A common request when looking into a person's criminal history are their arrests on record. A popular reason for trying to see someone's arrests, specifically if recent, is when people are looking for a loved one they suspect is in trouble. The major differences between these is the timeline of a particular arrest, is it in the past or was it recent, within hours, days or even still in custody. When looking for past arrests, the first thought is to run a background check. Whether private or through law enforcement agencies which can provide official reports. Do not to fall into the trap of thinking a background check will automatically include arrests. The reason for the arrest information not being included in so many background checks is that they're not convictions. Convictions show up in background checks, which can sometimes include criminal court records. However, arrests are viewed differently as the individual has not been convicted, and is still deemed innocent under the law. The result can be unintended incrimination toward the arrestee without being found guilty in the first place. If they're convicted, so be it, they should appear in a quality comprehensive criminal history search, sometimes called conviction databases from police and sheriffs agencies. As previously pointed out, in some areas law enforcement agencies at various levels provide background checks to the public, whether statewide (state police), countywide (county sheriffs) or citywide (police departments). The FBI also provides background checks (note that it doesn't mean everyone qualifies to obtain a background from the FBI).
An initial step in the right direction is to see which type or record you need and why. Employers tend to request background checks, so do individuals for various purposes to see a conviction history, of which there are many sources, either private or government. What if you're looking for a recent arrest? You're suspecting an individual you know may have been arrested. It is not similar to when a celebrity getting arrested and thereafter appearing all over the media. You need to find someone that you think may be in custody, and do it immediately.
Viewing recent arrests is simple and open to the public in many jurisdictions. This is specially true in densely populated areas with larger jail facilities. When an individual is arrested, they will then go through a booking process. The process provides a record of individuals that were arrested, which can include the incident report, evidence and more depending on policy and procedures of each individual facility. With ads all over the net from private entities which claim to provide arrest reports, a great number of the public is not aware that police and sheriff departments offer free public use of their online inmate databases. Los Angeles maintains one of the largest county facilities in the U.S., housing a highly populated jail, their website offers a name query inmate search.
Finally, when trying to get arrest reports, or sometimes called incident reports, why not go directly to the source of the information, the police and sheriffs stations? Their websites can show you how to make an arrest report request containing better detail than a simple inmate search. Bottom line is that criminal information comes from one government office/agency or another, and with the help of technology, many have public resources that can eliminate the need for a middle man, such as a private entity reselling the information.