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Historical U.S. Prison Records Online

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11. Indiana Digital Archives - Institution Records

This free searchable database from the Indiana State Archives includes includes names, dates and reference citations of individuals admitted to the Department of Correction Girl’s School 1873-1935, Prison North 1858-1966 and Prison South 1822-1897. Copies of the microfilmed admission books and commitment papers are available from the Indiana State Archives.

12. Indiana Index to Life Prisoner's Statements: State Prison at Michigan City

Interviews conducted with inmates at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana during the early 1900s often name family members and others involved in the crime for which they were sentenced, and discussed whether or not attempts had been made to secure a parole or pardon. The statements also sometimes include follow up notes indicating the prisoner had died or was pardoned by the Governor, or in at least two cases the President. The free online index provides the information necessary to order copies of the statements, plus photographs of the inmates from the Indiana State Archives.

13. Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, Inmate Case Files, 1895 - 1931

The National Archives, Capital Plains Region, in Kansas City, offers a free online name index to the Inmate Case Files of the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas from 1895 to 1931. With the name and inmate number from the online index you can request a copy of the inmate case file, most of which contain additional information on the inmate, plus a mug shot.

14. Maryland Judiciary Case Search

Search statewide records of the Maryland Judiciary, including district and circuit courts, the appellate courts (appeals) and the orphans' court, both current and historical, going back as far as the 1940s. The amount of historical information varies by county based on "when an automated case management system was deployed in that county and how the system has evolved."

15. Nevada State Prison Inmate Case Files, 1863-1972

Search the online name index to the Nevada State Prison Inmate case files for prisoner records dating from 1863 to 1972. Copies of the actual records can be ordered from the Nevada State Archives if the former inmate is deceased and at least 30 years have passed since the close of the file. Prisoner records that don't meet this criteria are confidential and restricted by state law.

16. Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary, 1831-1870

Two free online databases from the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) -- Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary, 1831-1850 and Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary, 1851-1870 -- include the prisoner name, age, crime and county. Additional information, including the prisoner's state of birth, the date received in the Penitentiary and the date of discharge is available up to 1870 from the TSLA via an email request. You will be notified of the cost to make a copy of the records once they are located.

17. Utah State Archives Historical Name Indexes

A free searchable index to a variety of Utah historical records, including criminal case files for Salt Lake and Weber counties; Prisoner's Pardon Application Case Files, 1892-1949 from the Board of Pardons; and Criminal Requisitions Registers 1881-1949 and Pardons Granted Record Books 1880-1921 from the Secretary of State. The Board of Pardons database even includes digitized record copies.

18. Walla Walla Penitentiary (Washington State), 1887-1922

Search extracts from the Record of Penitentiary Convicts of nearly 10,000 inmates housed in the Walla Walla State Penitentiary in Washington State from 1887-1922. Copies of the inmates’ files, available from the Washington State Archives, may include additional details such as parents' birthplace, children, religion, military service, marital status, photographs, physical description, education, names of nearest relatives, and court records. Indexes to early county Court Records of Washington Territory are also available online.

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