If your interests lie in a jail inmate search for Erie County, you will find that the local police are very cooperative and offer the facility to launch inmate lookups through their website. This means that you do not have to resort to putting in legwork when you need to conduct an inmate finder inquiry. Yet, if you believe that only a personal visit to the police station works for you, this can be managed by showing up at 11581 Walden Ave, Alden, NY 14004, United States.
The sheriff's office can also be contacted through phone by dialing 716-858-8700. They don't have an Erie County inmate locator tool on their website; what is provided is a PDF file which contains information, but not pictures, of all offenders who are currently housed in the local jails. For accessing this information, you can visit http://www2.erie.gov/sheriff/. On top of the page, in the red bar, you will see the tab that reads, "Inmate information", click on it to access the file.
To do a prison inmate search for Erie County, you have the option to contact the NY Department of Corrections. This is the office that is in charge of running the state penitentiaries. So, when you use their inmate finder service, you will not find out about the inmates who are lodged in the county jails. This facility only works for state level detention centers.
The DOC's inmate lookup service is available at http://nysdoccslookup.doccs.ny.gov/. You will typically need the name or the DIN number of the prisoner to access information about him/her. The results of the inquiry can be narrowed down by using a date of birth along with the first and the last name. Of course, like with the police, you also have the alternative of just going to the office of the Department personally. For this, visit Building 2 of the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision at 1220 Washington Ave, Albany, New York 12226-2050.