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Inmate LookUps: State to Federal Prisons

inmate search

Often, we are asked to locate an inmate and obtain his incarceration records (i.e., crime of conviction, release date, prison venue).  Depending  on the information provided, an investigator tasked with such an assignment may want to course through local records, moving up to federal facilities,  if necessary.  Inmate look-ups are common online services and generally, are free.

There has also been the occasional request for records from or before the early 1980s.

The early 1980s is a troublesome period for data locators as that was the advent of digitally archived records. (I’m sure that the inefficiency of typed and manually filed documents will come as  a shock to most millennials!)

With ease of use in mind, we’ve put together a prison inmate locate checklist that you might find helpful.

Inmate Locator Information:

A.  Federal Prison

If the inmate is/was in a Federal Prison:  Locate immediately through this link.

If the inmate was released prior to 1982 from a Federal Prison:  From the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP):

We receive many requests for information on Federal inmates released before 1982. Not all inmates who were in custody prior to 1982 were keyed into the BOP’s inmate management system. Accordingly, when we previously received a request for such information, we researched available records by hand. Many older records are held by the National Archives Records Administration (NARA), not the BOP and we are in the midst of transferring BOP’s pre-1982 inmate records to NARA.

As such, users seeking such information are encouraged to direct your inquiry to NARA. To assist them in determining whether information is available, the following information should be provided in the request:

  • inmate name (including middle name/initial),
  • date of birth or approximate age at time of incarceration,
  • race, and
  • approximate dates in prison.

For more information about how to obtain copies of records, visit the National Archives website.

B.  Inmates by State:

Every State has a Department (or Bureau) of Corrections, the agency responsible for providing inmate look-up information to the public.

Example: New York: New York State Department of Corrections: Inmate Lookup.

These state searches are conducted individually and the search criteria is not retained for future use. In other words, if at a later date you wish to review an inmate’s records and current status, you have to re-input his/her information.

C.  Nationwide Search By State

If, however, you wish to be automatically informed of any updates or changes in an inmate’s status, we suggest you use VINELInk: Victim Information Network.  From VineLink:

Welcome to VINELink, an online portal to VINE, America’s number one victim notification network. VINE has been providing victims and concerned citizens with the power of information for decades, allowing these individuals to have the sense of security that they deserve. VINELink can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide the most reliable information for custody status changes and criminal case information.

Finally, a good source of information is your local District Attorney. While the DA’s Office is generally a very busy place, they are usually very helpful and have the most updated records.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, be safe.

Happy Passover!

happy passover

Forensics Breakthrough: Lifting Fingerprints From Clothing

The pace of forensic science technology and research, as it applies to the legal and law enforcement fields, has gone in to complete overdrive.

Forensic Breakthrough: Lifting Fingerprints From Clothing

For the first time in more than three decades, researchers have broken through with successes in being able to lift prints from fabric.

By utilizing a technique known as vacuum metal deposition (VMD),  researches have been able to use gold and zinc to recover finger and hand marks from clothing. VMD is already used to detect fingerprint marks on smooth surfaces such as waxes, plastics and glass.

According to  Joanna Fraser, a forensic sciences researcher at the University of Abertay Dundee,  “The research uses fine layers of metals to display fingerprints people may have left on fabrics, something which is far harder to do with soft surfaces. The technique has been around since the 1970s and is used on many surface but was never widely used on fabrics.

“We take these fabrics, place them in a vacuum chamber, then heat up gold to evaporate it and spread a fine film over the fabric. We then heat up zinc, which attaches to the gold where there are no fingerprint residues. This helps reveal the fingerprint — where contact has been made we see the original fabric, where there was no contact we’re left with the grey colour of the metal film.” (Please read the full article in Science Daily.  The advances by these dedicated researchers is simply amazing.)

The possibilities of this technique applied to fabrics will become invaluable in criminal investigations.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware/

As always, stay safe.

Tech Tips: Connect Your Files and Devices Wirelessly, Easily and For Free.



As more and more Internet-connected devices find themselves scattered around your office or home, it’s time to compile a list of useful apps created just to connect or sync these devices.   We’ve performed that compilation task for you with the below suggestions:


Dropbox has emerged as the file compilation go-to app.   It’s even better than Apple’ s online file hosting system, iDisk in terms of easy of use and storage capability.  Upload your files, invite people



We use a product called Reflector to connect our computers and iPads to a big screen TV wirelessly in our conference room.    Reflector has the functionality of an alpha product (fully operational but not the final product which will then include many tweaked features) and we are able to bring up a browse and navigate to a website to watch it on the big screen in HD.

