Bronx County Inmate Search
A Bronx County inmate search affords the public a means to access information pertaining to an inmate held within the county jail facility. Inmate information, along with other Bronx County, New York Public Records, are made accessible to requestors per New York FOIA law.
When a person commits a crime in Bronx County, New York, and is apprehended by a law enforcement officer, that person is said to have been "arrested". According to Article 140 of the New York Criminal Procedure, peace officers can arrest persons with or without a warrant in Bronx County. The law, however, stipulates circumstances in which an officer may arrest without a warrant:
- When a person is believed to have committed an offense in the presence of the police officer
- When a police officer reasonably believes an individual committed an offense within the geographical area of the police officer's employment or, at most, a hundred yards away
- When an individual commits a felony against a member of the same family or household (Section 155.30 of the Penal Law)
Aside from the police officers, the law authorizes private citizens to make arrests in Bronx County. Like law enforcement officers, private citizens must comply with the relevant provisions of the law.
After an arrest, the suspect or arrestee is taken to a nearby precinct for initial processing. The suspect will be asked to provide "pedigree" information (like a name, social security number, date of birth, and address) and submit their fingerprints. (Fingerprinting depends on the type of crime committed). Subsequently, the suspect or defendant will appear in court for an arraignment. Pending factors like the charge(s), the defendant's plea, and the defendant's criminal history record, the court may acquit, grant bail, or ask the defendant to appear later for trial.
Usually, individuals awaiting trial/sentencing or convicted of misdemeanors that attract maximum sentences of a year are housed in the Bronx County Jail. In contrast, persons convicted of serious offenses with sentences of over a year are housed in state prisons or facilities managed by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS).
Inmate records are considered public in the United States and therefore are made available by both traditional governmental agencies as well as third-party websites and organizations. Third-party websites may offer an easier means to search, as these services do not face geographical limitations. However, because third-party sites are not government-sponsored, the information obtained through them may vary from official channels. To find inmate records using third-party aggregate sites, requesting parties must provide:
- The location of the sought-after record, including state, county, and city where the inmate resides.
- The name of the person listed in the record, unless it is a juvenile.
Bronx County Crime and Incarceration Statistics
The New York Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) collates and publishes crime-related data from Bronx County and other regions within the state. According to the 2021 report shared by CJS, Bronx County recorded 29,389 arrests: 12,816 felonies and 16,573 misdemeanors.
Under felony offenses, violent crimes (including murder, rape, etc.) accounted for the highest number of arrests (5,890). Property crimes (3,428) had the highest arrest record in the misdemeanor category.
The above data shows a 4.92% increase compared to Bronx County arrests in the previous year (28,011 arrests were recorded), but it shows a 27.35% reduction compared to 2019 (40,453 arrests). Note that the numbers above only reflect adult arrests in Bronx County; juvenile arrests are not reported to the division.
Bronx County Prison System
The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) manages the housing and care of all individuals incarcerated in detention facilities within the city, including in Bronx County. There is one jail facility in Bronx County administered by the DOC: Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center.
Bronx County Jail (Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center)
The Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center (VCBC) serves as the primary holding and processing facility for Bronx County. The facility (also called the Boat) is built on a barge in New Orleans and houses over 800 inmates within its medium and maximum security prisons. Besides serving as a correctional facility for adult inmates, VCBC is also used temporarily to house juvenile inmates in the county before they are moved to a juvenile correctional center.
Notably, there is another detention facility in Bronx County called the Horizon Juvenile Center that the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) operates.
Horizon Juvenile Center
Horizon Juvenile Center is a secured detention facility reserved for young persons (18 and below) convicted of serious offenses. At the facility, juveniles can access medical and educational resources and participate in daily recreational activities such as music, art, creative writing, gardening, yoga, and physical fitness.
How to Find an Inmate in Bronx County
Persons interested in obtaining information about inmates in the county can use the NYC DOC's Inmate Lookup Service. The Department maintains records of inmates housed in all the county jails under its jurisdiction. To use this service, inquirers must have an inmate's booking number or name (first and last name).
How Does a Bronx County Inmate Search Work?
The New York Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") provides the public with the legal right to access records held by government organizations, bureaus, and commissions. Unless stated by the NY Freedom of Information Law and the federal statutes, all New York records are accessible to the public. This includes inmate records created in Bronx County, which often contain the following information:
- Name and alias
- Physical description (height, weight, hair color, and eye color)
- Date of birth
- Arrest date and time
- Booking details
- Custody status
- Sentencing terms and release dates
- Housing facility
Where to Find a Bronx County Inmate Locator
The New York City Department of Correction maintains a unified inmate locator for all regions within its jurisdiction. The inmate locator is accessible on the DOC's website, and it provides information such as an inmate's bond amount, booking number, and mugshot.
