This is another frequently asked question at our law firm, and the answer is multifaceted. In deciding who can and cannot access an inmate’s release date, a number of factors come into play, such as your relationship to the prisoner, whether or not you were a victim of their crime, and where they are incarcerated.
The general public only receives limited information about inmates. However a victim or the victim’s attorney may be notified a set number of days prior to the offender’s release. Family members, or next of kin, have similar access to inmate information. Victims can go to the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation website to request information about their offender. By filling out the CDCR 1707 form, victims of crime, family member of victims, or a witness who testified against the offender may request special conditions of parole including:
- Requiring the parolee to live in another county or in another city within the committing county.
- Parole placement 35 miles from victim’s residence.
- Restricting the parolee’s contact with victim.
An inmate’s location is a determining factor in answering this question as well. Prisoners serving more than one year will be transferred to an institution within the CDCR. You can find an inmate through the CDCR website by last name or inmate number, but will only be provided with their name, age, admission date, and institution of commitment. No release dates, court dates, or are updates will be available on the website to the general public.
For people sentenced to 365 days or less, their custody will be local, usually at George Bailey Detention Center, San Diego Central Jail, or if the inmate is female, Las Colinas Detention Facility. These facilities operate under the San Diego County Sheriff’s jurisdiction, and therefore information regarding inmates is much more accessible. The Sheriff’s Department website allows users to see who’s in jail, see when inmates’ next court appearance are, and even email the inmates. Though it should be noted that there is no expectation of privacy for email messages, as jail staff will review each one, and should not be utilized for legal or confidential mail.