Free North Dakota Arrest, Criminal & Probation Records Search

Free North Dakota Arrest Records & Criminal Records Search
Access North Dakota Records: background checks, warrants, probation and parole, court records, and all criminal and arrest records.

Search free North Dakota criminal records and find information on anyone — a vast amount of public records are right at your fingertips once you know where to look.

Along with North Dakota arrest records, criminal records include details about who’s in jail, mugshots, probation and parole, warrants, background checks, prisoner records, the sex offender registry, and more.

No matter what’s being searched for, this guide empowers citizens with resources and the necessary know-how to gain insight into someone’s past or current situation. Furthermore, the fair use of criminal records, antidiscrimination statutes, and further context about civil liberties are discussed.

Are Criminal & Arrest Records Publicly Accessible in North Dakota?

Under North Dakota state and federal laws, criminal records and arrest records are both open to public access. The federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) grants public access to all governmental records unless legally withheld in part or in full.1

The North Dakota Open Records Statute (NDCC 44-4-18) is the set of state laws mirroring the federal FOIA laws, allowing for members of the public to request any public records by phone, postal mail, email, or any other medium unless made confidential by a specific law.2

Public records such as arrest and criminal records can help interested parties find out what someone was arrested for, where they are being detained, or view their prior or current conviction(s). However, accessing each type of record requires a different process and often different associated costs, as each type of record is hosted by different agencies.

The free guide below will explain how to view or obtain an array of criminal and arrest records, and this resource on finding free North Dakota public records offers detailed information on finding all other types of publicly available information such as marital status, court records and more.

Certain records will still remain either fully or partially undisclosed despite FOIA laws and the Open Records Statute; for example, juvenile records are automatically sealed from public access after their court case proceedings conclude.

What’s the Difference Between Criminal Records vs Arrest Records in North Dakota?

An arrest record is somewhat similar to a criminal record but focuses on just one specific incident rather than an individual’s entire criminal history.

An arrest report is a written account detailing a particular detainment, while a criminal record gives much more comprehensive information on the subject of the record, including any and all prior arrests, charges, and convictions (unless they have been sealed).

Arrest records generally include the following information:

  • Arresting Agency
  • Arrest Details (Location & Time)
  • Bond Amount
  • Charge(s)
  • Date of Birth
  • Full Name
  • Intake Date
  • Mugshot

Criminal records in North Dakota include:

  • Address(es)
  • Charge(s)
  • Conviction(s)
  • Current Facility
  • Date of Birth
  • Full Name
  • Known Alias(es)
  • Mugshot
  • Outstanding Warrants
  • Prior Detainments
  • Release Date
  • Sentencing Details

How To See Who’s in a North Dakota Jail, Search for Mugshots & the Reason for Detainment for Free

Arrest records can be obtained by members of the public in several ways, depending on where the arrestee was incarcerated and who made the arrest.

It is helpful to know as much information about the subject as possible when seeking North Dakota arrest records to narrow down the search and find the most accurate results in the most efficient manner.

Key information to have when trying to find recent arrests includes the person’s full name, as well as an approximation of the time, date, and location of the arrest.

Knowledge of which agency made the arrest can be helpful too.

North Dakota does not have city jails, so anyone who’s in jail–not prison–will be held in county facilities. Some counties have online inmate search tools or electronic booking logs of daily arrests available on the county sheriff or jail website–often with mugshots and the reason for the arrest listed–but not all have this feature.

In cases where an online search is not available, the sheriff’s office or county jail could be called or visited in person to inquire about arrest records or to find out if someone is in jail.

Search County Arrest Records & Jails in North Dakota Through Local Sheriff Offices

In every county in North Dakota, arrest records are available for public access, and interested parties can search these reports through multiple methods to find out someone’s charges in jail. When available, arrest reports can be viewed via an up-to-date online directory by clicking on the relevant county link on the table below.

Any individual who wants to find out if someone was arrested could also refer to the contact information below by finding the appropriate county and reach out to the jail or sheriff’s office by phone:

