Both jails and prisons punish people for crimes, but what are the differences?
People go to jail for a plethora of reasons, and in some cases, they may go to prison. If you know the difference between jail and prison, you’ll have an easier time preparing yourself if you get in trouble with the law.
Fortunately, we’ve got all the info you need in this short guide.
Read on to learn about the difference between jail and prison.
What Is Jail Like?
Although jails and prisons are similar in several ways, jails are temporary holding facilities for inmates that local law enforcement agencies operate.
Jail is the first place people go when they’re arrested for a crime. While going through the legal process, one will wait in jail until a verdict has been reached.
For example, if the police arrest a person for homicide, they’ll remain in jail until a judge sentences them. However, someone who commits a misdemeanor may remain in jail after getting sentenced by a judge. This happens when a sentence is too short to justify sending an inmate to prison.
If an inmate can provide they’re not a danger to the community, they may be eligible for bail. This would allow an inmate to leave jail if they promise to appear at the hearing.
What Is Prison Like?
Unlike jails, prisons are long-term holding facilities that state governments operate. If someone is convicted of a serious crime, such as homicide, they’ll go to prison to serve their sentence.
Various types of prisons exist to hold inmates of different backgrounds. Inmates that pose a large risk to others go to maximum security prisons. Those that aren’t seen as major risks are often held in minimum and medium security prisons.
Prisons with minimum and medium security offer several programs to help inmates return to civilian life, such as halfway houses and work release programs. Some also allow inmates to work within the prisons to reduce their sentence or earn commissary.
What to Do If You’re Arrested
If you get arrested at any time, you should immediately contact a lawyer for assistance. They’ll help you get a better understanding of the charges you’re facing and fight for your freedom.
Both jails and prisons allow inmates to receive visitors. If you know someone who’s currently locked up, you can check this inmate locator to find out where they are. Should you get arrested, others can use the same site to find you.
Now You Know the Difference Between Jail and Prison
Understanding the difference between jail and prison is that simple. Now that you know about them, we encourage you to start looking for lawyers so you can keep yourself protected at all times. Having a lawyer’s contact info will help you if you ever get arrested.
To learn more about legal topics, have a look at our other articles.