TN 3 (02-02)
GN 02607.680 Third Party Sources To Use to Locate Missing Inmate Information
A. Policy - use of third party sources for obtaining and verifying inmate information
The priority list of contacts for missing dates of conviction, court orders or for verification of more than 30 continuous days of confinement is as follows:
Contact the beneficiary or his/her representative payee to clarify missing or questionable information or to determine if the inmate was in the correctional/mental institution for more than 30 continuous days.
NOTE: If the beneficiary/representative payee cannot/does not provide the information SSA needs to make a suspension decision, contact the correctional or mental health institution for the information or another source for the information. (See GN 02607.680B for additional third party sources.)
Contact one of the third-party sources in GN 02607.680B for missing data, for verification of data; or, to determine if the inmate is in the correctional or mental health institution for more than 30 continuous days.
NOTE: See GN 03001.020 and GN 03001.025 for advance notification requirements. The chart in GN 02607.970A illustrates the advance notification that you may send in specific situations.
B. Procedure - third party sources for obtaining or verifying inmate information
Use one or more of the following contacts to verify information or obtain information about prisoners if you are unable to obtain the information from the beneficiary or representative payee.
You may contact:
State Department of Corrections records clerk, if the inmate is in a State controlled prison or correctional institution,
Local jails/correctional institutions/mental health institutions or authorities,
The court; the prosecutor's or States attorney's office, which prosecuted and/or sentenced the individual; (to secure a written statement concerning the individual's court case from the court clerk or from a representative of the prosecutor's office),
State criminal history repositories,
The individual's parole or probation officer for information about his criminal case,
Voter registration authorities to obtain court records on convictions, incarcerations, and/or commitments to institutions for the individual. (In some jurisdictions, former felons and/or individuals with histories of certain mental illnesses cannot vote.)
Social workers or agents who work for county, State or Federal agencies that may be providing assistance to the individual for information on his/her court case, and
Inmate's attorney (if the attorney can be identified by the beneficiary or his/her representative payee).
Internet websites that Federal, State, or local correctional agencies or institutions have established to provide information to the public on inmates in their institutions. (See instructions on using the Internet websites for verification of inmate information per GN 02607.680C).
NOTE: For Federal Bureau of Prison cases (3BOP), see GN 02607.790 through GN 02607.795 for processing.
C. Policy - using the internet to verify inmate information
As the popularity of the Internet grows as a means of communication, many institutions and agencies are utilizing its capabilities to disseminate information to each other and the general public more quickly. In some instances, they are not conscientious and prudent about the information they publicize on the Internet.
SSA must, however, make sure that any website that we access for inmate information is not protected by privacy and disclosure laws or that the website administrator does not charge a fee for accessing the information from its website. Each website that SSA visits for prisoner information must provide reliable and current information on its inmate population. The website must also have the information displayed in a clear and readable format that will not cause a SSA technician to misinterpret any of its contents so the technician will not draw an incorrect conclusion about a beneficiary's identity or inmate status.
The RPCs will evaluate each identified website for accuracy and reliability of its content. If the RPC determines the website meets SSA's third party verification standards (see GN 03001.012), the RPC will add the website to a special prisoner Internet website page that they will create. The RPCs will attach the special Prisoner Internet Website page to the regional office's main website. The special Prisoner Internet Website pages will provide correctional and mental institutions website addresses broken down by State in each of the corresponding regions. SSA technicians can use the website addresses that appear on the regional Prisoner Internet webpages as sources of third party verification of inmate information. For the regional web addresses for the approved RPC’s internet verification websites, see GN 02607.680D.2.c.
D. Procedure - using the internet as a third-party source of inmate verification
1. Use of internet sources for obtaining missing inmate information or for verification of inmate information
Using an Internet website as a third party source of information should be done only after the technician follows the regular steps in the development and contact process; i.e., beneficiaries or representative payees are always contacted first for information, then a third party source. (See GN 02607.680A for priority of contact.)