County Jail Inmate Roster or Contact Page County Jail or Sheriff’s Office Phone Number Shows Mugshots?
Adams County* ​Adams County Sheriff’s Office:
Barnes County Barnes County Sheriff’s Office:
Barnes County Jail:
Benson County* Benson County Sheriff’s Office:
Billings County* Billings County Sheriff’s Office:
Bottineau County* Bottineau County Sheriff’s Office:
Bowman County* Bowman County Sheriff’s Office:
Burke County* Burke County Sheriff’s Office:
Burleigh County* Burleigh County Sheriff’s Office:
Cass County Cass County Sheriff’s Office:
Cass County Jail:
Cavalier County* Cavalier County Sheriff’s Office:
Dickey County* Dickey County Sheriff’s Office:
Divide County* Divide County Sheriff’s Office:
Dunn County* Dunn County Sheriff’s Office:
Eddy County* Eddy County Sheriff’s Office:
Emmons County* Emmons County Sheriff’s Office:
Foster County* Foster County Sheriff’s Office:
Golden Valley County* Golden Valley County Sheriff’s Office:
Grand Forks County* Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office:
Grant County* Grant County Sheriff’s Office:
Griggs County* Griggs County Sheriff’s Office:
Hettinger County* Hettinger County Sheriff’s Office:
(701)- 824-2935
Kidder County* Kidder County Sheriff’s Office:
LaMoure County* LaMoure County Sheriff’s Office:
Logan County* Logan County Sheriff’s Office:
McHenry County* McHenry County Sheriff’s Office:
McIntosh County* McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office:
McKenzie County* McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office:
McLean County* McLean County Sheriff’s Office:
(701)- 462-8103
Mercer County* Mercer County Sheriff’s Office:
Morton County* Morton County Sheriff’s Office:
Mountrail County* Mountrail County Sheriff’s Office:
Nelson County* Nelson County Sheriff’s Office:
Oliver County* Oliver County Sheriff’s Office:
Pembina County* Pembina County Sheriff’s Office:
Pierce County* Pierce County Sheriff’s Office:
Ramsey County* Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office:
Ransom County* Ransom County Sheriff’s Office:
Renville County* Renville County Sheriff’s Office:
Richland County Richland County Sheriff’s Office & Jail:
Rolette County* Rolette County Sheriff’s Office:
Sargent County* Sargent County Sheriff’s Office:
Sheridan County* Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office:
Sioux County* Sioux County Sheriff’s Office:
Slope County* Slope County Sheriff’s Office:
Stark County* Stark County Sheriff’s Office:
Steele County* Steele County Sheriff’s Office:
Stutsman County Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office:
Towner County* Towner County Sheriff’s Office:
Traill County* Traill County Sheriff’s Office:
Walsh County* Walsh County Sheriff’s Office:
Ward County Ward County Sheriff’s Office:
Ward County Jail:
Wells County* Wells County Sheriff’s Office:
Williams County* Williams County Sheriff’s Office:

* indicates counties that do not have an online inmate search tool for current arrests; for these counties, inquiries on arrest records or inmates can be made by phone or by visiting the sheriff’s office in person during hours of operation.

How To Contact an Inmate in Jail & Post Bail (North Dakota)

To contact an inmate in a North Dakota county jail, friends and family members should check with the appropriate jail to ask about their visitation policies and hours, as each jail can set its own communication policies.

Most county jails offer inmates access to phone calls, email, voicemail, and video calls, as well as certain in-person visitation days and times.

In North Dakota, bail is usually paid to the Clerk of Court at the courthouse where the case was initially heard, or that set the bail amount. However, if someone needs to post bail outside of the court’s normal hours of operation–including evenings, weekends, and holidays–bail may be posted at the jail where the subject is being held instead.

Bail can usually be paid by cash, credit card, or bail bond (explained below). For example, in Cass County bail can be posted in cash at any time of day or night at the kiosk in the jail lobby or by credit card with someone at the front desk.3 Credit card and ATM fees will apply, but payments can also be made online.

Any bail fees paid are considered the property of the defendant, so all refunds (if owed) will be paid to the defendant even if someone posted bail on their behalf. The exception to this rule is if a bail bondsman’s services are used; a bail bondsman, if paid a 10% deposit (or more if bail is set unusually high) will post bail on an inmate’s behalf.

How To Look Up Someone’s Criminal History in ND (North Dakota Criminal Records Search)

This section will provide information on how to access and obtain North Dakota criminal records for either yourself or someone else. Readers will learn where criminal records are held; an agency or entity that hosts these reports is called a public records repository.

The state of North Dakota offers a couple of ways to find criminal history records, and the processes and costs (or lack thereof) associated with each will be explained so that anyone can follow this guide to check if someone has a criminal record easily.

Perform a Criminal Record Lookup Using the County’s Clerk of Court or Court Recorder (ND)

In North Dakota, a criminal record–informally called a rap sheet–can be obtained locally at the county level through the county Clerk of Court or Court Recorder. In many counties, especially those with lower populations, one person serves as the Clerk and Recorder and can provide records to members of the public who request them.

The county courts were abolished in the early 1990s, and North Dakota subsequently began operating under a unified court system. In this system, each of North Dakota’s 53 counties hosts a District Court, and these courts are split by region into 8 judicial districts.

Nearly all criminal cases are heard by the District Courts (except for some misdemeanors, which are heard at the municipal level), but criminal records should still be requested through the County Clerk of Court or Court Recorder. In North Dakota, these terms or titles are often used interchangeably.

Each county’s Clerk of Court or County Recorder contact page can be found linked in the table below, along with the relevant courthouse address and phone number where criminal record requests can be made. Most counties charge a nominal fee for copies of records.

