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Where to Find New Mexico Inmate Records

In addition to maintaining inmate custody after the judiciary incarcerates offenders, correctional facilities in New Mexico are also custodians of inmate records. The County Sheriff’s Office creates and maintains records of detainees; the New Mexico Corrections Department oversees and maintains inmate records in state prisons. On the other hand, custody and information regarding federal offenders are under the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Are Incarceration Records Public Information in New Mexico?

Yes. Under the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA), incarcerations records are public records and available from the appropriate record custodian.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide: 

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile 
  • The location or assumed location of the document or person involved 

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party websites may vary. 

What Information is Contained in a New Mexico Inmate Record?

Regardless of the custodian, an inmate record will typically contain the following information:

  • Mugshot
  • Full legal name
  • Aliases
  • Date of birth
  • Physical description (height & weight)
  • Gender
  • Inmate ID number
  • Sentence history
  • Charges or offenses
  • Facility of incarceration

Where do I Look Up an Inmate in New Mexico?

Finding an inmate in a New Mexico jail is not a perfunctory task, and the process requires that the finder do due diligence to save time and costs. Generally, the available methods in New Mexico include:

  • An in-person visit to the administrative office
  • Mail request
  • Online search

How Do I Conduct an Inmate Search in New Mexico?

  • In-person visits:

For in-person visits, confirm the correctional facility of incarceration or the county of arrest. Identifying the correctional facility informs the finder of the next step—contacting the facility. If a finder wishes to see the inmate in person or request inmate records from the jail administrator, he/she must contact the jail to schedule a meeting. The NMCD also maintains a directory of correctional facilities in the state.

  • Mail requests:

In this case, the requester must submit an IPRA request for the record. Bear in mind that the Act makes exceptions to confidential records and those that contain sensitive information. As such, only authorized individuals may view restricted information. Getting authorization is a matter of obtaining a court order, but the petition must demonstrate a pressing need that outweighs the record’s statutory or court-ordered seal. Alternatively, the requester may send a direct appeal to the requester and arrive at a compromise that allows the custodian to fulfill the requester without infringing on privacy rights or any statutory provision. In most cases, a redaction of sensitive information is a compromise that allows for this. 

To find an inmate record, the requester must follow the New Mexico Corrections Department record request policy. Generally, the requester must submit a typewritten request to the records manager, who will respond within ten (10) business days. The requester must describe the record or files sought with enough information to make a search possible. Furthermore, for record reproduction, the records manager charges $0.25 per page, and it is prudent to get an estimate from the Corrections Department before submitting a request. Meanwhile, attach a money order or check to the record request, seal in a self-addressed envelope, and mail to:

New Mexico Corrections Department
P. O. Box 27116
Santa Fe NM 87502–0116
Phone: (505) 383–2804 (Inmate Record)
Fax: (505) 827–8533

  • Online search:

Correctional facilities upload inmate information after booking. If the goal is to confirm the inmate’s incarceration and obtain general information, an online search should suffice. For local jail, the inmate roster on the Sheriff’s website will do. For example, the Sandoval County Detention Center maintains an online inmate search, and the San Juan County Detention Center maintains an online detainee roster. For an inmate in state prison, searching parties can use the NMCD Offender Search. Query the database with the inmate’s full name or offender number, which will return a list of possible matches. Then, click on more details to confirm that a result is indeed the inmate of interest.

How Can I Find an Inmate for Free in New Mexico?

Apply for a fee waiver from the record custodian. Usually, the record custodian will grant the request if the requester can show that the record is in the public best interests and for non-commercial purposes. Otherwise, the requester must bear the cost of searching, reproducing, and certifying the inmate record requested.

How to Find Old Inmate Records in New Mexico

The Department of Corrections also maintains information on released inmates and inmates on probation or parole. To find information on a released inmate on parole, submit a written request to the parole division through the region manager.

How do I Find Inmate Death Records in New Mexico?

First, send a written request to the Corrections Department following the same instructions for requesting inmate records. If the death records are subject to public disclosure, the Department shall provide the requested documents. Interested persons may also submit a request to the Department of Health. Note that only surviving family members and authorized persons may request the death records. Other persons must produce a court order granting access to the requested documents. 

How do I Conduct a Federal Prison Inmate Search? 

Federal prisons hold offenders convicted of federal crimes. Depending on the severity of the crime, offenders serve time in minimum or maximum-security facilities. All federal prisons in New Mexico are under the administration of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). To find an inmate at the prison, use the BOP Inmate locator. BOP allows searchers to find information on inmates incarcerated as far back as 1982. To achieve this, the searcher may use the offender’s unique BOP number or full name.

Furthermore, providing additional information such as race, age, and sex helps narrow down the search from thousands of results. Bear in mind that records on inmates incarcerated before 1982 are only available on the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) website. There, the searcher will have access to a database of inmate information from 1870 to 1981.

How Long Does it Take For An Inmate’s Information to Be Published in New Mexico Inmate Locator?

It depends on several factors. Information on inmates from local jails typically reflects on the inmate roster a few hours after incarceration. However, finding information on newly booked inmates may take a few business days due to staff availability and the available technology.

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