not possible to visit any other inmate or visit more than one inmate simultaneously.
  • Verbal abuse or disrespect during a visit is not allowed and will lead to visit termination.

Any visitor who violates a rule will have their session canceled and their account suspended for 30 days by the MCSO staff. The violation may also lead to further prohibition from visiting an inmate in a Maricopa County jail, and the inmate involved may face disciplinary action. An individual whose video visitation account was suspended due to an error can appeal the sanction; the submission procedure and application form are provided on the sheriff's video visitation suspension page.

Generally, individuals are advised to check the sheriff's inmate visitation page periodically for updates to the visiting guidelines. One may also call the sheriff's office for these details.

How to Send Jail Mail in Maricopa County

All mail sent to inmates confined in a Maricopa County jail must be addressed thus:

Inmate's Name and Booking Number
Lower Buckeye Jail
3250 West Lower Buckeye Road
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Maricopa County inmates can generally receive postcards, books, newspapers, photographs, and magazines. However, all non-legal mail must be standard postcards (metered postage or USPS stamps). Furthermore, senders must adhere to specific guidelines, which include:


  • The minimum size of an acceptable postcard is 3.5 x 4.25 inches, and the maximum is 4.25 x 6 inches.
  • All postcards must be written in black or blue ink.
  • Altered or defaced postcards are not accepted, nor are postcards with plastic(s) or wrapping(s).
  • Postcards must not be contaminated in any way, including by stains, perfume, watermarks, lipstick, etc.
  • Postcards must not depict criminal activity, gang activity or business, nudity, or weapons.

Books, magazines, and newspapers

An inmate can only receive books and subscription publications from a publisher. All books sent to the jail must carry an invoice or shipping manifest. Further, the books must be softcover (hardcovers, leather, and spiral-bound publications are prohibited). Pornographic books or books that may threaten the safety or security of the jail are also prohibited. Senders should note that an inmate may only have one newspaper, three books, and five magazines at any time.


The MCSO imposes a limit of five photographs per mail sent to an inmate. Photographs must not be larger than 4 x 6 inches and must be mailed to an inmate in an envelope clearly marked as "Photographs". The back of each photograph must bear the receiver's (the inmate's) name and booking number. No other text should be written on the photograph, nor should any photograph depict criminal activity, gang activity or business, nudity, or weapons. Inmates at the Maricopa County jails can possess an unlimited number of photographs.

Additional mailing guidelines and restrictions can be obtained from MCSO staff at (602) 876-1000.

Maricopa County Jails and Prisons

Below is the address and contact information list of the jails and prisons in Maricopa County, Arizona.

County Jails

4th Avenue Jail
201 South 4th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: (602) 876-0322

Estrella Jail
2939 West Durango Road
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Phone: (602) 876-0322

Lower Buckeye Jail
3250 West Lower Buckeye Road
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Phone: (602) 876-0322

Towers Jail
3127 West Gibson Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Phone: (602) 876-0322

Watkins Jail
2680 South 28th Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Phone: (602) 876-0322

State Prisons

Arizona State Prison Complex, Phoenix
2500 E Van Buren Street
Phoenix, AZ 85008
Phone: (602) 685-3100

Phoenix West Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility (privately-run prison facility)
3402 West Cocopah
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Phone: (602) 352-0350

Federal Prisons

FCI Phoenix
37900 North 45th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85086
Phone: (623) 465-9757