County Clerk of Court/Recorder for Criminal Record Searches Courthouse Address Phone Number
Adams County 604 Adams Ave.
Hettinger, ND 58639
Barnes County 230 4th St. NW Room 303
Valley City, ND 58072
Benson County 311 B Ave S.
Minnewaukan, ND 58351
Billings County 495 4th St.
Medora, ND 58645
Bottineau County 314 5th St. W
Bottineau, ND 58318
Bowman County 104 1st St. NW
Bowman ND 58623
Burke County 103 Main St.
Bowbells, ND 58721
Burleigh County 221 N. 5th St.
Bismarck, ND 58502
Cass County 211 9th St. S.
Fargo, ND 58103
Cavalier County 901 3rd St.
Langdon, ND 58249
Dickey County 309 Second St. N.
Ellendale, ND 58436
Divide County 200 N Main St.
Crosby, ND 58730
Dunn County 205 Owen St.
Manning, ND 58642
Eddy County 524 Central Ave.
New Rockford, ND 58356
Emmons County 100 NW 4th St.
Linton, ND 58552
Foster County 1000 5th St. N.
Carrington, ND 58421
Golden Valley County 150 1st Ave. SE
Beach, North Dakota 58621
Grand Forks County 151 South 4th St.
Grand Forks, ND 58201
Grant County N Main St.
Carson, ND 58529
Griggs County 805 Odegard Ave. SW.
Cooperstown, ND 58425
Hettinger County 336 Pacific Ave.
Mott, ND 58646
Kidder County 120 Broadway Ave. E.
Steele, ND 58482
LaMoure County 202 4th Ave. NE
LaMoure, ND 58458
Logan County 301 Broadway
Napoleon, ND 58561
McHenry County 407 S Main St.
Towner, ND 58788
McIntosh County 112 1st St. NE
Ashley, ND 58413
McKenzie County 201 5th St. NW
Watford City, ND 58854
McLean County 712 5th Ave.
Washburn, ND 58577
Mercer County 1021 Arthur St.
Stanton, ND 58571
Morton County 210 2nd Ave. NW
Mandan, ND 58554
Mountrail County 101 S Main St.
Stanley, ND 58784
Nelson County 210 B Ave W.
Lakota, ND 58344
Oliver County 115 Main St.
Center, ND 58530
Pembina County 310 Dakota St. W
Cavalier, ND 58220
Pierce County 240 2nd St. SE
Rugby, ND 58368
Ramsey County 524 4th Ave. NE
Devils Lake, ND 58301
Ransom County 206 5th Ave. W
Lisbon, ND 58054
Renville County 205 Main St. E
Mohall, ND 58761
Richland County 418 2 Ave. N
Wahpeton, ND 58075
Rolette County 102 2nd St. NE
Rolla, ND 58367
Sargent County 355 Main St. SW
Forman, ND 58032
Sheridan County 215 2nd St. E
McClusky, ND 58463
Sioux County 303 2nd Ave.
Fort Yates, ND 58538
Slope County 206 Main St.
Amidon, ND 58620
Stark County 51 3rd St. E
Dickinson, ND 58601
Steele County 201 Washington Ave. W
Finley, ND 58230
Stutsman County 511 2nd Ave. SE
Jamestown, ND 58401
Towner County 301 2nd St.
Cando, ND 58324
Traill County 13 1st St. NW
Hillsboro, ND 58045
Walsh County 600 Cooper Ave.
Grafton, ND 58237
Ward County 225 Third St. SE
Minot, ND 58701
Wells County 700 Railway St. N
Fessenden, ND 58438
Williams County 205 E Broadway
Williston, ND 58801

If a searcher has trouble obtaining a criminal record through the County Clerk or Recorder, they can view the State of North Dakota District Court Locations webpage to search for any county’s District court information by selecting the relevant county on the map or choosing it from the drop-down list.4

A screenshot of the State of North Dakota District Court Locations webpage to search for any county’s District court information by selecting the relevant county on the map or choosing it from the drop down list.
Source: State of North Dakota Courts4

Most county webpages will exhibit the District Clerk of Court’s contact information for further criminal record inquiries (if not found through the County Clerk of Court or Recorder), as well as the District Court’s:

  • Contact Information for Other County Officials (i.e. Sheriff, State’s Attorney)
  • Courthouse Address
  • Mailing Address
  • Fax Number
  • Hours of Operation
  • Phone Number
  • Relevant Judicial District

Obtain Criminal Records via the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI)

Individuals in North Dakota can Request a Criminal History Record Check through the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), which allows for either name-based or fingerprint-based searches.5

Requests can be made for one’s own criminal record or for someone else’s, but requests for another subject’s criminal history information must be accompanied by either their current address or their written consent, as explained below.

A name-based search will only give exact matches, so if the spelling is inaccurate or the subject of the record check has since changed their name (such as from a maiden to a married name), results may not be accurate. Both name-based and fingerprint-based searches will be limited to North Dakota and will not show federal or out-of-state offenses, convictions, or warrants.

