Access Kentucky Arrests & Criminal Records for Free (All KY Counties)

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

Access Kentucky arrest records and criminal records in a matter of seconds through the government repositories seen below or through free web searches.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) make records available to the public, but searchers must know what and where to look for them because it can differ for each KY county.

For this reason, this resource provides free guides that empower citizens to learn about anyone’s criminal history so they can make informed decisions in personal and professional relationships.

The information below will show readers how to:

  • Find recent arrests in Kentucky through their respective county sheriff’s department
  • Post bail for individuals arrested in Kentucky
  • Check to see if someone has a criminal history or infractions by looking into KY court records
  • Obtain and request copies of Kentucky criminal records
  • Seal and expunge criminal records that originated in Kentucky
  • See if someone is on probation or parole in KY
  • Find state and federal prisoners in Kentucky penitentiaries
  • Run a Kentucky background check for personal reasons or professional purposes in accordance with the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act)
  • Determine if there are sexual predators or offenders in their neighborhood
  • Digest and understand laws surrounding public records and anti-discrimination

Are Criminal & Arrest Records Public Information in Kentucky? Which Records Are Not Publicly Accessible?

Kentucky criminal records are covered under KORA (Kentucky Open Records Act) outlined in KRS 61.870 to 61.884. This makes all criminal convictions, pending charges, mugshots and arrest records part of the broader Kentucky public records and accessible to anyone that wants to know — with some limited exceptions.

For example, juvenile records are not public record and cannot be accessed unless specifically ordered released by a judge in good standing, and then only to a restricted audience with a need-to-know status. Additionally, police reports or arrest reports can be restricted until the matter has been disposed of in court to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

Information in police reports or criminal cases pertaining to witnesses and victims can also be removed from the records when released to someone to protect these individuals. These exceptions are covered in 61.878.

Other matters that are confidential and are not considered public record in Kentucky are mental health cases and domestic violence protective order cases.

Additionally, per 61.878, in some cases victims can consent to release of videos or photographs in which they appear in order to help capture wanted persons or to raise awareness, but release of these images must be in compliance with all aspects of the statute.1

Also, criminal court cases that have been expunged or sealed by the court are not considered public record and will be accessible on background checks or other criminal history searches.

What Shows Up on Kentucky Criminal Records Searches vs KY Arrest Records?

The amount of information that appears on Kentucky criminal and arrest records are similar; however, criminal records show even more information after the individual goes to court.

Kentucky Arrest Records

Kentucky arrest records show who’s in jail, a description of the person, how to find out someone’s charges in jail, date and time the person was arrested, the law enforcement agency making the arrest, and where the person is currently in jail.

Arrest records may also include a mugshot if the agency wishes to include this information. Kentucky state laws do not prohibit employers from requesting and using arrest records in the state for hiring decisions, so understanding these records and how to access them is vital.2

Kentucky Criminal Records

Kentucky criminal records contain all the same elements of an arrest record; however, they also include disposition information in the case.

Disposition simply means what happened to the charges in court including dismissal/dropped charges, acquittals, convictions, diversions or deferred programs and sentencing data.

A Kentucky criminal background check includes traffic offenses, misdemeanors, felonies and circuit court information in addition to the other data mentioned.3

How To Find Recent Arrests & Why Someone Is in Jail in KY for Free (Search Kentucky Jails)

There are many ways to find recent arrests in Kentucky. The fastest way to locate a recently arrested individual is to search the local county jail records. However to effectively use this method, it is essential to know the location where the arrest took place.

Most jails are maintained by the county sheriff’s department, or the county jailer. Searching these departments is the quickest way how to find out what someone was arrested for or how to find out if someone was arrested.

The Kentucky government framework has an elected office for both sheriffs and jailers, and these officials may share incarceration duties. Some major cities may also maintain municipal jails for short-term incarceration.

Knowing where to search and how is key to learning who is in jail or who was recently arrested in a certain area. It is also a great way to find out why someone was arrested or is in jail.

How To View County Arrest Records in Kentucky (KY Mugshots & Inmate Rosters)

County jails are the first and best place to start when looking for recent arrest records in Kentucky and we took the liberty to list each county’s inmate search tool below.

Each jail maintains a daily roster of inmates, and many departments offer this roster online or via telephone, but not every department updates daily arrests as they occur, instead updating them at the end of the working day.

Below the table and bulleted list is a series of steps searchers can do to locate an inmate.

A screenshot from the Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections website where users can search for inmates by various criteria such as inmate number, name, age, and gender, alongside a snapshot of recent booking records displayed with details including inmate name, number, booking date and time, gender, height, weight, and release date.
Source: Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections10

The table below lists the county and regional jails in Kentucky that have online search portals available to the public. Regional jails also include the counties or areas served.

