Perform a Free Michigan Probation Search (Streamlined Resource)

Free Michigan Probation Search
Find out if someone you know or love is on probation in Michigan, free of charge.

Run a free Michigan probation search seamlessly using this brief resource.

Online probation search tools can be valuable for citizens in the state looking to learn about a probationer’s standing with the justice system. Probation is a system meant to support the rehabilitation of offenders — a kind of supervised status in the community that can function as an alternative to jail — in contrast with parole, which is a supervised release from incarceration.

In the state of Michigan, resources are available for everything from searching for probationers online to case look-ups, court records, and access to probation officers. This article covers some of the most helpful and user-friendly options.

How To Perform a Michigan Probation Search

The standing of probationers and the conditions of their supervision can evolve over time, with periods of probation expanding or contracting and court cases unfolding over violations of an offender’s terms. Tracking this kind of overall evolution for the average citizen can be valuable in determining, for example, the potential risks to victims or the community as a whole from specific offenders.

The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) supports an Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS) that supports searches for prisoners, parolees and probationers alike.1 Free and simple to use, it allows fine-tuned searches that focus on:

  • Probationers (or Probation Absconders)
  • Parolees (or Parole Absconders)
  • Prisoners
  • Active Offenders
  • Discharged Offenders or Suspects
A screenshot from the Michigan Department of Corrections listing multiple individuals with their identification numbers, names, demographic details, codes pertaining to legal statutes, confinement locations, and details regarding their custodial status and potential release dates.
Source: Michigan Department of Corrections2

This is the most prominent tool for a probation search in Michigan. It’s worth noting that OTIS specifically tracks people who’ve interacted with the state prison system in some capacity.

It doesn’t provide any information that’s exempted under the state Freedom of Information Act, data about offenders who’ve been convicted but haven’t been sentenced yet or offenders in county jails or municipal lockups.3

There are alternatives to online searches. One of the most efficient is directly getting in touch with probation officers. The MDOC provides a directory of probation offices that includes names, addresses and phone numbers of the officers who can offer support in locating or identifying a probationer.

The Department supervises over 35,000 people on probation for felony offenses in the average year, and officers are tasked with providing a risk-based approach to rehabilitation as they try to safely reintegrate offenders into the community.

The state courts also offer a free case search tool. To make the best use of this resource requires knowing the specific court presiding over a case of interest. Once this is determined, it’s a simple matter to search for a case by name or case number.

The search parameters don’t permit a specific focus on probationers, but the searches bring up case summaries that include detailed step-by-step overviews of events concerning the court. That includes any sentencing of an offender to probation or other forms of supervision.

Beyond the resources in the state, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) provides a BOP Inmate Locator for free use by the public.4 Although it doesn’t identify probationers specifically, it can be a useful starting point for knowing whether an offender with a record at the state level has also interacted with the federal prison system.

It’s searchable by both name and inmate number and provides a means of voicing concerns about an inmate should the searcher choose to do so.

A screenshot from the Federal Bureau of Prisons shows a list of individuals' names, including their register numbers, ages, races, genders, release dates, and custody statuses.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons4

Locate Michigan Probation Information via County & Municipal Agencies

A probation lookup is possible through a variety of other free resources at county and municipal agencies. The most populous county in the state, Wayne County, operates its own case look-up database for the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan known as Odyssey Public Access (OPA).5

Free for public use, it’s not unlike the case search tool offered by the state courts, although the level of detail its summaries offer is a bit more restricted.

Oakland County’s 6th Judicial Circuit Court, meanwhile, offers an online Court Explorer that provides access to case numbers for cases searched by name.

The Wayne County Clerk Records Division also offers court records in other formats that can be ordered in person, online or by email or mail. Some of these methods do, however, come with nominal fees.

Michigan’s other counties — from populous locations like Macomb, Kent and Genesee Counties through dozens of smaller jurisdictions — are represented on the probation office directory mentioned above. These officers may be able to provide information — or receive it — about a probation absconder or provide support in the case of concern about a probationer’s health and well-being.

How To Look Up Probation Violations & Supervising Officer Contact Details in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Corrections’ (MDOC’s) OTIS search engine — covered above — can be used not only to search for probationers but also for “probation absconders” (another term for a probation violation). This kind of information can be important for community safety, as the state regards absconders as direct threats to the health and safety of people or households they might encounter.

In these circumstances, the authorities may seek support from alert and informed members of the public as they try to apprehend the absconder safely and with minimal disruption. Using the OTIS tool could make a difference in such a situation.

The directory of probation officers and the MICOURT case lookup tools covered above are likewise useful tools for tracking down information about an offender, and in the former case, for connecting with resources at the county and municipal level.6

Note that the MICOURT tool provides information from a restricted time range — its criminal case records go back a maximum of 7 years — and it doesn’t permit the bulk download of data. Information on cases not covered in the database will need to be accessed from the applicable court of record.

A screenshot from MiCOURT Case Search shows a list of legal cases with details such as case identification, filing dates, statuses, financial balances, and personal information of the parties involved, with navigation options for multiple pages indicating an extensive database.
Source: Michigan Judiciary Court7

How To Perform a Michigan Parolee Search

Where an offender on probation has typically been sentenced to community supervision instead of prison time, a parolee is typically someone who’s been released from prison on specific conditions.

As with probation, parole is designed as a tool to help the courts and other public safety and law enforcement services safely reintegrate offenders into the community. Some states have a tendency to use these terms interchangeably, but the state of Michigan strictly distinguishes them from one another.

Fortunately, the same free search tool that’s directly useful for finding data on probationers is also useful for learning about parolees. The Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS) offender search can bring up information on both offenders currently under supervision and about “parole absconders” — more commonly known as “parole-jumpers.”

Just as with probation absconders, offenders who’ve absconded from parole are seen as a direct threat by the state and will be actively pursued by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Just as with other kinds of search covered above, Parole & Probation Offices and the MICOURT Case Search are potentially valuable for gathering additional data.8

Overall, Michigan probation search tools and in particular the state’s powerful and flexible Offender Tracking Information System, are striking examples of the kinds of data that can be at the fingertips of citizens.


1Michigan Department of Corrections. (n.d.). Offender Search. Retrieved February 27, 2024, from <>

2Michigan Department of Corrections. (2024). Offender Tracking Information System. Retrieved February 27, 2024, from <>

3Michigan Attorney General. (n.d.). Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Retrieved February 27, 2024, from <>

4Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2024). Find an inmate. Retrieved February 27, 2024, from <>

5Third Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan. (2024). Odyssey Public Access (OPA). Retrieved February 27, 2024, from <>

6Michigan Courts. (2024). Terms of Service. Retrieved February 27, 2024, from <>

7Michigan Courts. (2024). Viewing cases for court 10th District Court – Calhoun. Retrieved February 27, 2024, from <>

8Michigan Department of Corrections. (2024, February 22). Office Directory. Retrieved February 27, 2024, from <>