To obtain a criminal record of oneself or on someone else, individuals in North Dakota can follow these steps:

  1. Fill out a Request for Criminal History Record Information (SFN 50744) fully and legibly (incomplete or unreadable forms will be returned)6

    Note: Requests for someone else’s criminal records must include either the subject’s current address OR a signed copy of the Personal Authorization for Criminal History Record Information (SFN 51156).7

    The searcher must also know the subject’s full name, maiden or former names (if applicable), known aliases, date of birth, and social security number OR have their fingerprints to submit (The BCI will notify the subject of a criminal history check being done on them if the request is not accompanied by the signed authorization form).

  2. If requesting a fingerprint-based search, fingerprints can be taken on an official fingerprinting card at a local law enforcement agency.
  3. Send all forms along with the fingerprint card (if applicable) and a $15 processing fee by check or money order (made payable to the “North Dakota Attorney General”) to the BCI at:

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation
Criminal Records Section
PO Box 1054
Bismarck, ND 58502-1054

Phone: (701)-328-5500

Processing time for criminal record checks through the BCI is usually 7-10 business days, but requesters may include a pre-paid and self-addressed priority or overnight envelope for prompt delivery. Requesters who need a certified or notarized criminal record are required to submit the request in writing with their forms and payment.

The information included on general BCI criminal history record checks includes charges less than 3 years old that have been dismissed or did not result in a conviction, all convictions (no matter how old), deferred charges that have been dismissed (up to 3 years old), and custody records for both jails and prisons (up to 3 years old).

Any individual who has been granted a pardon will still have the initial conviction listed on their criminal record, but the record will also show “Pardon With Removal of Guilt,” and in such cases, the subject can legally say “no” when asked if they were convicted of the offense.

Information that is excluded from criminal records after 3 years will still be shown on regulatory or licensing criminal history record checks and viewable by law enforcement agencies.

Criminal history information not included in any type of North Dakota record check via the BCI includes:

  • Civil Judgments
  • Federal Records
  • Juvenile Records
  • Out-of-State Records
  • Traffic Offenses (some exceptions apply; contact the North Dakota Department of Transportation–NDDOT–for further questions)8
  • Tribal Records

How To Get a Copy of Criminal Records in ND

North Dakota criminal records can be easily obtained at the local or state level for free or low cost. Though North Dakota does not have county courts anymore, criminal history information can still be requested via the designated county Clerk of Court or Court Recorder, whose roles still exist to serve county residents and requesters.

At the state level, individuals can Request a Criminal History Record Check through the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) of the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General by submitting a Request for Criminal History Record Information (SFN 50744) and mailing the form along with a $15 check or money order made out to the “North Dakota Attorney General” to the BCI at:5, 6

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation
Criminal Records Section
PO Box 1054
Bismarck ND 58502-1054
Phone: (701)-328-5500

Requesters who choose to obtain a criminal record on someone else must either know the subject’s current home address or submit a signed copy of Form SFN 51156 (Personal Authorization for Criminal History Record Information) with their request.7

Individuals who need or want a fingerprint-based check should also submit their fingerprint card with their request (available from local law enforcement agencies who may mail the card to the BCI on the requester’s behalf).

A screenshot of the SFN 51156 form, which an individual can use to request someone else’s criminal records.
Source: North Dakota Attorney General7

The State of North Dakota Court System also offers a helpful Criminal Case Record Search to view criminal history information online, but these results will not be certified or official criminal records.9 This service is free for public use, but the court website warns that results may be incomplete or out of date, as not all courts participate or update their case files regularly.

A screenshot of the Criminal Case Record Search tool The State of North Dakota Court System offers to view criminal history information online, but these results will not be certified or official criminal records.
Source: North Dakota Courts32

Searchers can also conduct a North Dakota Court Record Inquiry (NDCRI) which can be valuable for reviewing general information on criminal cases but will not include official or certified court records.10 It is offered as a service, but the North Dakota Judicial Branch denies any responsibility for errors or omissions through the NDCRI.

Although this service does not provide official criminal history record information, it can still be a useful resource for interested parties; the NDCRI is updated daily and available 24/7. Users can search by state, judicial district, or by county (most specific).

To best narrow down the search, individuals using the NDCRI should enter as many search criteria as possible; this can include the subject’s first and last name, date filed, case status, or case type.

A screenshot of the register of actions from the criminal record case search tool which include the subject’s first and last name, date filed, case status, or case type.
Source: North Dakota Courts Records Inquiry33

Public terminals are available at each District Court and at the Fargo Municipal Court for viewing and printing court-related documents at no cost to the user.

Lastly, third-party people finder services or websites can assist searchers and provide criminal history information promptly by searching many repositories at once. These services can save the searcher a lot of time, effort, and frustration and often charge only a nominal fee.

How Do I Check if Someone Is on Probation or Parole in North Dakota?

Individuals hoping to find information on probationers in North Dakota or to search ND parolee records can benefit from knowing that probation usually describes a release from jail and parole often refers to a release from prison.

