Run a Free Montana Inmate Search (Online Lookup Tools)

Free Montana Inmate Search
Lookup jail and prison inmates in Montana for free

Carry out a free Montana inmate search today.

Jail and prison rosters can be checked by searching online databases for free, as long as you know where to look. Inmates are people incarcerated in jail for a short time or prison for a longer time because they committed a crime or violated a court order.

Using the links and guidance offered in this brief resource, you can seamlessly perform an inmate search in Montana.

The Difference Between Being Incarcerated in Jail vs Prison

When performing a state inmate search, it is important to know there is a difference between jail and prison. Jails are typically short-term holding facilities. They hold people charged with committing crimes, and those serving incarceration sentences of one year or less.

Jails are usually operated by a county’s sheriff’s office. Generally, whenever a city or town police department located within the county makes an arrest, they book and hold the arrestee in the county jail. In some instances, police departments may hold detainees in a municipal jail.

Prisons are longer-term holding facilities. Prisons confine individuals convicted of felony crimes to these facilities for more than one year. The Montana Department of Corrections typically runs prisons.1 Prisons may also be contracted by the state to private institutions.

State prisons hold convicts who have committed violations of a state’s criminal code. Federal prisons hold convicts who have committed violations of federal criminal laws.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is a national agency that operates the federal prisons.2 There are federal prisons located in nearly every region of the country.

The most common type of inmate is someone in jail because more people are arrested and charged with crimes than convicted. State prisoners make up the second most inmate type, followed by federal inmates.

How To Review Details of Anybody in Jail via a Montana Inmate Search

As mentioned above, inmates can be found in county or municipal jails. An inmate search in Montana on the county level will reveal that most county governments maintain their own jail.

For example, the Yellowstone County Detention Facility is operated by the sheriff’s office. Every person arrested in the county is brought to this jail for booking and holding.

When someone is arrested in Yellowstone and brought to the detention center they are logged into a database. The Yellowstone Detention Center Search Page allows anyone to search this database to find out who has been arrested and is currently being held in the county jail.3

Interested parties can search the database by last name, or first name, or by viewing a list of the entire jail population. The entire jail population list is in alphabetical order.

When results are generated by the search, researchers will see the first, last, and middle names of the inmate. They will also see the date of birth, jacket number, housing unit, booking date, and total bond amount.

A screenshot taken from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility website displaying the table of search results containing the inmates' names, date of births, jacket numbers, housing units, booking dates and total bond amounts.
Source: Yellowstone County Detention Facility4

By clicking on the jail inmate’s name, researchers will be able to view the charges, charge type, and docket numbers. For more information concerning jail inmates in Yellowstone, contact the detention facility.

Yellowstone County Detention Facility
3165 King Ave. E.
Billings, Montana 59101

Phone: 406.256.6900
Email: [email protected]

When searching jails on the city or town level, researchers will learn that Montana does not maintain municipal jails. For example, those arrested in Missoula are always booked in the Missoula County Detention Facility.5

The Missoula County Daily Inmate Jail Roster is an online display of every incarcerated individuals located in the jail on the day it was posted. The jail roster display is an alphabetical list that shows every inmate’s name, age, mugshot, booking ID number, global/jacket number, booking date, and a link to the charge details.

The charge details will reveal every offense the inmate is accused of committing. It will also show the offense type, whether felony or misdemeanor, the arresting agency and officer, and the bond amount.

Screenshot of an offender's mugshot followed by the "charges" section which contains a table with the following details: charge, crime type, arresting agency or officer, and bond amounts from the Missoula County Inmate Information Portal.
Source: Missoula County Inmate Information Portal6

If a researcher cannot find someone in the list, they may have been released. A release list is located at the top of the page that interested persons can review to find out if someone is no longer being held in jail.

For more information contact the Missoula County Detention Center.

Missoula County Detention Center
2340 Mullan Rd.
Missoula, Montana 59808

Phone: 406.258.4000
Email: [email protected]

In addition to the jails listed above, there are several others located in Montana. Review the free Montana arrest records resource that contains a list of every county jail’s contact information and search link if there is one available.

How To Determine Who Is Incarcerated in a Montana Prison

State prisons are operated by the Montana Department of Corrections. The offender search is an online function that allows any member of the public to view who is or was located in a Montana prison.7

Researchers can search by DOC ID number, or last name, or first name, or both. If searching by name, researchers should include both the last name and the first name to narrow the results, as too many results will cause an error.

Once results are generated, they will show the name, date of birth, and custody status of prison inmates. Status’ will reflect if someone is secured to a facility, released, or on parole or probation.

This state inmate search allows anyone to view additional detailed information by clicking on the inmate’s name. This will reveal their full name, mugshot, gender, status change, hair color, eye color, height, weight, build, race, skin tone, hand dominance, year of birth, birthplace, citizenship, residency, aliases, scars and tattoos, convicted offenses, and legal record.

Montana Department of Corrections
5 South Last Chance Gulch
Helena, Montana 59620

Phone: 406.444.3930
Email: [email protected]

A screenshot of an offender's information taken from the database maintained by Montana Department of Corrections, displaying the first out of five available sections which contains the mugshot, name, DOC ID number, current status, last status change date, gender, and secure, with a link under the mugshot directing to the victim notification request
Source: Montana Department of Corrections8

There are several prisons located in Montana. Four of them are state-owned, while the others are contracted private institutions. Contact one of the prisons for more information, or use the links below as needed.

How To Get Information on Someone in Federal Prison

As mentioned previously, federal prisons are maintained by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. If someone is convicted of committing a federal crime and sentenced to prison, they will be confined to one of the federal prisons located in the country.

Information on federal prison inmates from 1982 to the present can be found in the inmate locator.9 Interested parties can look up these inmates by name. Users must input both the first and last name of an inmate for the search to generate results.

Results can be narrowed by also including a middle name or an inmate’s race, age, or sex. Researchers can view an inmate’s prison location if they are still incarcerated. They can also view an inmate’s previous or future release date.

The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system allows users to research federal criminal cases.10 Information from these cases can give researchers more information on federal inmates, like the offenses that led to their incarceration. Researchers can also view historical federal prison records at the National Archives.11

Inmate information is accessible to anybody who knows where to look. If you are looking for information on individuals in jail or prison, this Montana inmate search resource will help you obtain it without hassle or tedious searching.


1Montana Department of Corrections. (n.d.). All Facilities Map. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

2Federal Bureau of Prisons. (n.d.). About Our Agency. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

3Yellowstone County Detention Facility. (n.d.). Detention Center Search Page. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

4Yellowstone County Detention Facility. (2024). Search Results. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

5Missoula County, Montana. (n.d.). Missoula County Detention Facility. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

6Missoula County Inmate Information Portal. (2024). Missoula County Inmate Charges/Court Schedule. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

7Montana Department of Corrections. (n.d.). Offender Search. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

8Montana Department of Corrections. (2024). Offender Information. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

9Federal Bureau of Prisons. (n.d.). Find an inmate. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

10Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. (n.d.). Find a Case. Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>

11The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. (2018, June 8). Prison Records at the National Archives. Retrieved April 4, 2024, from <>