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May-June 2010

Free website now available for TDCJ inmate searches

Those who read our User Forum (http://tdcaa.infopop.net/2/ OpenTopic) know that the Texas Tribune (www.texastribune.org) has created a data application containing records of every TDCJ facility and the inmates inside them, including names, crimes, sentences, and more (current as of February 12, 2010). The searchable application contains charts and graphs that break down inmates by ethnicity, gender, age, and other variables.

    Users can see visualizations of the average sentence lengths statewide and in specific prisons, along with dedicated pages for each prison that contain maps, satellite photos, and details about the inmate population. You can also drill down into inmates’ personal pages to learn about their convictions, sentences, hometowns—even their height, weight, and gender. (Some of this information is available on TDCJ’s official website (http://168.51.178.33/webapp/ TDCJ/index2.htm), but that system is slow and sometimes unreliable).

    Feedback to the folks at the Texas Tribune can be sent by means of a comment page connected to the application. For more, start at www.texas-tribune.org/stories/2010/apr/29/texas-prison-inmate-locator/.