If the beneficiary cannot provide the information to SSA, the technician can use the website instead of directly contacting the correctional institution for information (via telephone or fax). The internet website can be used to obtain the information needed to complete development on an individual as long as it is timely and contains the information needed for determining whether suspension will apply or not. For information on the approved internet websites you can use to verify inmate information, see GN 02607.680D.2.
2. Internet sources
a. Verification of conviction information
There is an Internet website that SSA has found that will provide information about the classification of a crime. This website has limited use and it is helpful when accessing this website that you know the State code for the classification of the crime of which the individual was convicted. Specifically, what type of crime the inmate committed and the accompanying State code for this crime. The website address is www.findlaw.com .
To find the criminal laws that are applicable to a particular state use the website address: http://public.findlaw.com/library/state-laws.html. Use the "Change Location" link at the top of this web page to indicate the City/State or Zip Code where the crime took place. Then click on "Criminal Laws" and this link will take you to the "Crimes A-Z" web page which provides the categories of criminal offenses applicable for that State. From this screen, click on the type of criminal offense you are researching and view the State law pertaining to that particular crime.
You can use this website to obtain the statutory length of a sentence that an inmate may receive for conviction of a crime.
b. Verification of confinement, release, or other inmate information
There is an Internet website that can provide you inmate information for some States that have their inmate information online. The website address is www.corrections.com/links .
After accessing the website, click on "Inmate Locator", then select and click on the applicable State or County where the inmate was confined. This site will provide inmate information for some State and county inmate locator information for prisoners (offenders). Generally, you will need to know the inmate's last name, first name and their inmate identification number (you will find this on the PUPS record if the reporter gave it to SSA when they gave us the inmate report).
Some regions may identify other State or local correctional or mental institutional website addresses in their region. Your RPC will notify the SSA servicing offices in their regions if they have additional website information available. They will also instruct their offices how to access the website addresses.
c. Regional websites for prisoner intranet third party sources include:
Regional Prisoner Intranet Websites (For SSA employee intranet use only)
d. Other Internet Prisoner Information Websites include:
County or city jail inmate searches:
County Inmate Jail Search (limited county jail inmate locator access)
NOTE: Do not click on the “green” colored links on this website. Use the “State” links colored light blue.
Justice Exchange You must have a PIN and PASSWORD to use this website. For information on using Justice Exchange, see GN 02607.682B.
Search for county jails with the following search criteria:
County or city in which the correctional facility is located, State abbreviation (two letters) and the agency having control over the correctional facility.
Search: http://Virginia Beach City VA sheriff
Once on the Agency’s website, look for a link referencing something similar to: “Inmate Locator” or “Offender Locator.”
All 50 State Department of Corrections
This website provides hyperlinks to all 50 state Department of Corrections webpages. Look for the terms “Inmate” or “Offender” and the terms “Locator,” “Search,” “Information,” or “Find,” “Lookup,” etc., on each individual state Department of Corrections webpage to direct you to the tab to search for an inmate, if available.
Federal Bureau of Prisons (3BOP) Inmate Locator
The Federal Bureau of Prisons now has an inmate locator Internet site. There is no confinement date or conviction date information, but there are actual and projected release dates. As the site notes, the release date is from Federal custody and could indicate a transfer to a local penal facility.
This information SHOULD NOT be used to contact the Federal correctional institution. Title 16 POMS has been revised to include information on this site (SI 02310.092E.5.b.). Title 2 POMS has been revised to include information on this site (GN 02607.790 through GN 02607.795).
The search options include the use of a Register Number. The static BOP Register Number format is “99999-999” and consists of the first 8 digits in the PUPS Inmate Number. The BOP website provides the inmate’s Name, Age, Race, Sex, and Projected (or actual) Release Date.
3. Other internet sources
There maybe other Internet sources available that SSA has not identified that an SSA technician can utilize to obtain inmate information. Please contact your RPC to inform them of these websites. Give them the website address and the name of the website administrator. They will investigate the website and determine if SSA can use the website as a resource for inmate information. The RPC will evaluate the source of the information and determine if SSA can use the website as an acceptable third party source of inmate information.