Criminal Defense Blog NYC

Investigation Tools: Inmate Population Information Search in NY

Posted by Bruce Yerman, Esq. on January 5, 2018

Inmate Population Information Search

The New York State Department Corrections and Community Supervision (“DOCCS”) has a very useful, free online-investigation tool called the Inmate Population Information Search.

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I previously posted about a free investigation tool for people investigating whether a person is detained on Rikers Island, the “Tombs”, or any other facility run by the New York City Department of Correction.

The Inmate Population Information Search contains information about people who are currently incarcerated — or who have been incarcerated in the past — in the New York State correctional system.  People incarcerated in the NY State system only serve prison sentences of one year or more.  (People incarcerated in county jails in NY State, with some exceptions, only serve jail sentences of one year or less.)

To search for a person using the Inmate Population Information Search, just enter the person last name and first name; or the person’s “Department Identification Number” (“DIN”), if you have it; or the person’s “New York State Identification” (“NYSID”), if you have it.

Keep a few things in mind regarding the Inmate Population Information Search (the “IPIS”):

  1. The IPIS only records data regarding people who have served time in the NY State prison system.
  2. The IPIS doesn’t contain data regarding people who have served time in any of the county jails throughout New York State.
  3. The IPIS doesn’t contain data regarding people who have been incarcerated in any jail or prison outside of New York State.
  4. The IPIS doesn’t contain data regarding people who have been incarcerated in the federal system.
  5. If a person is imprisoned under an alias (or under a misspelled name), you will receive negative results if you only search for the person by the person’s true name (or by the person’s correctly spelled name).
  6. Since many people are incarcerated under an alias or a misspelled name, searching by an inmate’s DIN or NYSID number produces more reliable results than searching by name.  However, DIN and NYSID numbers are difficult to obtain if you don’t already happen to know them, so most civilian searches are conducted by name.

Among other things, you can determine the following information about a person listed in IPIS:

  1. DIN;
  2. Date of birth;
  3. Custody status (whether the person is currently in DOCCS custody or released);
  4. Correctional facility where the person is currently housed, or from which the person was released;
  5. Date when the person entered the state prison system (which is different from the “date of arrest” and the “sentencing date”);
  6. The county where the person was convicted (which is usually different than the county where the person is incarcerated);
  7. Date when the person was most recently released from prison, if applicable;
  8. The crimes of conviction;
  9. The minimum prison term imposed;
  10. The maximum prison term imposed;
  11. The earliest release date;
  12. The maximum expiration date of the sentence.

Because it provides so much information, the IPIS is an excellent investigation tool.


Bruce Yerman is a New York City criminal defense attorney.  If you'd like to discuss criminal defense, contact Bruce for a free consultation:

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Topics: Inmate Population Information, Investigation


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