Jails And Prison Comparison Essay

1067 words - 5 pages

Jails and Prisons Comparison
University of Phoenix


Ms. Pamela Collinshill
June 25, 2013


For more than two hundred years the United States has used incarceration to punish any and all criminals. Jails and prisons are the institutions that judges send criminals to so they can serve time depending on the seriousness of the crime that the individual has committed. Being incarcerated is the humane form of punishment that is used considering how they used to punish individuals back in older times, when criminal justice was looked at differently.


Jail is a place where a criminal is confined to ...view middle of the document...

Reformatory Era (1876) the attempt to make inmates more humanized so they are able to fit better into society. Industrial Era (1890) increase security and safety measures. Punitive Era (1938) the thinking that punishment is the best thing for the inmates and needed to pay their debts to the society with long term sentences. Treatment Era (1945) the thought of being a criminal was a mental health problem that could be fixed with therapy and counseling as well as education. Community – Based Era (1967) inmates were considered to be poorly socialized and incarceration was seen as dehumanizing. Warehousing Era (1980) loss of faith in the treatment and rehabilitation of the inmates. Just Desserts Era (1995) no tolerance and increased sentences. All of these different eras, methods, and techniques have led us into the way the United States now runs the state and federal prisons.

Security Levels:

“Security levels (minimum, low, medium, high and administrative) are distinguished by such security features as towers and other perimeter security barriers such as fences or walls, with detection devices, the type of housing for prisoners (cells or dormitory), and the staff – to – inmate ratio.” (Seiter, 2011) There are some differences as well as similarities between security levels in jails, state prisons, and federal prisons. Federal prisons in the U.S. are prisons that are not run by the states but solely by the United States Federal Government. Federal prisons are maximum security prisons and house criminals who commit federal offenses. State prisons are prisons maintained by each specific state for the imprisonment of felons. Private prisons are correctional institutions that are privately owned and operated by private firms for the local or state government. Jails are used for short- term confinement facilities that are operated locally. Jails mainly hold people who are pending trials or ones who have just got arrested. So while federal prisons are to be considered maximum security levels, city jails can be considered minimum to low security levels, depending on the individual who is being arrested. State prison can be considered medium to high security levels.

Comparing the two:

A huge factor in the way jails, state and federal prisons are run is due to the growth in these facilities. “As of June 30, 2008, the states operated almost 1,250...

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