Since county jails do not offer an online probation search, interested parties should call or visit the jail office during normal business hours for probation inquiries.

To illustrate just how many people are on probation and parole, the following image shows the combined total of probationers and parolees in North Dakota, along with their ethnicities. Furthermore, these totals are also compared to the number of individuals on community supervision (including probation and parole) in other states across the United States.

An image of the United States map showing all states with their total probationers and parolees population per 100,000 residents focusing on North Dakota state with a bar graph showing North Dakota's community supervision ethnicities.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

As for parole from state prison, the North Dakota Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (ND DOCR) is responsible for oversight of all state prisons and works with the State’s Parole Board to set parole standards and stipulations.11, 12

The Parole Board has the ultimate jurisdiction over parole, and any member of the public with questions or concerns can contact the board by postal mail, phone, email, or fax.

North Dakota Parole Board
P.O. Box 1898
Bismarck, ND 58502-1898

Phone: 701-328-6712
Fax: 701-328-6651
Email: [email protected]

The Parole Board also offers its monthly “Parole Board Results” published on the North Dakota Parole Board website.12 By clicking on the results for any month, individuals can view the online parolee database, which includes the parolee’s:

  • State I.D.
  • DOCR Number
  • First & Last Name
  • Parole Action Taken
  • Parole Start Date
  • Deferral Information
  • Relevant Comments
  • Time Added Back
A screenshot of the parole board results which, by clicking on the results for any month, individuals can view the online parolee database, which includes the parolee’s, state I.D., DOCR number, first & last name, parole action taken, parole start date, deferral information, relevant comments, and time added back.
Source: North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation34

Parole or probation information may also be found by running a personal background check on the subject. Viewing criminal case records at the courthouse or conducting a North Dakota Court Record Inquiry (NDCRI) are additional options, but these will not always show parole information.10

Searchers can also contact any Parole & Probation Offices but might not be granted access to parolee or probationary details.13

Lastly, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) provides a BOP inmate locator tool.14, 15

A screenshot of the BOP inmate locator offered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, where the user can obtain a parolee database to find a subject’s historical parole details at the federal level.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons15

It can be used to search for parole information on prior federal inmates, but any information about parole found via the BOP may be outdated and simply means that the subject was eligible for parole at some point.

How To Seal a Criminal Record in North Dakota

In North Dakota, criminal records can be sealed but cannot be fully expunged or destroyed. Individuals seeking record sealing or erasure may also want to note that–even if granted–this will not remove the information from their criminal record; only from their court record.

Instead, a note will be added to the record saying that the subject has been absolved of guilt or a similar note made next to the relevant charge or conviction, such as “Pardoned–Removal of Guilt.”

Any individual found guilty or having pled guilty to a criminal offense cannot have that mark removed from their criminal history record, even if it is erased from the court file.

Under North Dakota Century Code NDCC 12-60.1, to be eligible for sealing a criminal record, the individual must have:16

  • Pled guilty to–or was found guilty of–a misdemeanor and not been convicted of another crime for 3 years or more prior to filing the petition to seal
  • Pled guilty to–or was found guilty of–a felony and not been convicted of another crime for 5 years or more prior to filing the petition to seal

A petition to seal a criminal record has to be filed in the existing criminal case and must include the following:

  • Petitioner’s first and last name
  • All legal names and aliases used at any time
  • Petitioner’s address(es) ranging from the date of the offense to the date of the petition to seal
  • Reasons why the petition to seal should be approved
  • All of the individual’s criminal history in all states, federal, and foreign courts
  • A disclosure of all prior petitions for pardon(s), sealing, or return of arrest record(s) whether they were granted or not

When filing a petition to seal a criminal record in North Dakota, the petitioner is required to file a proposed order and serve the petition upon the prosecuting official.

Juvenile records are automatically sealed, but all adult criminal records must be petitioned for sealing.

How To Find an Inmate in a North Dakota State or Federal Prison

Inmates in North Dakota’s state prisons can be contacted by phone, or visited in person, and emails or video visitations are often allowed as well.

The North Dakota Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (ND DOCR) operates all state prisons and sets general visitation rules across the board, but each facility has the authority to implement additional visitation policies, so the relevant facility should be contacted with any questions or concerns.11

Both general ND DOCR Visitation Policies for Family & Friends as well as links to each facility’s specific rules can be reviewed for further insight.17

All in-person visitors must complete and submit the Visitor Application Form (SFN 7598), get pre-approval, and have their names added to the relevant inmate’s list of approved visitors before any in-person visitation will be allowed.18

A screenshot of the visitor's application form, which all in-person visitors must complete and submit to get pre-approval and have their names added to the relevant inmate's list of approved visitors before any in-person visitation will be allowed.
Source: North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation18

There are 5 state prisons and correctional facilities in North Dakota, listed below with their mailing addresses and other helpful contact information, but friends and family members can benefit from knowing that both male and female inmates go through an initial orientation program and cannot receive packages until after they have completed this program.