Jails typically house inmates awaiting hearing; however, some county jail inmates may have been sentenced to short-term incarceration in the Kansas Department of Corrections and are serving their sentence in the local jail. Each jail below has an online search portal that can be reached by clicking the name of the jail:

County Inmate Locator Sheriff’s Office or Jail Phone Number Shows Mugshots?
Adair County Regional Jail 270-384-5701 X
Allen County Detention Center 270-237-3226
Ballard County Detention Center 270-335-3691
Barren County Detention Center 270-651-8806
Bell County Detention Center 606-337-5507
Big Sandy Regional Detention Center (Serves Johnson County, Lawrence County, Magoffin County, and Martin County) 606-297-5245
Boone County Jail 859-334-2143
Bourbon County Detention Center 859-987-2137
Boyd County Jail 606-739-4224
Breckinridge County Detention Center 270-756-6244
Bullitt County Detention Center 502-543-7263 X
Butler County Jail 270-526-3505
Caldwell County Jail 270-365-6790
Calloway County Jail 270-753-6150 X
Campbell County Detention Center 859-431-4611
Carroll County Detention Center (also serves Owen County) 502-732-9499
Carter County Detention Center 606-475-1606
Casey County Jail 606-787-1758
Christian County Jail (also serves Trigg County) 270-887-4152
Clark County Detention Center 859-745-0270
Clay County Detention Center 606-598-2133
Crittenden County Detention Center 270-965-3185
Daviess County Jail 270-685-8466
Fayette County Jail* 859-425-2700
Franklin County Regional Jail 502-209-8529
Fulton County Jail 270-236-2405 X
Grant County Detention Center 859-824-5191
Graves County Jail 270-247-4373 X
Grayson County Detention Center 270-259-3636
Greenup County Jail 606-473-9660
Hardin County Detention Center 270-765-7717
Harlan County Detention Center 606-837-0096
Hart County Jail 270-524-2571
Henderson County Detention Center 270-827-5560
Hopkins County Jail 270-821-6704
Jackson County Detention Center 606-287-4551
Jefferson County Jail 502-574-8477
Jessamine County Detention Center 859-885-4558
Kenton County Jail 859-363-2400
Kentucky River Regional Jail (serves Perry County 606-436-4032
Knox County Detention Center 606-546-6215
LaRue County Detention Center 270-358-9876
Laurel County Detention Center 606-878-9431 (Men’s Facility)
859-286-1542 (Women’s Facility)
Leslie County Detention Center 606-672-3548
Letcher County Jail 606-633-5163 X
Lewis County Detention Center 606-796-2312 X
Lincoln County Regional Jail 606-365-4580
Logan County Detention Center 270-726-3696
Madison County Detention Center 859-624-4710 X
Marion County Detention Center 270-692-5802
Mason County Detention Center 606-564-3621
McCracken County Regional Jail (serves Livingston County and McCracken County) 270-444-4730
Meade County Detention Center 270-422-2546
Montgomery County Regional Jail 859-498-8747
Muhlenberg County Detention Center 270-338-2263
Nelson County Jail 502-348-1860
Ohio County Detention Center 270-989-4455
Oldham County Detention Center 502-222-3500
Pike County Detention Center 606-432-6291 X
Powell County Detention Center 606-663-6400
Pulaski County Detention Center 606-678-0130
Robertson County Jail 615-384-7974
Rockcastle County Detention Center 606-256-2178
Rowan County Detention Center 606-784-8457
Russell County Detention Center 270-858-6900
Scott County Detention Center 502-863-7880
Simpson County Detention Center 270-586-5351
Taylor County Detention Center 270-789-1909
Three Forks Regional Jail (serves Lee County and Wolfe County) 606-464-2598
Todd County Detention Center 270-265-9966
Warren County Regional Jail 270-843-4606
Wayne County Detention Center 606-348-3626
Webster County Jail (also serves Union County) 270-639-7032
Whitley County Detention Center 606-549-6013
Woodford County Detention Center 859-873-3196

*Requires creating a free account to view the current inmate roster.

A screenshot from McCracken County Jail website's homepage showing a picture of Jailer David Knight and the McCracken County Regional Jail, and buttons on the side.
Source: McCracken County Jail11

Counties that do not have online search portals are listed below with the number to call to request arrest data. When calling, the person may be required to provide their full name and reason for requesting an update on an inmate’s status.

The list below is for jails that do not have an online search portal:

In Kentucky, it is legal for mugshots to be made public; however, not every department includes mugshots in online rosters or searches.

Family and friends want to know if someone they care about is in jail, and they need to know how to search jail rosters and inmate information in Kentucky. In either case, anyone can simply use the information above to conduct a jail search and find mugshots or they can find the inmate roster of any county jail in Kentucky with these simple steps:

  1. Open the search engine of choice on the computer.
  2. Key in “[name of the city or county where the person was arrested] Kentucky jail inmate search”.
  3. Review the top results to look for an official agency website. These are usually .gov or .us; however, local law enforcement sites may be .com, .org, or .net sites. It is important to verify the site is the official webpage for the agency to get the most accurate results.
  4. Click the link for the official page and look for an internal link that says current inmates or inmate roster.
  5. Enter the person’s first and last name in the search bar, or look through the roster if the entire one opens to find the subject’s record.
  6. Click the record where it says view or learn more or some variation of these words to see details.

If a county doesn’t have an online directory to search current inmates, a call to the local jail, sheriff’s office or police department can help locate an arrestee.

Look Up Recent Arrests & Mugshots of City Jail Inmates (Kentucky Arrest Record Search)

Some cities maintain their own jails; however, most utilize the county detention facility for inmates awaiting hearing or release. For example, Louisville, Kentucky that’s located in Jefferson county has its own detention facility with an online search portal.

Information provided shows details about the inmate, charges, and a mugshot when available.

Bowling Green, Kentucky, the second largest city in the state, however, uses Warren County Regional Jail to house inmates arrested within the city.

County facilities should be the first place checked, then move to the city law enforcement departments or local sheriff’s office for information.

