Find out how to find criminal records and conduct a criminal background check.  Find out if someone is a sex offender.  Find out if someone is out on parole or is on probation.

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Spies Online contains a wealth of investigative resources for the private investigator and amateur sleuth alike.  For those who want to learn the art of private investigation, forget about software programs promising to turn you into an online spy. Spies Online will show you how to find someone and conduct a free people search, in some instances.
Looking for someone or something?  Spies Online has a wealth of investigative resources available for private investigators and amateur sleuths alike.

How To Find Criminal Records

  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
    Has Mr./Ms. Right ever been in federal prison? You can search an online database that has information in it from 1982 to the present. There are also instructions on how to file a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, and there's a form where you can do so online, as well, especially if you need data prior to 1982. BOPís Inmate Locator will give information on where an inmate is located to his/her family, victims, or witnesses. You can reach the Inmate Locator by calling (202)307-3126. For other public information about the BOP, you may call the Office of Public Affairs at (202)307-3198.

  • Criminal Justice Info. By State
    Find out who to contact for state level criminal justice information here.

    There are lots of nice links here, including one to all of the state correctional facilities.

  • National Sex Offender Registry
    Here you can find links to state sex offender registry websites.

  • Prevent Abuse Now Sex Offender Registry Lists
    Here you can find links to state and city sex offender registry websites.

  • Prevent Abuse Now Sex Offender Registry Lists
    Here you can find links to state and city sex offender registry websites.

    With this site, you can browse your neighborhood to see if there's a sex offender living nearby. If you're thinking of buying a home, it might be prudent to check out the neighborhood, as well, particularly if you have children. Better yet, you can get alerts by e-mail if a sex offender moves into your neighborhood.

  • National Criminal Justice Reference Service
    This is a source for criminal statistics, publications, and criminal information. You may use the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) to request records.

  • United States Parole Commission
    Is your sweetie or someone you need to know about out on parole? Find out here by filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Request. Generally, requests from the public for information regarding specific individuals will be responded to by providing only public information. Public information consists of name, Bureau of Prisons register number, date of birth, sentence data which consists of offense, date and place of parole hearings and decisions rendered by the Commission after agency proceedings which are contained on Notices of Action.

  • United States Marshals Service
    Is your sweetie or someone you need to know about a wanted fugitive? Find out here by filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Request. The Service maintains files on individuals for whom Federal warrants have been issued; records on prisoners in the custody of the United States Marshals; background information and records related to threats to and the protection of Government witnesses, U.S. Attorneys and their assistants, Federal jurists and other court officials; records on process served and executed in Federal court proceedings; and records on seized and forfeited property and evidence. It also maintains various records pertaining to the administration of the Service, including official personnel files for its employees.

  • American Probation and Parole Association
    Is your sweetie or someone you need to know about on probation? Check out the Adult Probation and Parole Directory (by state) in order to find out where to get information for specific states.

  • Office Of The Pardon Attorney
    Has someone been pardoned for a federal crime? Find out here. ( Note: For state convictions, it is the governor who is responsible for issuing a pardon.)

    This site is included so that you can conduct a search for courts in a specific county and get criminal records. Do not forget this important step.

  • FBI's Most Wanted
    It doesn't hurt to check this list.

  • Sober Houses
    This directory maintains listings of "all the drug treatment centers, alcohol rehabilitation centers, halfway houses, sober houses, eating disorder clinics, and recovery related products in the country." Do you live around the corner from one of these places?

  • Internet Dating From The Hoosgow
    Prisoners are now online and looking for love. Psychologists say that some women go for the bad boys, because it makes them feel special since he hurts other people but is nice to them.

  • Criminal Background Checks For US Citizens
    Sometimes, if you travel, you are asked to provide a "certificate of good conduct" or "lack of a criminal record" for a variety of reasons for use abroad including adoption, school attendance, employment, and the like. Since this is not common, many law enforcement authorities aren't familiar with this procedure. This article will tell you what you need to do in order to obtain proof that you do not have a criminal record.

  • Nevada Gaming Commission
    The Nevada Gaming Commission posts a list online of individuals who are either excluded, wanted or denied.

  • Check A Tramp!
    While prostitution is legal in some areas of Nevada, most people would want to be informed if a background investigation turned up that the subject is (or was) a card-carrying hooker in Nevada.

  • MyCrimeSpace
    This site keeps track of the criminals who participate on the various online social networking sites.

  • The Dead Kids Of MySpace
    This site keeps track of the various criminals and murderers that have participated on a popular social networking site.

  • Navigating the Maze of Criminal Records Retrieval - Updated
    Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a national criminal records check. There is one national criminal database by the FBI, known as the NCIC (National Crime Information Center), but it is not a public record, and it is illegal for anyone to access it other than criminal justice agencies. This makes doing a criminal background check on someone quite a bit of work, and this article, by Lynn Peterson of PFC Information Services will give you an idea of what is involved. If you hire someone to do a criminal background check for you, find out what records would be included - according to this article, there are "thousands of separate criminal indexes maintained at the county, parish, township, and city levels throughout the United States." Unless every individual index is checked, the search is not exhaustive.

  • How To Track A Criminal
    What must a private citizen do to get access to criminal records? This article tells it like it is.

  • Probation and Parole: What's the difference?
    This article explains the difference between probation and parole, two ways criminals can avoid doing jail time.

  • How People Get Criminal Records Erased
    Guess what? There is no guarantee that someone you check out does not have a criminal record. Why? People can actually get their criminal records erased or "expunged." Read this article to find out how.

  • Reading Criminal Court Records
    For people unfamiliar with how to read criminal court records, provides a handy tutorial.

There are ever so many reasons why you may wish to check out someone's criminal background. Parents, schools, employers, daycare centers, nursing homes, landlords, victims of crimes, dating services, and many others need to know whether an associate, employee or potential employee, sweetheart or potential sweetheart, or nanny or potential nanny has a criminal record.

And, guess what? Many violent criminals are out on the loose, either on probabation or parole. More often than not, these individuals are sent back to prison for the commission of new crimes. You could be living next door to someone who is a sex offender or wanted by the FBI. Citizens have every right to look out for their own safety and the safety of their families, especially when verification as to whether or not an individual has been incarcerated in the federal and/or state prison systems, or is on parole or probation is yours for the asking.

You will want to check out current and historical incarceration information, parole information, and probation information, both at the state and federal levels. You will also want to check out criminal court information at the county local level. With some research, you can find out a person's current and former addresses, and those are areas that you absolutely want to check, in addition to checking federal records.

Sometimes you can run a search using just a person's complete name. Other times, you may need to have the person's birthdate and/or social security number to run a search. You can research this information yourself or get it through an information broker. Employers, etc., may need to follow certain laws about how information obtained can be used and are advised to consult an attorney. Please note that not all information brokers search all possible places for criminal information, and you should verify with the broker exactly what sources will be checked before ordering the search.

Needless to say, use any of the information here at your own peril. Since laws are always changing, it is good to check with your attorney or an expert for assistance. Know of a site that belongs on this list? Contact Spies Online.

  Disclaimer: Spies Online Web Author will not be responsible for the use of any of the information on this page or any consequences resulting from using that information. You must read and accept our complete Terms Of Service (TOS) before using this site. Copyright © 1998 - 2021 by Spies Online. All Rights Reserved. Last Updated: Friday, 10-Jun-2011 13:14:07 PDT