The United States jails a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world.
In this country we have a system of incarceration which varies from city-to-city, town-to-town, county-to-county, state-to-state, and then there is the Federal Prison system. In short, an arrest and jailing of a person in one part of the country may look entirely different than in another part; the process varies as well. Before the internet, it was harder to find a person in jail without a lot of telephone calls and maybe even a letter or two. Today, the internet has made it easier, but not as much so as you might believe. The web pages of the people who incarcerate our friends and relatives is a hodge-podge of information which may, or may not, help you find someone. At American Jailhouse, the staff has reviewed hundreds of web pages of the places where Americans are confined. It is not uncommon to find a web page that resembles a high-school yearbook rather that a page of information on how you can find someone, bond them out of jail or visit or receive a phone call from them if you can’t spring them from the jaws of incarceration. At American Jailhouse, we’ve found plenty of jails that fail to even list their address and phone number. I’m not sure how you can bond someone out of jail if you can’t locate the jail or call them.
At American Jailhouse our staff goes to each website and digs deep to find any available information regarding the fastest and easiest way you can find someone, receive a call from someone, visit someone and follow the rules while doing so, put money on their “commissary” or “canteen” account, or how to bond them out if it is possible.
A word about bail and bonds here; whatever the term is in various jurisdictions, it usually means posting cash or property to ensure the accused persons return to court. Bail-Bonding companies make their livelihood from posting these bonds for you by charging someone a percentage of the bail/bond. Most jurisdictions would rather discuss having an ingrown toenail removed than discuss where and how to find a bonding company. We hope to add bonding information to our site in the near future. When we discover the rare webpage that has it, we’ve included it on our pages.
Our site is a navigation tool. We provide direct links, where it is possible, to the pages you are looking for. It you want to find an inmate locator at a certain jail, we direct you to that page so you don’t have to look through an organizational chart, the latest promotions, or the upcoming Sheriff’s bicycle rodeo. We hope American Jailhouse is a resource for a broad spectrum of people, not just those with friends or relatives in jail. Attorneys, courts, and law enforcement should find our pages easier and quicker to navigate than sifting through a huge agency’s web page.
Bad news is always hard to swallow; when you get the call that a loved one or a friend is in jail, do you know what to do next?
Figuring out “why” someone has been incarcerated may take some time, so focus on a couple of other questions first.
Where are they incarcerated? Choose a state and select the jurisdiction. If you know a city, the person is likely in the county jail as there are more county jails than city/municipal jails. American Jailhouse boils down the websites of Sheriff’s and Corrections websites and gives you what you need to know. Where is the Jail? What is the phone number? How do I get my friend or relative out of jail. If I can’t get them out, how can I visit them? Can they call me? How much is all of this going to cost me? What is a bond? How do I find a bonding company? Where has their car been towed to?
A word here about interacting with the men and women who work in our places of confinement; it is a tough, repetitive job. They see the same things day in and day out. They hear the same questions over and over. Be patient with these folks and remember this, you catch more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar.
The staff at American Jailhouse has experience on both sides of the fence. We have legal backgrounds, law enforcement backgrounds, and we have had friends and family land in jail. We understand both sides of the incarceration coin.
The staff at American Jailhouse is adding jails and information and improving the site daily. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please contact us and let us know how we are doing and what we can do to improve our services to you.