A screenshot from Louisville corrections website showing the homepage with an arrow pointing at the inmate search.
Source: LouisvilleKy.gov12

People that live in the city police jurisdictions also want to know if family or friends have been taken into custody. To find out if someone is in a city jail, do the following:

  1. Open the preferred search engine online.
  2. Type “[name of the city] Kentucky arrest record search.”
  3. Review the top 1-2 results to find the local agency that would have made the arrest and click that link that takes you to the Kentucky Department of Corrections.
  4. Click the link for inmate search or current inmates and follow the prompts on the screen to access the inmate roster.

When searching county or city jails for arrest records in Kentucky, using the steps listed above can help searchers find the information quickly; however, there may be occasions where the data is not listed on the roster or available through the search portal.

A screenshot from Louisville corrections website showing the inmate search page with an arrow pointing at the Louisville mugshots website link.
Source: LouisvilleKy.gov13

In those cases, an attorney can be hired to help locate an inmate and help with getting that individual released pre-trial. While some agencies do publish mugshots, there is not a statewide mugshot database.

Statewide Public Arrest Record Search

Unlike any other Correction Department online resource, the State’s Department of Corrections include options to search for inmates in the county jails or detention centers through the Kentucky Online Offender Lookup (KOOL).

In the advanced search options, users can select the location of the inmate from a dropdown menu, which includes state prisons, county jails, and detention centers.

The KOOL system provides search option to help individuals locate offender’s record either by name, location (county of conviction) or offender number.

Another option is through the Kentucky State Police, which is the criminal record public records repository for the state and can be used as a sort of people finder when looking for an individual. While the agency does maintain records regarding current arrests, there is no online portal or roster that can be accessed like that with county or city jails.

Statewide arrest records for employment, housing or personal use can be obtained through KSP by doing the following:

  1. Go to the Kansas State Police website.
  2. Click the link to go to the background check form to request arrest records.
  3. Choose the reason for the request from the options available.
  4. Complete the form and print it.
  5. Mail the request to the address below along with the check or money order in the amount of $20.

Address for arrest records through the Kentucky State Police is:

Criminal I&R  Branch
Criminal Records Division
1266 Louisville Rd
Frankfort Kentucky 40601

Once the record is located a copy will be mailed to the searcher information listed on the form.

How To Get Ahold of an Inmate in Jail & Help Them Post Bond in Kentucky

The first priority for someone who has been arrested is getting out of jail, and they rely on family and friends to help them get released, and how to do that is discussed here.

The table above provides links to jails that online inmate rosters as well as contact and visitation rules and regulations.

A screenshot from Lexington county official website's inmate information page showing an image of Lexington-Fayette county detention center.
Source: Lexingtonky.gov14

To contact someone who is in jail regarding posting bond, putting money in their jail account, or just checking on them, do the following:

  1. From the preferred search engine, type “[name of the county] Kentucky inmate information.”
  2. Click the link for the detention center’s official website.
  3. Look for a link that says inmate information, inmate telephones, or inmate visitation and click that link.
  4. Read the information provided on how to contact an inmate and find out about posting bail.

Another method of contacting an inmate or getting the person released or bail set is to hire an attorney that practices criminal law. The attorney may be able to get the person released without having to post money or property to secure their appearance in court at a later date, or can work to get the existing bond to a lower amount.

Additionally, the attorney can advise the family on the best route to take regarding bail.4

Some states allow for bail bondsmen to help secure the release of an inmate; however, Kentucky has made commercial bail bonding services illegal per statute 431-510.

It is not required to hire an attorney to get a person released from jail before their hearing, but these professionals can be of great value when a person is arrested.

The attorney can also start working right away on the arrestee’s defense limiting the impact a future criminal record check can have.

How To Access Criminal Records in KY

There are various methods for looking up and searching criminal records in the state.

The Kentucky Court of Justice serves as the official state agency that generates and maintains criminal records for everyone in the state who has been charged with a crime. Each county has an elected Circuit Clerk that serves a six-year term.5

A screenshot displays the user registration and login page for accessing services from the Kentucky Court of Justice, detailing how to register to receive criminal record request results electronically, with fields for personal and contact information required for registration.
Source: Kentucky Court of Justice15

How To Perform a Criminal Record Search Through the KY County Clerk of Court’s Office

Circuit clerks are responsible for maintaining all court records and receiving fines and fees as part of sentencing in criminal courts in Kentucky.

The steps below provide information on how to search court records and find out what happened with a case, or learn if someone they know was convicted of a crime, complete the following steps:

  1. In a search engine, type “[name of the county] Kentucky clerk of court criminal records search.”
  2. Look at the top 1-3 links that appear on the list for the official county circuit clerk office.
  3. Go to the clerk’s office and use one of the public terminals to review records, or go to the criminal court clerk’s desk to request a hard copy of the record.
  4. Pay any fees that may be required for printed copies.