All men sentenced under the jurisdiction of the ND DOCR will be held at the North Dakota State Penitentiary (NDSP) for approximately a month before being transferred to a longer-term facility.19 While at the NDSP, new male inmates will experience orientation, where they will learn the ND DOCR’s rules, policies, and programs offered.

After the 4 week period in the NDSP, the men will be considered “gen pop” (general population) and will either stay in the NDSP facility or be moved to the James River Correctional Center (JRCC) or to the Missouri River Correctional Center (MRCC).20, 21

Women under the jurisdiction of the ND DOCR will experience a similar orientation at the Dakota Women’s Correctional & Rehabilitation Center (DWCRC) and then will be held in the general population–either staying at the DWCRC or in the Heart River Correctional Center (HRCC), which was designed to hold minimum security women.22, 23

All ND DOCR inmates, upon completion of orientation, will meet with a committee to determine their custody level, assigned housing, and which programs may benefit each particular inmate in terms of work, therapy, and educational goals while serving their prison time.

ND DOCR Adult Facilities include:24

North Dakota State Penitentiary (NDSP)
3100 Railroad Avenue
PO Box 5521
Bismarck, ND 58506-5521

Telephone: (701)-328-6100
Fax: (701)-328-6640

James River Correctional Center (JRCC)
2521 Circle Drive
Jamestown, ND 58401

Telephone: (701)-253-3660
Fax: (701)-253-3735

Missouri River Correctional Center (MRCC)
1800 48th Avenue S.W.
Bismarck, ND 58506

Telephone: (701)-328-9696
Fax: (701)-328-9690

Heart River Correctional Center (HRCC)
701 16th Avenue Southwest
Mandan, ND 58554

Telephone: (701)-663-1400
Fax: (701)-663-1414

Dakota Women’s Correctional & Rehabilitation Center (DWCRC)
440 McKenzie Street
New England, ND 58647

Telephone: (701)-579-5100
Fax: (701)-579-5101

Conveniently, there is also an online search resource available to searchers that provides information on each inmate. The ND DOCR Inmate Lookup allows the public to search for inmates in any of these 5 facilities and offers a mugshot database for visual reference or identification verification as well.25

A screenshot of the ND DOCR Inmate Lookup allows the public to search for inmates in any of these 5 facilities and offers a mugshot database for visual reference or identification verification as well.
Source: North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation25

To use the ND DOCR search, users can:

  1. Type the subject’s last name (or at least the first few letters of their last name) into the search bar on the ND DOCR Inmate Lookup page.25
  2. A list of inmates will be shown in a list (by first, middle, and last name) accompanied by their inmate I.D. and date of birth.
  3. Users may click on any inmate profile to see further details; each profile includes the individual’s full name, date of birth, estimated release date, current facility name, and address, as well as the subject’s mugshot.
A screenshot of an inmate's information which includes the individual's full name, date of birth, estimated release date, current facility name and address, as well as the subject's mugshot.
Source: North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation35

Any individual who uses this lookup feature will only find inmates currently held in a North Dakota state correctional facility; detainees incarcerated in county jails or outside of North Dakota in other state or federal correctional facilities will not appear in any ND DOCR search results. Even if someone is being held in one of North Dakota’s state prisons but was sentenced in another state, they still will not be included in these searches.

Though there is no particular felony registry, it may be helpful for those using this search tool to know that subjects charged with violent felonies or misdemeanors are often held in state prisons while more white-collar criminals–such as those who have committed fraud or money laundering–tend to end up in federal prisons.

North Dakota does not hold any federal prisons, but individuals sentenced to federal prisons are transferred to facilities in neighboring states; these inmates can still be contacted, and their information can still be accessed.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is the agency that oversees all federal correctional facilities in the United States.14 It offers a BOP inmate locator tool available for public use and is free of charge; this database can be searched by entering the federal inmate’s name (both first and last required) with other relevant information such as race, age, and sex to narrow down the search results.15

The BOP database may also be searched by the subject’s BOP register number if known by the searcher. Once a search has been completed, users can click on any of the inmates to view more information. Inmate profiles include the BOP register number, full name, age, race, sex, and release date, if applicable.

A screenshot of a federal inmate's information where users of this free search resource can search by either the subject’s name or BOP number, if known.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons15

Individuals using this search feature can learn how to contact, visit, or send money to inmates under BOP supervision by clicking on the relevant tabs on the inmate profile.

How To Perform a North Dakota Arrest Warrant Search

In North Dakota, many county sheriff websites (found in the first table above) offer a local warrant list online via a list or portal often called “Most Wanted” or simply “Warrant Search”.

For counties that do not have this feature, interested individuals could contact local law enforcement by phone or during hours of operation. The local police department or sheriff’s office can provide confirmation about current or outstanding warrants.

Searchers can also utilize the North Dakota Court Record Inquiry (NDCRI) search tool to check for warrants on anyone throughout ND.10 This resource can be searched by county, or users can conduct statewide searches for criminal records, North Dakota arrest records, and warrants.

