As one of the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania is known for its prestigious beginnings as much as its current state. William Penn, the founder of the state, was a Quaker, and his nonviolent attitudes were the foundation for the state. Although Penn promoted peaceful relations with all, especially in the “city of brotherly love” (Philadelphia), many of those who lived in Pennsylvania did not bother heeding such morals and developed negative relationships with the natives in the area.

The Liberty Bell is well known for being an eminent symbol of independence in Pennsylvania, as well as other colonial locations; Independence Hall is another example. From 1790 to 1800, Philadelphia was the capital of the country, and both the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence were signed there.

There are 67 counties making up the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Butler County, named after a Revolutionary War general, was the site of the first commercial oil well drilled in the United States.

The Pennsylvania Court System has traffic courts and magistrate courts at the bottom of the system, with appeals going to the Court of Common Plea, where cases from the Philadelphia Municipal Court and District Justice Court also go. These courts are of limited jurisdiction, and the Court of Common Plea has general jurisdiction as an appellate court. From there, cases can climb into the Commonwealth Court or the Superior Court and, finally, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, which has 6 justices and a Chief Justice.

Pennsylvania’s first constitution, created by William Penn, was called the Frames of Government (1683), and it allowed for religious freedom, freedom to use the press, trial by jury, and a much smaller amount of death penalty crimes. It also established county commissions, a system copied by many other states. Later, the colony was improved when Benjamin Franklin created lasting public systems, such as the first public library and firefighting company. Without him, Philadelphia may not have served as the nation’s capital for ten years.

Offender Search Web Page

The purpose and specifics of the Offender Search Web Page in each state varies. Read the disclosures carefully. Updates to the database could be biweekly, monthly and daily depending on the states Corrections Department schedule. Some searches show offenders incarcerated in the entire prison system including county jails and some only state prisons. Sometimes historical offender data is available and sometimes only current inmate records are listed. Youth and adult offenders are sometimes located on separate search portals.

State Offender Search: 


Public Records

Court Clerk

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