Knowing where the case is being held helps the searcher know exactly which clerk’s office to request records from. The table below lists the address for each county circuit clerk of court:

County Criminal Clerk of Court Address Phone Number
Adair 201 Campbellsville St, Ste 101
Columbia, Kentucky 42728
Allen 200 W Main St
Scottsville, Kentucky 42164
Anderson 151 South Main St
Lawrenceburg, Kentucky 40342
Ballard 132 North 4th St
Wickliffe, Kentucky 42087
Barren 100 Courthouse Sq
Glasgow, Kentucky 42141
Bath 19 East Main St
Owingsville, Kentucky 40360
Bell 101 W Park Ave
Pineville, Kentucky 40977
Boone 6025 Rogers Ln, Rm 141
Burlington, Kentucky 41005
Bourbon 310 Main St
Paris, Kentucky 40361
Boyd 2805 Louisa St
Catlettsburg, Kentucky 41129-0688
Boyle 321 W Main St
Danville, Kentucky 40422
Bracken 132 W. Miami St
Brooksville, Kentucky 41004
Breathitt 1131 Main St
Jackson, Kentucky 41339
Breckenridge 111 W Second St
Hardinsburg, Kentucky 40143
Bullitt 250 Frank E Simon Ave
Shepherdsville, Kentucky 40165
Butler 110 North Main St
Morgantown, Kentucky 42261
Caldwell 105 W Court Sq
Princeton, Kentucky 42445
Calloway 312 North Fourth St
Murray, Kentucky 42071
Campbell 330 York St
Newport, Kentucky 41071
Carlisle 985 US Hwy 62
Bardwell, Kentucky 42023
Carroll 802 Clay St
Carrollton, Kentucky 41008
Carter 100 East Main St
Grayson, Kentucky 41143
Casey 231 Courthouse Sq
Liberty, Kentucky 42539
Christian 100 Justice
Hopkinsville, Kentucky 42240
Clark 17 Cleveland Ave
Winchester, Kentucky 40392
Clay 316 Main St, Ste 108
Manchester, Kentucky 40962
Clinton 100 South Cross St
Albany, Kentucky 42602
Crittenden 107 South Main St, Ste 202
Marion, Kentucky 42064
Cumberland 112 Courthouse Sq
Burkesville, Kentucky 42717-0395
Daviess 100 East Second St
Owensboro, Kentucky 42302-0277
Edmonson 110 Cross Main St
Brownsville, Kentucky 42210-0739
Elliott 100 Main & Jane Caudill Sts
Sandy Hook, Kentucky 41171
Estill 130 Main St, Ste 207
Irvine, Kentucky 40336
Fayette 120 North Limestone
Lexington, Kentucky 40507
Fleming 101 North Main Cross St
Flemingsburg, Kentucky 41041
Floyd 127 South Lake Dr
Prestonsburg, Kentucky 41653
Franklin 222 St. Clair St
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Fulton 114 East Wellington St
Hickman, Kentucky 42050
Gallatin 100 Main St
Warsaw, Kentucky 41095
Garrard 54 Stanford St
Lancaster, Kentucky 40444
Grant 224 South Main St
Williamstown, Kentucky 41097
Graves 1102 Paris Rd, Ste 21
Mayfield, Kentucky 42066
Grayson 500 Carroll Gibson Boulevard
Leitchfield, Kentucky 42754
Green 200 W Court St
Greensburg, Kentucky 42743
Greenup 101 Harrison St
Greenup, Kentucky 41144
Hancock 310 Hawesville School Dr
Hawesville, Kentucky 42348-0250
Hardin 120 East Dixie Ave
Elizabethtown, Kentucky 42701
Harlan 129 South First St
Harlan, Kentucky 40831
Harrison 115 Court St
Cynthiana, Kentucky 41031
Hart 117 East South St
Munfordville, Kentucky 42765
Henderson 5 North Main St
Henderson, Kentucky 42420
Henry 30 North Main St
New Castle, Kentucky 40050
Hickman 109 South Washington St
Clinton, Kentucky 42031
Hopkins 120 East Center St
Madisonville, Kentucky 42431
Jackson 100 1st St
McKee, Kentucky 40447
Jefferson 700 W Jefferson St
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Jessamine 107 North Main St
Nicholasville, Kentucky 40356
Johnson 908 Third St, Ste 109
Paintsville, Kentucky 41240
Kenton 230 Madison Ave
Covington, Kentucky 41011
Knott 53 W Main St
Hindman, Kentucky 41822
Knox 401 Court Sq
Barbourville, Kentucky 40906
LaRue 209 W High St
Hodgenville, Kentucky 42748
Laurel 305 South Main St
London, Kentucky 40741
Lawrence 29 River Bend Rd
Louisa, Kentucky 41230
Lee 256 Main St
Beattyville, Kentucky 41311
Leslie 22010 Main St, Unit #1, Box #7
Hyden, Kentucky 41749
Letcher 156 Main St, Ste 201
Whitesburg, Kentucky 41858
Lewis 94 2nd St
Vanceburg, Kentucky 41179
Lincoln 101 East Main St
Stanford, Kentucky 40484
Livingston 122 W Adair St
Smithland, Kentucky 42081
Logan 329 W Fourth St
Russellville, Kentucky 42276
Lyon 500 W Dale Ave
Eddyville, Kentucky 42038
Madison 116 W Main St
Richmond, Kentucky 40475-0813
Magoffin 100 East Maple St
Salyersville, Kentucky 41465
Marion 121 North Spalding Ave
Lebanon, Kentucky 40033
Marshall 80 Judicial Dr, Unit #101
Benton, Kentucky 42025
Martin 14 Court St
Inez, Kentucky 41224
Mason 100 W Third St
Maysville, Kentucky 41056
McCracken 300 Clarence Gaines St
Paducah, Kentucky 42003
McCreary 1 North Main St
Whitley City, Kentucky 42653
McLean 210 East Main St
Calhoun, Kentucky 42327
Meade 516 Hillcrest Dr, Ste 4
Brandenburg, Kentucky 40108
Menifee 12 Main St
Frenchburg, Kentucky 40322
Mercer 224 South Main St
Harrodsburg, Kentucky 40330
Metcalfe 201 East Stockton St
Edmonton, Kentucky 42129
Monroe 300 North Main St
Tompkinsville, Kentucky 42167
Montgomery 1 Court St
Mt. Sterling, Kentucky 40353
Morgan 261 Court St
W Liberty, Kentucky 41472
Muhlenberg 136 South Main St
Greenville, Kentucky 42345
Nelson 200 Nelson County Plz
Bardstown, Kentucky 40004
Nicholas 217 North Broadway St
Carlisle, Kentucky 40311
Ohio 130 East Washington St
Hartford, Kentucky 42347
Oldham 6822 Central Ave
Crestwood, Kentucky 40014
Owen 401 South Main St
Owenton, Kentucky 40359
Owsley 20 Main St
Booneville, Kentucky 41314
606 593-6226
Pendleton 120 Ridgeway Ave
Falmouth, Kentucky 41040
Perry 545 Main St
Hazard, Kentucky 41702
Pike 175 Main St
Pikeville, Kentucky 41502
Powell 525 Washington St
Stanton, Kentucky 40380
Pulaski 50 Public Sq
Somerset, Kentucky 42502-0664
Robertson 127 East Walnut St
Mt. Olivet, Kentucky 41064
Rockcastle 205 East Main St, Rm 102
Mt. Vernon, Kentucky 40456
Rowan 700 W Main St
Morehead, Kentucky 40351
Russell 202 Monument Sq, Ste 106
Jamestown, Kentucky 42629
Scott 119 North Hamilton St
Georgetown, Kentucky 40324
Shelby 401 Main St, Ste 101
Shelbyville, Kentucky 40065
Simpson 101 North Court St
Franklin, Kentucky 42134
Spencer 27 East Main St
Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071
Taylor 300 East Main St
Campbellsville, Kentucky 42718
Todd 204 W Main St
Elkton, KY 42220
Trigg 41 Main St
Cadiz, Kentucky 42211
Trimble 30 Hwy 42 E
Bedford, Kentucky 40006
Union 121 South Morgan St
Morganfield, Kentucky 42437
Warren 1001 Center St, Ste 102
Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101
Washington 100 East Main St, Ste 100
Springfield, Kentucky 40069
Wayne 100 W Columbia Ave
Monticello, Kentucky 42633
Webster 35 US Hwy 41-A S
Dixon, Kentucky 42409
Whitley 100 Main St
Williamsburg, Kentucky 40769
Wolfe 133 Main St
Campton, Kentucky 41301-0296
Woodford 130 Court St
Versailles, Kentucky 40383