Camera A

Camera A is a photo app for the iPad that when used with an iPhone app called Camera B, it connects your iPad and iPhone together by bluetooth or wifi and allows you to take photos.

Camera A  re-defines boundaries for what the iPad is, as the iPad doesn’t actually have a camera.


Vuze is a P2P client that enables you to find TV shows and movies available on the Internet. But its usefulness as a web app also extends to streaming content from your computer to a variety of devices: iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple TV, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, and TiVo.



All your people from across your social networks, email accounts, and phone contacts in one place on a map of the world.

We hope the above apps make your world an easier place to live in.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.


As always, stay safe.

Technology And The Narcissist: How He Uses It To Control You.


Especially in the legal field- whether as a lawyer, private investigator or cop – we tend to run into quite a few narcissists. My personal theory for this above average exposure to narcissists is because we deal with people in raw moments, e.g., after an injurious accident, a horrendous crime, acrimonious divorce or other victimization.  Often, somewhere down the line in these incidents, someone with a powerful, controlling nature set into motion things that result unexpectedly and traumatically.  Those in the legal field today would be wise to investigate the newer forms of communication and location technology to determine how the victim is being controlled by their narcissist.

Narcissists are notorious control freaks. Their control tactics may be obvious or more subtle in nature.  The need for control arises from a feeling of being out of control in their own lives, therefore, the project this lack onto others.   They present as confident, charming, prideful of their appearance and move about with an air of superiority.  They project financial stability even as they file for bankruptcy.  Lying to them is as natural as telling the truth is to the rest of us and they simply must control others.

5 Ways Narcissists Try To Control People Through Technology: 

Via Your Cell Phone.  Technology is the narcissist’s best friend.   Narcissists view cell phones as a 24/7 tether to the subjects of their focus, whether a mate, partner, best friend, etc.   They want to talk to you when they want to, regardless of reasonableness and will call you. Repeatedly, until you answer, if necessary.   If calling fails, expect the texting to begin.   By the time a narcissist is texting you,  he is already angry that you weren’t there when he wanted to talk to you.  The texts will start off nicely enough and devolve very quickly to baseless accusations and hostility.  Conversely, a narcissist will use these same techniques against you to gain the upper hand – by not taking your calls, not responding to texts or answering in one word or equally terse responses.   They control you by instilling doubt – by making you worry about them and what they are doing or what you could have done wrong to warrant their silence.

Photoshop Used In Gaslighting.  From Wikipedia: Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.  Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. is a type of psychological abuse that denies the victim’s reality.

In our work, we’ve seen narcissists Photoshop evidence so convincingly that their victims believed the faked bank transactions, credit card charges, etc.   even when they knew that they hadn’t purchased a certain item.

WebCams.  By the time you realize how much of a control freak your narcissist is, your life will have been lived out in front of a webcam.  One  of the most used tools in a narcissist’s wheelhouse is your device’s camera.  What may first start out as a happy exchange of morning rituals (having virtual coffee together) to routine face to face “check-ins”, will evolve very quickly into your life being monitored every waking moment by this type person. And make no mistake – he will have made endless recordings of these visuals and play them over and over to obtain clues with which to manipulate you.  First you might get small hints about not being “made up” in the mornings. So, you change your behavior and appear picture perfect now for your morning check in.  Soon you will be afraid to look less than perfect for each video meet up.  Your clothing will be analyzed, every item on your desk, etc.  Creates low self-esteem and anxiety.

GPS:  When dealing with a narcissist, be prepared to have your GPS constantly reviewed.   Conversely, you may notice that there is never a location history after the narcissist uses the device.  He knows you might be curious, as anyone would be, and wants you to believe he is up to something. Creates self-doubt.

Tracking Apps:

Connect (This one is particularly a boon for the narcissist as it does not require the other person to have it installed or to accept an invitation from the app.)

From MarketWatch:  This app for iPhone or iPad can follow your husband, wife, children and even your friends on sites like Facebook Twitter , Instagram, Google Contacts and LinkedIn.  Most social contacts are jumbled and split up across multiple devices, platforms and apps, but this app collects them in one place, says Ryan Allis, chairman and co-founder of the app. “Your Connect map has hundreds of your friends on it the first time you use the app,” Allis says. Unlike similar apps like Foursquare, it doesn’t use virtual check-ins, which can prompt users to activate their location settings (many people don’t realize that when they turn on location settings on their phone, location information can be embedded in shared photographs and status updates too).

Finally, as more and more people turn to online dating to find a mate, they are listening less to their instincts and seeking instant relationships.  Life isn’t quick like that naturally.  Communication and location technology provides massive advancement for society – all members of society, not just the good ones.

Verify by eye.  Yours.

BNI Operatives; Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.


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