A screenshot of the North Dakota Courts Records Inquiry tool displays the state map divided into districts with a drop-down menu for location and options for search type, with criminal cases being emphasized by an arrow.
Source: North Dakota Courts Records Inquiry10

After inputting the search criteria–search by name, case, date filed, citation, or attorney–a list of all relevant subjects and records will be shown. If there is a red “W” before the case number, this indicates that there is an outstanding warrant for the individual.

Residents of North Dakota can confirm whether or not they or someone else has a warrant out for their arrest at the local level, but unfortunately, the public does not have access to federal warrants issued by the U.S. Marshals and compiled in their WIN system.

North Dakota Background Checks Explained

Background checks in North Dakota can be performed for personal or professional reasons and for a wide range of purposes, from employment and residency to obtaining firearms or certain licenses. Adoption applications, security clearance checks, and many other agencies require these checks as well.

Any background check performed for personal purposes does not require consent from the subject of the search, and there is no requirement even to notify them that the check is being conducted. Such checks can be done through local criminal record searches, court record reviews, or by hiring third-party services to expedite the process.

These personal background checks can be done by any member of the public without disclosing a reason, but the information found through the investigation cannot be used to stalk, harass, or commit a hate crime against the subject.

Professional background checks, on the other hand, are used to verify a subject’s personal information for employment, housing, and other approval processes to assess risk and view the individual’s criminal, character, and educational past.

These types of checks require the subject’s knowledge and permission and must abide by all state and federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Ban the Box, and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The two primary types of background checks are considered Level 1 and Level 2.

Level 1 background checks are name-based searches that assess local records at the county or state level and give insight into the subject’s employment and criminal history. However, with only a name to go on, these types of checks have more room for error or false search results.

Level 2 background checks are much more in-depth and give comprehensive results on a national scale. These types of background checks require the subject’s fingerprints to be sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and return information on their previous address(es), marriage(s), and employer(s), as well as credit and educational history.

Level 2 background checks also list prior and pending criminal charges, convictions, civil judgments, arrest records, sex crimes, and information on past jail or prison stays.

These in-depth background checks are often used when screening for employment that involves working with children or the elderly, as well as many healthcare roles.

A Level 1 background check can be obtained through the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI).

Applicants must Request a Criminal History Record Check, which allows for either name-based or fingerprint-based searches.5 Detailed instructions for conducting a Level 1 check can be found above under the heading “Obtain ND Criminal Records Through the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).”

Level 2 background checks can also be obtained via the BCI, but only if required by state or federal law.

For example, professional licensing agencies, foster care providers, and adoptive parents who are required by law to get a national FBI criminal background check are approved to obtain one through the BCI.

The person requesting the check must gather all relevant information and forms from the entity or agency that requires the background check (as requirements vary depending on the agency) and have their fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency.

Anyone outside of this category must request their Level 2 background check from the FBI directly, as the BCI will only process approved individuals’ checks.

Background check laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the laws protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prohibit discrimination when these checks or records are obtained for professional purposes.26, 27

If any employee or applicant believes that they have been wrongfully treated or discriminated against in regard to information disclosed in a professional background check, they can File a Charge of Discrimination through the North Dakota Department of Labor & Human Rights or contact the EEOC.28, 29

How To Search the North Dakota Sex Offender Registry

Registered sex offenders in North Dakota can be found through two online search portals, both of which are free to use and available to the public. At the state level, the North Dakota Sex Offender Registry is available to members of the public who want to be aware of any risks or prior offenders in their neighborhood or city.30

The statewide registry can either be searched by inputting the offender’s name or location (county, city, neighborhood, or specific address) within a chosen radius. The results shown will be for the entire state of North Dakota, and filters can be utilized to view incarcerated or non-incarcerated subjects (or both at once).

A screenshot of the North Dakota Sex Offender Registry search tool which is available to members of the public who want to be aware of any risks or prior offenders in their neighborhood or city.
Source: North Dakota Sex Offender Registry30

Once search criteria have been entered, users of this registry can click “Search” and will be brought to a page of registered offenders that fall under the search terms. Any offender profile can be selected to view the following information:

  • Current Registration Status
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of Conviction
  • Disposition
  • Eye Color
  • Full Name
  • Hair Type/Color
  • Height
  • Jurisdiction
  • Known Aliases
  • Mugshot
  • Offender Registration Expiration Date
  • Offense Description
  • Physical Markings & Identifiers (i.e. Tattoos/Scars)
  • Residential Address(es)
  • Risk Level
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Skin Tone
  • State
  • Weight
A screenshot of a sex offender's information from the North Dakota sex offender registry includes name, aliases, birthdate, sex, race, height, weight, eye color, hair color, registration, etc.
Source: North Dakota Sex Offender Registry36

The National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) can also be searched, with results on a much broader scale.31 The NSOPW offers searches by either address radius, name, zip code, or a combination of name and zip code. For name-based searches, both the first and last names are required.