The circuit clerk of court’s office is the best way to get a criminal record for cases heard in that particular court, but it is also possible to get a statewide record through the Kentucky judicial system.

Performing a Statewide Criminal Record Search via the Kentucky Court of Justice

A statewide criminal record search can be performed through the Kentucky Court of Justice online portal. People often seek a statewide criminal history to find out if a job candidate is suitable for the position, or to check out a potential dating or love interest to make sure they are not a danger to others.

This is how to search Kentucky criminal records through the court system and learn what happened in court broken down into steps listed here:

  1. Go to Kentucky Court’s official website.
  2. Click the link for a one-time request for individual searches, and complete the form that appears.
  3. Enter the information for the person making the request.
  4. Add the information for the subject of the request (the record the searcher is looking for).
  5. Click submit request.
  6. Pay the $25 fee (plus $2 when paying with credit card).

To get electronic copies of the record, the searcher must register. From the one-time request page, click user registration and complete the form to become a registered user.

A screenshot from Kentucky court of justice website's background checks page with an arrow pointing at the one-time request button.
Source: Kentucky Court of Justice16

Criminal records can also be requested via mail or in person. In-person requests can be made at the following address:

AOC Records
1001 Vandalay Dr
Frankfort Kentucky 40601

Mail-in requests must be sent to:

AOC Records
1001 Vandalay Dr
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

When making a mail-in or in-person request, a check or money order for $25 per record must be paid at the time of the request. The courts are one way to get a statewide record check, but the Kentucky State Police is also an option for a background check.

How To Obtain Copies of Kentucky Criminal Records

The steps below provide searchers with the tools and knowledge needed to get an official criminal record. Searchers can request a copy of a person’s criminal history through the Kentucky State Police (KSP) for a number of reasons.

A screenshot shows a form titled "Request for Conviction Records - Commercial Guide License" from the Kentucky State Police, used to obtain criminal conviction records for individuals applying for a commercial guide license.
Source: Kentucky State Police17

For example, someone may need to have a background check to volunteer at their child’s school to be sure they don’t have criminal or arrest records in Kentucky. To request a KSP background check, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the Kentucky State Police official page.
  2. Click on the background checks link under name-based search.
  3. Choose the reason for the search and complete and download the form that opens. There are different forms for each specific background check reason.
  4. Submit the request form along with a check or money order to the address listed on the form.
A screenshot from the Kentucky State Police displays a process for obtaining various background checks, including employment, commercial guide licenses, and adoption or foster care, with specified costs and procedural instructions.
Source: Kentucky State Police18

A criminal history check can show a great deal of information regarding a person’s dealings with law enforcement, the courts and the community. Individuals can also go through the Kentucky State Police to obtain a fingerprint-based FBI rap sheet for positions that require a nation-wide background check.

