What are Minnesota Inmate Records?
Minnesota inmate records are a compilation of official data on offenders held in correctional facilities in Minnesota. Generally, inmate records provide general information such as the inmate's name, registration number, birth date, sex, and other non-confidential biodata. Persons who obtain inmate records can also expect to see sentencing information, such as the type and class of offense, the county in which the case was tried, and the location of the facility holding the inmate. This information is open for public inspection per the Minnesota Government Data Practices 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 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.
Facilities Operated by the Minnesota Department of Corrections
The Minnesota Department of Corrections (MN DOC) oversees 13 facilities with varying security classes. Minnesota state prisons generally hold persons convicted for felony offenses and sentenced to serve more than one year in a correctional facility.
This list contains the physical addresses and contact information of correctional facilities in Minnesota:
Minnesota Correctional Facility – Faribault (Medium security)
1101 Linden Lane
Faribault, MN 55021
Phone: (507) 334-0700
Minnesota Correctional Facility - Lino Lakes (Medium and minimum security)
7525 Fourth Avenue
Lino Lakes, MN 55014
Phone: (651) 717-6100
Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights (maximum and close custody)
5329 Osgood Avenue North
Stillwater, MN 55082
Phone: (651) 779-1400
Minnesota Correctional Facility - Red Wing
1079 Highway 292
Red Wing, MN 55066
Phone: (651) 267-3600
Minnesota Correctional Facility - Rush City
7600 - 525th Street
Rush City, MN 55069
Phone: (320) 358-0400
Minnesota Correctional Facility - Shakopee
1010 West Sixth Avenue
Shakopee, MN 55379
Phone: (952) 496-4440
Minnesota Correctional Facility - St. Cloud
2305 Minnesota Boulevard
St. Cloud, MN 56304
Phone: (320) 240-3000
Minnesota Correctional Facility – Stillwater (close and minimum security)
970 Pickett Street
Bayport, MN 55003
Phone: (651) 779-2700
Minnesota Correctional Facility – Togo (minimum security)
62741 Co. Rd 551
Togo, MN 55723
Phone: (218) 376-7878
Minnesota Correctional Facility - Moose Lake (minimum security)
1000 Lake Shore Drive
Moose Lake, MN 55767
Phone: (218) 485-5000
Minnesota Correctional Facility - Willow River (minimum security boot camp)
86032 County Highway 61
Willow River, MN 55795
Phone: (218) 372-3101
How to Send Money to an Inmate in Minnesota Prison and Jail
The MN DOC allows money to be sent to inmates for personal use, such as buying toiletries and snacks. A person who is not incarcerated or in another treatment facility in Minnesota can send funds to an inmate through an electronic funds transfer or by mailing a money order or cashier's check. Note: if parties send funds in violation of MN DOC policy, the funds are subject to being placed on hold. Parties must know the incarcerated person's ID number to send funds, regardless of the individual's chosen method.
Funds may be sent electronically using four methods:
- Visiting the J-Pay website
- Calling (800) 574-5729
- Downloading the JPay Mobile application
- Using MoneyGram (receive code 1270)
Individuals who wish to send cash to inmates can find more information about using MoneyGram. Funds sent via electronic transfer are subject to fees, while funds sent via money order or cashier's check are not. Parties who opt to send a money order or cashier's check must first complete a money order deposit form. Funds sent by money order may take up to 10 days to process. Parties can call (800) 574-5729 for more assistance in completing this process. Checks must be made out to:
P.O. Box 246450
How to Visit an Inmate in Minnesota Prison and Jail
Interested parties must first use the prison lookup tool to find where the inmate is currently serving time. Next, they must apply to visit and schedule visitations ahead of time by calling the facility or using the facility's online scheduling tool. Intending visitors must also follow visitation rules, including ID requirements, clothes, and physical contact during visitations.
Offenders housed in correctional facilities can also receive messages by mail or email. All incoming mail must include the offender's name and offender identification number. Accepted mail contents include drawings, photographs, and published materials. Postcards and greeting cards are allowed. Mail should be sent with the following:
- Offender's Name and OID# (Offender Identification Number)
- MCF- (facility name where the offender is housed)
- Facility Address
Interested parties can also send emails using the MN DOC's online email system, JPAy. Emails require a known offender's ID number.
How to Perform a Minnesota Prison Inmate Search
The MN DOC offender search is an inmate search tool for accessing inmate records and information in Minnesota. This tool allows interested persons to find a person in jail by name or identification number for free. Alternatively, concerned persons may contact the facility where the individual is currently serving time and request the inmate's records.
How to Perform a Minnesota County Jail Inmate Search
Jails are facilities where persons convicted for lower-level crimes, such as misdemeanors, serve time. Generally, police departments operate city jails, while the Sheriff's offices operate county jails. So, finding a person in jail begins with knowing where the inmate is located. Most county jails have an online inmate lookup that is publicly available, and interested persons may perform a free inmate search by name. For example, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office allows for any individual to do an inmate search by name or custody status.
The Difference between Minnesota State Prisons and County Jail
There are a total of 10 state prisons and 82 county jails in Minnesota. The average daily population of Minnesota state prisons is 5,033, while the average daily population of county jails is 2,168.
The largest prison in Minnesota is the Faribault correctional facility, with a capacity of 1,825 inmates. The other 10 state prisons have an average capacity of 927 inmates. The Lino Lakes is the largest county jail in Minnesota, with a capacity of 1300 inmates.
Both state prisons and county jails in Minnesota are overseen by the Department of Corrections. The DOC has a budget of approximately $600 million for the 2019 fiscal year. This budget funds the operation of all state prisons, as well as parole and probation services.
The DOC also provides programming and services to offenders in both state prisons and county jails. These programs include education, treatment, and work opportunities. Minnesota state prisons offer a variety of vocational programs, as well as college courses through partnerships with local colleges and universities. County jails offer work opportunities through inmate work crews, which perform tasks such as snow removal and groundskeeping.
Inmate populations in Minnesota have been steadily declining in recent years. In 2011, the average daily population of state prisons was 6,262. This number has declined by 18% to 5,033 in 2018. The decline is even more pronounced in county jails, where the average daily population has decreased from 3,068 in 2011 to 2,168 in 2018. This represents a decline of 30%.
How to Find an Inmate Release Date
Generally, a free inmate search by name will provide the searcher with information regarding the inmate, including their release date. However, record custodians can make this date confidential to protect an inmate's privacy or security. In such cases, only eligible persons will have access to the inmate release date, including immediate family members, crime victims, attorneys, and authorized law enforcement officers.