South Carolina Jails & Prisons

See South Carolina Jails & Prisons to locate and search free county, state, department of corrections (DOC), and federal prison inmate lookups, find inmate rosters, lists and public felony offender arrest records.



What are jails and prisons?

Jails and prisons are institutions that house people who have been charged with or convicted of crimes. Jails are operated by sheriffs and other local law enforcement agencies and hold inmates who have short sentences, or who are awaiting trial. In contrast, prisons are designed to house inmates with the worst inmate records who are serving lengthy sentences ranging from one year to life.

There are several types of jails. Juvenile halls are specially designed to hold criminals under the age of eighteen. Most local jails are operated by the country sheriff’s department. There are also city and county jails which hold local criminals with short sentences (usually less than one year) or those awaiting trial. If the facility releases an inmate on a bail bond, he or she may be allowed to reside at home until trial.

Prisons are designed to house and rehabilitate inmates serving lengthy sentences, such as those convicted of violent felony crimes who have serious court records. Inmates are classified according to their overall security levels. There are also several types of prisons, including state, federal, and private.

State governments operate prisons using taxpayer money to pay for security and other operating expenses. Federal prisons are maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and use federal tax money for their operations. Some prisons are also privately owned and operated by individuals or corporations for profit.

What do jails and prisons do?

Both jails and prisons are used to confine people considered a risk to the community, and document these instances through jail and prison inmate records. Jails and prisons also work to rehabilitate and educate offenders so they can become more productive citizens after release. Non-violent criminals are usually housed in minimum-security prisons.

They live in dormitories instead of cells and have some freedom to move around within the institution. Medium-security prisons hold criminal offenders who are considered somewhat more dangerous. And, maximum-security prisons are designed for inmates considered a serious threat to themselves or others. As a result, these prisons maintain strict security.

Where can I find jails and prisons in my area?

Inmates within prison systems may be moved from one prison to another, depending on space and security needs. If you wish to find an inmate, you can do so by using an online inmate lookup or locator that searches inmate roster databases. This information can show you where an inmate is currently housed, and when he or she will be released.

To perform an inmate search using an inmate locator, you'll need basic information about that prisoner including his or her name, date of birth, and inmate identification number. Using this information, you can usually find an inmate quickly. You can also discover arrest, criminal and court records through similar means.