How To Find Out if Someone Is on Probation or Parole in Kentucky

Kentucky is divided into 20 probation and parole regions where individuals who are placed on supervision in the community are monitored. Probation can include those who were released from jail on diversion programs or following a conviction for a minor offense or first time offense.

Parole is early release of a prison inmate who has become eligible for parole and meets the criteria for early release.

Probationers are placed on supervision by a judge in good standing in any of the circuit courts in Kentucky. Parolees must go before the Kentucky parole board for a hearing before being released, but the board itself does not have a public parolee database.

Probation and parolee are the community supervision components of the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

To determine if someone is on probation or check who is serving parole in the state, individuals can utilize the Kentucky Online Offender Lookup (KOOL).

To obtain offender information access the KOOL system and search for individual by name, KDOC no., alias, location, or county of conviction. Then click on the offender’s name to view more information and identify if the offender is currently under supervision (on parole or probation).

Alternatively, individuals can also conduct a probation or parole search by contacting the district probation and parole office or by reaching out to the clerk of court in the county where the case was tried.

Finding out someone is on probation or parole can help employers schedule shifts that won’t interfere with curfews or other probation or parole requirements. To locate the nearest probation and parole office in Kentucky, do the following:

  1. Open a search engine on the computer.
  2. Type “[county name] Kentucky probation and parole office.”
  3. Look at the top results and click on the official government link or in this case, navigate to the the official Department of Corrections’ site.
  4. Call the office listed for that county and provide the person’s first and last name to learn if they are on probation or parole and who their probation or parole officer is.
A screenshot from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Corrections shows a color-coded map detailing the division of a state into various regions labeled as Northern, Central, Western, and Eastern, each comprising numbered areas for specific administrative purposes, such as probation and parole management.
Source: Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Corrections19

The table below lists all 20 districts with the counties they serve:

Probation& Parole District/Counties Counties Covered Main Office Phone Number
District 1
  • Ballard
  • Caldwell
  • Calloway
  • Carlisle
  • Fulton
  • Graves
  • Hickman
  • Livingston
  • Lyon
  • Marshall
  • McCracken
  • Trigg
District 2
  • Allen
  • Butler
  • Christian
  • Edmonston
  • Hopkins
  • Logan
  • Simpson
  • Todd
District 3
  • Adair
  • Barren
  • Casey
  • Cumberland
  • Metcalf
  • Monroe
  • Warren
District 4
  • Jefferson
District 5
  • Breckenridge
  • Bullitt
  • Grayson
  • Hardin
  • Hart
  • Meade


District 6
  • Boyle
  • Green
  • LaRue
  • Marion
  • Mercer
  • Nelson
  • Taylor
  • Washington


District 7
  • Boone
  • Campbell
  • Kenton
District 8
  • Bath
  • Breathitt
  • Clark
  • Estill
  • Lee
  • Madison
  • Menifee
  • Montgomery
  • Owsley
  • Powell
  • Rowan
  • Wolfe
District 9
  • Fayette
District 10
  • Bell
  • Clay
  • Harlan
  • Jackson
  • Knox
  • Laurel
  • Leslie
District 11
  • Floyd
  • Johnson
  • Knott
  • Letcher
  • Magoffin
  • Martin
  • Perry
  • Pike
District 12
  • Anderson
  • Carrol
  • Franklin
  • Gallatin
  • Grant
  • Henry
  • Oldham
  • Owen
  • Shelby
  • Spencer
  • Trimble


District 13
  • Critenten
  • Daviess
  • Hancock
  • Henderson
  • McLean
  • Muhlenberg
  • Ohio
  • Union
  • Webster


District 14
  • Bourbon
  • Garrard
  • Harrison
  • Jessamine
  • Nicholas
  • Pendleton
  • Robertson
  • Scott
  • Woodford


District 15
  • Boyd
  • Bracken
  • Carter
  • Elliott
  • Fleming
  • Greenup
  • Lawrence
  • Lewis
  • Mason
  • Morgan
District 16
  • Jefferson (Northeast Section)
District 17
  • Jefferson (Northwest Section)
District 18
  • Jefferson (Southwest Section)
District 19
  • Jefferson (Southeast Section)
District 20
  • Clinton
  • Lincoln
  • McCreary
  • Pulaski
  • Rockcastle
  • Russell
  • Wayne
  • Whitley

Since probationers and parolees are able to move from location to location in most cases, starting with the county where the conviction occurred or the last known address of the offender is the best way to find out if the person is on probation or parole.

How To Seal or Expunge a Criminal Record in Kentucky (Process To Remove Charges From Your Permanent Record)

As mentioned earlier, unless a matter has been sealed or expunged, it is considered public record and is available for search by anyone, and below are detailed instructions on how to do this.

To clear a person’s record, it’s important to know how to seal or expunge a Kentucky criminal or arrest record. Since a criminal conviction can hinder a person’s ability to find work or housing.

