Difference between jails and prisons

Difference between jails and prisons

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Prison and jail are both referred to as incarcerations. A prison is where people get physically confined and lack personal freedom, and also those awaiting trails and those serving a term exceeding one year are confined here, while a jail is where inmates are housed prior to their trials on local level and those serving a term of one year or less. The society is protected from the offenders by them being confined in prisons, where their behaviors can be monitored, or they can be placed in community-based facilities which are secured and also offer an opportunity for the prisoners to acquire skills and knowledge through work related activities. The jail on the other hand serves the purpose of detaining law offenders of which they shall be knowledge on the reason for detention as they go through the process of criminal justice. It does so by holding people who are awaiting trials, convictions or those to be sentenced; those who have already been sentenced and are waiting to be taken to prison, and also holding law violators who cannot afford to pay the bonds so that they can appear for trials. The jail also serves the purpose of holding people convicted of less offense for the period ordered by the court.

In general the prison holds people for a period of more than one year. Prisons consist of many facilities since most people serve for long behind the bars. There are inclusive of exercise places, dining rooms, places to socialize and education facilities like classrooms, libraries, churches and workshops. Prisons hold more people as compared to jails in which they are ranged according to the crimes committed by the offenders, and this is due to safety precautions. Prisons also have such facilities as to carry out all types of sentences and I addition there are housings for different type of criminals sentenced to various punishments. Jails have no such facilities as compared to prisons. The convicts have access to food and water, bathing facilities, there are also socialization places which are restricted and the security is not as tight as that of prisoners, (WiseGeek, 2003).

There are rehabilitation facilities for the prisoners to ensure that the offenders do not get back to law breaking but will have acquired certain skills to help earn a living after the sentence period is over. The main reason for the establishment of the rehabilitation centers is to counter the increasing population in the prisons as people are being sentenced every day. The act under which the rehabilitation process is planning to reduce the population through the following means: first is community sentences where the offender will be made to do community works while staying at home; custody plus, which will involve short term of less than a year in prison then after which one works for the community while under rehabilitation; Custody Minus, where the prison sentence is suspended for a shorter period in case the offender has gone against the community sentence; intermittent custody, the sentences are served only during the weekends and there are restrictions on time spent in the community; and then the differed sentences which will depend on the fulfillment of the community based rules, (house of commons, 2004-05). The Americans are in the processes of closing down the prisons and putting up rehabilitation centers where the offenders can learn and be educated on mans of earning living rather than committing of crimes. The prison funding come from the government, an example is where the new budget of the United States plans to fund two prisons and also to renovate the super maximum –security facilities.

Two centuries ago, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania became were the centre for prison reforms in the whole world. In those historic days the penalties for crimes committed were either death or imprisonment with hard labor. Pennsylvania then came up with a rule that let no one killed for any crime except murder, but instead to be imprisoned with a lot of labor and a big fine. In case of sexual offences one was to get punishments through whipping and one year jail sentence and if there are two offences then you face a life imprisonment, (Norman, 2011 ). In those periods jails could be used for people who were waiting to be triad, together with witnesses and also punishments offered to those with depts. In 1773, new jails were built since the conditions for the older jails were worse and inmates even forced to ell their clothes to get food or be stripped and the clothes taken away by the other inmates, which resulted to great suffering during cold weathers. In 1978, a group of citizens had a movement aimed at wiping away the severe punishments and introducing public labor. At the same time members of the prison society came up with a suggestion to separate each inmate in a single cell throughout the entire sentence. The Eastern State Penitentiary begun in 1822 and was completed in 1839. The cells were designed to be large and the prisoner was to stay inside the cell and seldomely leave since it had even an exercise yard, flash toilet and bathrooms installed with showers.

Up to and until now the prison society is has been on the forefront to ensure justice in all the prisons and jails is followed and no acts of inhuman are committed. The society is made of a staff more than one thousand members, with fully support of the organization.

List of references

Dr Robin James, (2004), House of Commons home affairs committee, Rehabilitation of

Prisoners, pp. 11 $ 12.

Norman Johnston, Ph. (2011). The Pennsylvania prison society, prison reform in Pennsylvania,

WiseGeek, clear answers for common questions, copyright 2003.