How to Search for an Inmate in a SC Prison or Jail?

February 22, 2024
Criminal Defense

A few online resources have made searching for an inmate in a South Carolina prison or jail easier. Most cities and counties have databases to make finding a loved one easier. However, sometimes inmates are transported to other locations.

Whether your loved one is in a local detention center or a state prison, the resources below can help. If they have been charged but are still awaiting a trial, speak to a South Carolina criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

What is the Difference Between Prisons, Jails, & Detention Centers?

People are incarcerated at various facilities. It is important to know if the person has been recently arrested, is awaiting trial, or if they have been convicted of a crime.

County Jails and Detention Centers

Most jails and detention centers are designed to hold inmates for a short amount of time. Your loved one may be incarcerated at a county jail or detention center if they:

  • Are awaiting trial
  • Are awaiting sentencing
  • Serving a very short sentence

In some cases, inmates are moved to local jails at the very end of their sentence. If your loved one has recently been arrested or meets the criteria above, begin searching for them locally.

South Carolina Prisons

Prisons house long-term inmates. Depending on the crime, an inmate may be found in four levels of security. The type of facility will affect contact and visitation by friends and family members:

  • Close security: Inmates housed in a close security facility experience the most restrictions and highest level of security. Visitation, if allowed, is subject to extensive supervision.
  • Medium security: Medium security facilities offer inmates more freedom and closer quarters with double-bunk cubicles.  
  • Minimum security: Minimum security typically houses inmates who have been sentenced to short terms. There are violent and non-violent inmates in minimum security.
  • Minimum-out security: Inmates in minimum-out security are typically pre-release or in a work-release program.

*Inmates held in minimum-out or minimum security are generally housed in the same facility.

How to Find a Family Member in a South Carolina County Jail or Detention Center?

There are 46 counties in South Carolina. However, below is a list of commonly searched jails and detention centers near Lancaster, SC:

If your county is not listed above, follow the links in this county directory to find the local jail or detention center near you.

How to Find a Loved One in a South Carolina Prison?

If your loved one is in a South Carolina prison, it is important to know if they are housed in a federal facility or a state-run facility.

Federal Prisons

The Federal Bureau of Prisons oversees facilities for federal inmates around the country. If you are looking for a loved one in federal prison or need to set up visitation, you can find the information in their inmate database.

In South Carolina, there are 4 federal prisons:

While most inmates have been convicted of a federal crime, some state inmates may be housed at one of the above facilities under special circumstances. In addition, inmates from the District of Columbia are housed in South Carolina federal prisons.

State Prisons in South Carolina

South Carolina has 21 state prisons of varying levels. Violent and non-violent inmates are often housed together. If your loved one has been sentenced to one of the state’s prisons, you can search for them by name or inmate number here.

It should be noted that visitation has changed at some facilities. Some medium-security prisons are allowing loved ones to visit without plexiglass. However, higher security facilities will remain no-contact.

Have a South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney Represent Your Loved One

If your loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer in South Carolina can make all the difference. At Barboza Law, we understand the true impact on a family when their loved one is behind bars.

Attorney Barboza has a strong reputation for mounting a powerful defense for her clients. When you need affordable, high-quality representation, turn to Attorney Barboza. Schedule a consultation to discuss the unique details of your case today by calling (803) 973-6003.