To permanently remove charges from a record, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the Kentucky Court of Justice website.
  2. Open one of the types of expungements by clicking on “+” and then register an account on the website.
  3. Fill out the required document online after registering and logging into the account.
  4. Pay the $40 fee by check, money order, credit or debit card.
  5. Keep an eye on the email address listed on the registration form. An email will be sent when the certification packet is ready to be accessed online.
  6. Log back into the registration site and download the certification packet.
  7. Take the packet to the circuit clerk of court’s office where the case was heard and file the packet at this location.
A screenshot from Kentucky Court of Justice website's homepage showing different icons and an arrow pointing to the Expungement icon.
Source: Kentucky Court of Justice20

Individuals who do not wish to start the process online can download an Expungement Certification Request Form from the website and mail it, along with a check or money order for $40 made out to the Kentucky State Treasurer at the address below:

AOC Records Division
1001 Vandalay Dr
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

Kentucky allows for automatic expungement 30 days after a matter is dismissed with prejudice (meaning the district attorney is dismissing the matter entirely with no intent to reintroduce the charges) or the defendant is acquitted. The defendant does not have to take any action, the court automatically erases the record. Documentation of the expungement is forwarded to the following individuals:

  • Defendant’s lawyer,
  • District attorney/county attorney,
  • Kentucky State Police Agency,
  • The law enforcement agency that made the arrest, and
  • The local jail where the defendant was in custody.

There are some Class D felonies that are also eligible for expungement, mainly those that are considered property offenses as opposed to violent crimes. The waiting period before a petition to file for expungement is five years, and the filing fee is $300.

Additionally, felony charges that do not result in an indictment or are dismissed can be eligible for a petition to expunge six months from the date the matter is disposed of. Filing fees in these cases are waived by the court as with other non-convictions.6

A screenshot shows a form from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Justice titled "Petition for Expungement," used to request the removal of charges from a person's record in a judicial setting, indicating spaces for personal and case-specific details such as name, address, and charges to be expunged, accompanied by reference to legal statutes.
Source: Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Justice21

Defendants who are granted a full pardon can also petition the court to expunge their record regardless of the charges that were pardoned. An attorney can help individuals in Kentucky file for an expungement, and are especially helpful in complicated matters.

How To See if Someone Is in a State Prison in Kentucky or Was Sent to Federal Prison

Defendants who plead guilty or are found guilty by a judge or jury can be sentenced to a period of incarceration in the Kentucky State prison system and below are steps to finding out who is in custody in the state.

Family and friends want to know how they can keep in touch with someone in prison, send mail to their loved one, or add money to their accounts.

To find out if someone is in prison in Kentucky:

  1. Go to the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC) website.
  2. Click the link for the Kentucky Offender Online Lookup (KOOL).
  3. Enter the offenders first and last name to see if that person is in KDOC custody.
A screenshot from the Kentucky Department of Corrections displays an online search tool for searching offenders, featuring fields for entering first, last, and middle names, with additional options to search aliases or only display offenders with photos, complete with helpful information icons for guidance.
Source: Kentucky Department of Corrections22

Kentucky prison inmates can also be searched using VINELink. VINELink provides online search access to victims and witnesses with notifications when an inmate is being transferred from one facility to another, is being released at the end of a sentence or parole, or any other movements that the victims or witnesses need to know; however, the general public can also use VINELink to search for offenders in the state.7

People want to know if there are any federal inmates in their area. Kentucky is also home to five federal correctional facilities and to search for a federal inmate in the state, do the following:

  1. Go to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) website.
  2. Click the link for inmate locators for a name or BOP number search.
  3. Enter a first and last name (minimum) to search.
  4. Review the list of inmates to find individuals with that name incarcerated in Kentucky (displayed in the location column of the search results).

How To Run a Warrant Search in Kentucky (See Who Is Wanted by Law Enforcement)

A warrant in Kentucky is usually issued when the crime a person is accused of is so heinous they are a threat to the public, the person is a flight risk and law enforcement wants to make sure they are secured for court, or the person has failed to appear in court and a judge has issued a bench warrant for the person’s arrest.

When running a warrant search in Kentucky, knowing the individual’s full name, date of birth and last known address is important. Kentucky does not have a central database or search tool specifically for warrant searches.

Thus, to obtain warrant information in Kentucky, interested individuals can use the online search tools detailed above to look for criminal records, such as the KOOL System, the State Police’s Background Check, or the Judicial Branch’s Public Records Search.

Another option is through the local law enforcement agencies including the sheriff’s office and local police departments. To search for warrants, an individual must know where the offense occurred. The county sheriff’s office usually hosts a warrant search portal or provides list of individuals with warrants. However, if that online search is not available, contact the sheriff’s office directly to inquire about individual warrant status.

Additionally, individuals can also call the circuit clerk of court in the county where the subject resides to see if there is an active warrant out for their arrest. In a number of cases, warrants are not made public until they are served on the subject.

An Overview of Kentucky Background Checks by Agency

There are a number of agencies that provide or require Kentucky criminal records checks screened. The table below lists these agencies and what each covers regarding criminal background screenings:

Agency That Performs or Requires Background Checks Screening Reasons
Kentucky State Police
  • Employment screenings
  • Commercial guide licensing
  • Adoptions
  • Foster care providers
  • Long-term care providers
  • Childcare providers
  • Immigration screenings
  • Public health and safety workers
  • Housing screenings
  • Metal recyclers
  • Personal use
Kentucky Court of Justice
  • Personal use
  • Employment screenings
Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet
  • Boxing and wrestling commissioners and agents
  • Horse racing personnel
  • Alcohol retailers
  • Charitable game providers
  • Financial agencies/bankers
  • Housing/building contractors
  • Insurance agents
  • Fire marshals
  • Real estate agents
Department of Professional Licensure
  • Behavioral analysts
  • Drug and alcohol counselors
  • Chiropractors
  • Medical equipment retailers
  • Psychologists
  • Interpreters for the hearing impaired
  • Dieticians
  • Professional counselors
  • Long term care workers
  • Marriage/family therapists
  • Massage therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Religious counselors
  • Private investigators
  • Art therapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Geologists
  • Optometrists
  • Speech/language pathologists
  • Athletic agents
Kentucky Board of Nursing
  • RNs
  • LPNs
  • Sexual assault nurse examiners
  • Nurse aides
  • Personal care workers
  • Dialysis techs
  • Midwives
  • Advance practice nurses
Kentucky Board of Medicine
  • Medical doctors
  • Physician assistants
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Surgeons

When doing searches for these agencies, employers are looking for disqualifying offenses that would prevent the person from doing the job such as conviction for a violent felony or sex offense.

