Different Categories of Prisons in United States

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The three most common categories of prisons in the United States are minimum, medium and maximum security. Minimum security prisons house the least dangerous of felons, and thus are place the fewest restrictions on inmates. Medium security prisons hold those convicted of what are considered minor crimes. Maximum security prisons contain perpetrators of serious crimes who are serving long sentences. An offshoot of the maximum security prison, the supermax, was developed in response to prisoner violence. There are several distinguishing features of each prison type that beg further exploration. Inmates in a minimum security prison have largely been convicted of nonviolent crimes including, but not limited to, forgery, theft, perjury, and obstruction of justice. Prisoners who have displayed exemplary behavior in higher security prisons may become eligible for transfer to a minimum security prison. The rooms inmates live in, often referred to as dormitory-style, are usually the most comfortable in the prison system. They have communal showers, toilets and sinks. Inmates are often free to move about the prison as they wish and use Internet. The ratio of staff to inmates is low. Visitation rights are liberal when compared to medium and maximum security prisons. A minimum security prison typically has a single fence around its perimeter; there is usually no regular patrol of the fence, although it is monitored by guards (in some rural locations, there may be no fence at all). As

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