A screenshot of the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) search tool where registered sex offenders in North Dakota can also be searched on a national scale by either the subject’s name or location (within a specified radius).
Source: Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website37

For further information on a certain offender, their profile can be clicked on to see what jurisdiction they’re in, details of the offense, residential and employment addresses, vehicles owned, and other personal identifiers. The NSOPW also offers features to either track or map offenders, which can be found on the subject’s sex offender profile.

Your Rights Pertaining to Criminal & Arrest Records Under North Dakota Laws

The laws regarding arrest records and criminal records in North Dakota can be found below, as well as a brief summary of other laws relevant to public records, such as those pertaining to background checks.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a set of federal laws that guarantees the public’s right to access, view and obtain public records, including arrest and criminal reports.1

The ND Open Records Statute, written into North Dakota Century Statute as NDCC 44-4-18, is essentially the state-level Freedom of Information Act.2 Commonly called North Dakota’s “Sunshine Law”, the Open Records Statute grants the public access to all government and public entity reports, documents, audio, and other mediums unless withheld by law.

Juvenile records are automatically sealed upon conclusion of court case proceedings and are not accessible to members of the public. These records may only be obtained by court order in certain circumstances, such as for a victim’s insurance company records. All other juvenile records remain confidential unless the subject of the record gives consent for disclosure.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) prevent discrimination based on information disclosed in public records and work to ensure accuracy and timeliness in consumer reporting.27, 26

Although personal background checks and criminal record searches may be conducted without the subject’s knowledge or consent, these records cannot be obtained for professional purposes such as employment or licensing without the subject’s permission and must abide by all local and federal laws.

In North Dakota, arrest records can be found through local law enforcement agencies such as the arresting police department or local sheriff’s office. Alternately, North Dakota criminal records may be obtained through the relevant county’s Clerk of Court or Court Recorder, via the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, or by recruiting the help of third-party services.


1United States Department of Justice. (2023). Freedom of Information Act Statute. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

2North Dakota Century Codes. (2023). NDCC 44-4-18 North Dakota Open Records Statute [Web]. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

3Cass County, North Dakota. (2023). Paying Bail in Case County, ND. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

4State of North Dakota Courts. (2023). North Dakota District Court Locations. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

5North Dakota Attorney General. (2023). Requesting a Criminal History Record Check. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

6Office of the Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Investigation. (2022). NON-CRIMINAL JUSTICE REQUEST FOR CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION [Web]. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

7Office of the Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Investigation. (2022). PERSONAL AUTHORIZATION FOR CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION [Web]. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

8North Dakota Department of Transportation. (2023). NDDOT. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

9State of North Dakota Courts. (2023). Criminal Case Records Searches. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

10State of North Dakota Courts. (2009). North Dakota Courts Record Inquiry (NDCRI). Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

11North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (2023). North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

12North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (2023). Parole Board. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

13North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (2023). Parole and Probation Offices. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

14Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2023). BOP. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

15Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2023). Find an Inmate (BOP inmate locator). Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

16North Dakota Century Codes. (n.d.). Chapter 12-60.1 Sealing Criminal Records [Web]. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

17ND DOCR. (2023). Visitation Policies for Family & Friends. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

18ND DOCR. (2021, May). ND DOCR Visitor Application Form SFN 7598 [Web]. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

19ND DOCR. (2023). North Dakota State Penitentiary (NDSP). Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

20ND DOCR. (2023). James River Correctional Center. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

21ND DOCR. (2023). Missouri River Correctional Center (MRCC). Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

22Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center. (2023). Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center (DWCRC). Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

23ND DOCR. (2023). Heart River Correctional Center. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

24ND DOCR. (2023). Adult Facilities. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

25ND DOCR. (2023). ND DOCR inmate lookup. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

26Federal Trade Commission. (2023, May). Fair Credit Reporting Act. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

27U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (2023). What is Employment Discrimination? Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

28North Dakota Dept. of Labor and Human Rights. (2023). Discrimination Intake Questionnaire. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

29North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights. (2023). About Us. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

30North Dakota Office of the Attorney General. (2023). North Dakota Sex Offender Registry. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

31United States Department of Justice. (2023). Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW). Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

32North Dakota Courts. (n.d.). North Dakota Courts Records Inquiry. Retrieved June 13, 2023 <>

33Register of Actions. (n.d.). North Dakota Courts Records Inquiry. Retrieved June 13, 2023 <>

34North Dakota Corrections and Rehabilitation. (2023). June 2023 Parole Board – Parole Board Members: Pat Weir, Leslie Bakken Oliver, and Keith Witt. Retrieved June 13, 2023 <>

35North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (n.d.). Offender Lookup. Retrieved June 13, 2023 <>

36Office of Attorney General.(n.d.). Offender Profile. North Dakota Sex Offender Registry. Retrieved June 13, 2023 <>

37United States Department of Justice. (n.d.). Search Results. Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW). Retrieved June 13, 2023 <>