Kentucky Sex Offender Registry (Search for Sexual Predators Nearby)

Persons convicted of sex offenses in Kentucky are required to place their name and address on the state’s sex offender registry or sex offender felony registry. Sex offender registry information is quite often used by real estate agents when showing a home to prospective buyers.

To search the registry and see if someone has been convicted of a sex crime, do the following:

  1. Go to the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry.
  2. Under the search the registry section, enter at minimum the last name of the subject.
  3. Look for the person’s mugshot on the list that populates.
  4. To see more information click the view details button under the mugshot.

The sex offender registry provides the following data about the subject: name, date of birth, gender, how long they are required to register, if they are compliant or wanted, if they are on supervised release (typically probation or parole), description of offender, last known address, charges and known aliases.

A screenshot displays the Kentucky State Police Sex Offender Registry webpage, which features a search function allowing the public to locate registered sex offenders by entering details such as offender number, last name, or address to enhance community safety and awareness.
Source: Kentucky State Police23

Individuals can also search for Kentucky sex offenders through the National Sex Offender Registry maintained by the United States Department of Justice. This may be an option for individuals who were convicted in Kentucky but have since moved to a new state and are required to register in that state due to the Full Faith and Credit Clause in the United States Constitution.8

An Overview of Kentucky Laws on Criminal & Arrest Records

Finally, it’s vital to understand the laws that govern release of public records and how those records can be used by employers, landlords, licensing boards or the general public.

Kentucky Statute Chapter 335B makes it unlawful to automatically disqualify a person from employment or licensure based on a conviction. The conviction must be weighed to see if it would impact the person’s ability to perform the job duties or pose an imminent threat to the health and safety of others.

The law also requires written notice to the applicant if they are denied based on the background check information.

While Kentucky doesn’t have a statewide ban the box law for the general public, the city of Louisville has an executive order, the Fair Chance at Employment Initiative, making it unlawful for city agencies or vendors or contractors doing business with the city from inquiring about criminal history on the employment application or before the initial interview.

Kentucky does have a ban the box executive order making inquiries about criminal history unlawful in the application process for executive branch position and can only ask about criminal history when the person is contacted for an interview.9

A criminal records disclosure is outlined in KORA (Kentucky Open Records Act)  under state statute 61.870 to 61.884. Mainly, all adult convictions that have not been expunged or sealed are considered public record and can be included in a background check.

Federal laws that protect workers from unlawful use of background checks include the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidance which limits credit checks and non-conviction records to a seven year look-back period; however, a background check through the Kentucky Court of Justice only spans the previous five years.

FCRA guidance also requires a written notice to the applicant if adverse action is taken because of the background check, and governs commercial records screenings.

Applicants are also protected from discrimination through federal statutes that are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC provides guidance to agencies and businesses on the use of criminal history in hiring processes.

This helps employers know how to use criminal and arrest records when making hiring decisions.

Navigating records checks in the state can be daunting if the person searching doesn’t know where or how to look for criminal or arrest records in Kentucky, or doesn’t understand the laws surrounding screenings. Luckily, this brief resource can help individuals learn how to access Kentucky criminal records quickly and efficiently.


161.878 Certain public records exempted from inspection except on order of court — Restriction of state employees to inspect p. (n.d.). Legislative Research Commission. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from <>

2Wessels, H. D. (2018, February 20). How Can Kentucky Employers Use Arrest and Conviction Records? Hemmer DeFrank Wessels. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from <>

3Background Checks. (n.d.). Kentucky Court of Justice. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from <>

4Russell, K. (2016, October 3). Understanding Bond and Pretrial Release in Kentucky. Russell & Ireland Law Group, LLC. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from <>

5Circuit Court Clerks. (n.d.). Kentucky Court of Justice. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from <>

6Expungement Certification Process. (n.d.). Kentucky Court of Justice. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from <>

7VINELink – Mobile App Development, Google Apps – IT Consulting. (n.d.). VINELink. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from <>

8Sex Offender Registration and Notification in the United States: Case Law Summary, July 2022. (n.d.). Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from <>

9Kentucky Ban the Box EO. (2017, February 1). EO Ban the Box. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from <>

10Archonix XJail Public. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

11McCracken County Jail Inmates.” the McCracken County Jail. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

12Corrections |” Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

13Inmate Search |” Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

14Inmate information | City of Lexington.” Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

15Criminal Record Request.” Kentucky Court of Justice. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

16Background Checks.” Kentucky Court of Justice. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

17Kentucky State Police. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

18Background Checks –” Kentucky State Police. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

19District 3 – Department of Corrections.” Department of Corrections. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

20Kentucky Court of Justice – Kentucky Court of Justice. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

21In support of this Petition, the Defendant states as follows: (check all that apply) At least sixty (60) days prior to filin.” Kentucky Court of Justice. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

22KOOL – Department of Corrections.” Department of Corrections. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>

23KY Sex Offender Registry. Accessed 3 May 2023. <>