To use the locator, individuals must input an inmate's name or New York State Identification Number (NYSID). If the information provided matches a record in the database, the record will appear in the search results.
Aside from the Department of Corrections inmate database, inmate information may also be assessed using the online inmate lookup service offered by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The tool provides information on incarcerated individuals under state supervision. Again, inquirers will need an inmate's name or booking details to find their location and other information.
Meanwhile, several non-state-operated sites exist where interested persons can look up information about inmates. These independent sites maintain inmate databases online, which can usually be accessed with an inmate's first name, last name, and state. Some sites also partner with state agencies to enable access to the inmate records in their custody.
How to Send Money to a Bronx County Inmate
When inmates enter the Bronx County jail, a trust account is opened to cover their jail expenses. Relatives can send money into a Bronx County inmate's account by mail, phone, in person, or online through the DOC's money transfer partners.
Individuals can deposit money into an inmate's account by mailing a money order or bank check to the DOC. Any depositor must include an inmate's book and case number; they must also make the money order or bank check payable to the incarcerated individual. An inmate's book and case number or mailing address can be obtained by accessing the DOC's Incarcerated Person Lookup Service. Note that the DOC does not accept cash, certified checks, or personal checks via mail.
The DOC's money transfer agents have toll-free numbers for depositing payments. Individuals can call these lines and use their credit/debit cards to send money. Before making the transfer, depositors must supply the inmate's name and booking number. The toll-free numbers can be obtained from the DOC's website.
- Money agent offices: Individuals can visit any money transfer agent's office to deposit funds via credit or debit card.
- DOC cashier offices: At the correctional facilities, the DOC's cashier offices accept payment for inmates in their custody. Individuals can deposit money at the cashier offices or the kiosks operated by the money transfer agents.
Deposits made via money transfer agents attract a fee. There is no fee to deposit at a cashier's window.
Interested persons can log into a money transfer agent's website to pay money into a Bronx County inmate's account. Depositors will be asked to provide the inmate's name (first and last) and booking number. Individuals can access money transfer agent websites via the DOC's Inmate Lookup Service.
More information about depositing money to Bronx County inmate accounts can be found on the DOC's Incarcerated Person Account page.
How to Visit a Bronx County Inmate
There are two methods of visiting inmates in Bronx County: in-person visitation and televisitation.
Visitors to the Bronx County jail must schedule before coming to the facility. The DOC provides a form for scheduling visitation. Below are some of the DOC's in-person visiting guidelines:
- Visitors must arrive at least one hour before their scheduled visitation period.
- No more than three persons are allowed to visit at a time. Visitors may include two adults and one child who will sit on an adult's lap or one adult and two children (one child can sit on someone's lap).
- Visitors 18 years old and above must tender a valid means of identification at the facility. For example:
- Valid driver's license
- Valid Employment ID card with photo and most recent employment pay slip
- DMV Non-driver license identification card
- NYS benefits identification card (Medicaid/food stamp photo ID)
- Military ID
- Consulate-issued or diplomatic identification
- IDNYC card
The DOC also has a dress code for visitors coming to their facilities. Visitors must comply with these rules to enter the facility.
With televisitation, visitors can connect with their incarcerated loved ones via an electronic device with a camera, an active email account, and an internet connection.
However, only three individuals are allowed to participate in a televisit at a time. Also, visitors must stop by one hour before the scheduled time.
To hold a televisit, interested persons must schedule a visit and select three potential visiting dates. A confirmation mail will be sent to notify interested persons of approval.
The DOC outlines rules that all visitors must follow:
- Visitors cannot record the visit with their devices.
- Visitors cannot take photos, including screenshots.
- Visitors must not violate the DOC's visitor dress code.
- Visitors should not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Additional visitation rules are available on the DOC's website.
How to Send Jail Mail in Bronx County
Inmates in Bronx County can receive mail from their loved ones via the U.S. Postal Mail or private delivery service. Interested persons can find detailed guidelines for sending jail mail on the DOC's website. Some are outlined below:
- Mail packages must not be more than 15 pounds and must be less than 24" inches wide, 12" inches high, and 24" deep.
- Packages will be inspected thoroughly for contraband, and persons sending contraband into the facilities will be arrested and prosecuted.
- Toiletries and food items are prohibited. Inmates purchase these at the commissary.
- Inmates cannot receive cash via mail. Only money orders and cashier's checks are accepted.
- Packages must not include clothing, footwear, or accessories in the colors red, yellow, or light blue. Permissible colors for clothing and accessories sent to detained persons are brown, gray, or white, while the colors for footwear are black, white, or gray.
The NYC Department of Corrections has a list of all personal items that can be included in mail packages on its website.
Bronx County Jails and Prisons
Below are the names and locations of the jail facilities in Bronx County.
Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center
1 Halleck Street
Bronx, NY 10474
Horizon Juvenile Center
560 Brook Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455