A Brief Comparison of Jails and Prisons

785 Words Jan 9th, 2018 3 Pages
Civilians, those who are not in the business of law enforcement, and even some professionals in the criminal justice field, throw around the terms jail and prison quite often, using them interchangeably. Jails and prisons are not the same. This paper will elucidate some of the primary differences between jails and prisons as well as draw a few similarities between them. One of the basic differences between jail and prison is that jail is temporary and prison is long term.
The comparison of jails and prisons should begin with definitions. Jail is a place for the confinement of persons in lawful detention. Prison is a place where persons convicted are confined. These definitions indicate that jails are largely filled with individuals awaiting trial, and prisons, predominantly, are for convicted felons. (Hall, n.d.)
Jail is where people go after they have been arrested by a police department or some other law enforcement agency. Jails have holding cells just as prisons do. Jails are not typically as big as prisons because they are not equipped to hold a large population over an extended period of time. Prisons, however, are. Prisons are where people are sent after they have been convicted in a court of law. Prisons are suited for long term stays, as it is common knowledge that several of the most…

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