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Q: What is the difference between jail inmates and prison inmates? What would happen if jail inmates were assimilated into prison systems effective immediately?
A: Although the terms “jail” and “prison” are sometimes used interchangeably, most members of law enforcement distinguish between the two. [ Primarily, the difference is that a jail is used by local jurisdictions such as counties and cities to confine people for short periods of time. A prison, or penitentiary, is administered by the state, and is used to house convicted criminals for periods of
much longer duration. Both are part of a larger penal system which includes other aspects of criminal justice such as courts, law enforcement, and crime labs. Because a jail is designed for short time periods only, it tends to have less amenities than a prison. Individuals who are being housed in a jail have access to bathrooms and are provided with food and water, and in a low security jail, they may be able to socialize in common areas during certain periods of the day. Most jails are designed to hold a very small number of criminals, and have relatively lax security when compared to prisons, although in areas prone to violence, a jail may be run along very strict lines. A jail houses people who have been convicted to serve a short sentence, individuals awaiting trial, people who have not yet paid bail, and detainees who have just been picked up on suspicion of committing a crime. The criminals are processed through a booking procedure, and the criminal justice system decides what to do with them after that. ]
Expert answered|badgerpoe|Points 2195|
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Asked 8/11/2011 11:00:19 PM
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