Skip to Main Content

Prison Records at the Archives & Library of the Ohio History Connection

Introduction to Prison Admission Records

Cells at the Ohio Reformatory for Women

Prison Admission Records

Prison admission records generally include the inmate's name, serial number, offense/crime, sentence, date of admission, date of discharge, and limited biographical information. Our holdings and the information contained in each collection vary depending on institution.

There is no comprehensive index to the names of inmates imprisoned in Ohio juvenile and correctional facilities from 1829-1973. One must search by individual prison. If you know a person was incarcerated during a certain time, but do not know in what prison, the U.S Federal Census may be helpful in identifying that information. The individual will often be listed as a "prisoner" in the 'relation' column of the census record. The institution will be named at the top of the record. See example below of record of some of the persons incarcerated in the Ohio State Penitentiary at the time of the 1900 census.

Note: the term "inmate" was often used in the census records for persons living in an infirmary or mental health institution.