Jail and Prisons Comparison Paper
CJA/234 - INTRODUCTION TO CORRECTIONS
February 04, 2015
Jail and Prisons Comparison Paper
In our society most people are confused of the difference between jails and prisons in the criminal justice system. After being arrested by the law enforcement, jail is the first place that criminals are taken to by a police officer. This paper will describe the jail’s place in corrections and its role throughout history, a small summary of the history of state and federal prisons, a comparison of the similarities and differences between security levels in jails, state prisons, and federal prisons, and explanation of factors influencing growth in jails, state prisons, and federal prisons. First of all jails was created in England, it was ordered to be built by King Henry II in 1166. Back then jails was called “gaol”. Jails was originally use to house those offenders waiting for a trial. Between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries jails was mainly used to detain offenders, mentally ill, and even the poor. These early jails had some awful conditions such as poor food, little medical care, violence, and even dirty. In 1773 Mr. John Howard was the head sheriff of Bedfordshire, these awful condition came to his attention because he discovered several condition like lacking in sanitation, lacking of discipline and awful disease in the local jails. Mr. Howard visited some countries over Europe to find some models that he could built in England and also he worked with some individuals of the English House of Commons to draft the Penitentiary Act. According to Seiter (2011), this Penitentiary Act created four requirements for English prisons and jails: (1) secure and sanitary structures, (2) systematic inspections, (3) abolition of fees charged to inmates, and (4) a reformatory regime in which inmates were confined in solitary cells but worked in common rooms during the day. Also this act required diet, hygiene, and uniforms for those prisoners. But in the early U.S. colonies jails followed the English model and jail was primarily used to house those awaiting trial. Also those individuals that was too poor to pay their fines they was housed until they worked out their debts. Today jails continued their role of housing primarily pretrial inmates in our criminal justice system. Also jails now are a full-service facilities that offer security, food service, programs, and also medical care. Jails are now located in police stations and hold those offenders for a short period of time no more than forty-eight hours. Almost all criminals in the U.S. are detained in the country’s state prison. The state prisons in the U.S. are smaller than the federal prisons and are mostly used to incarcerate drug users, sex offenders, murders, and other offenders that are in the same group. State prisons are always operated by the state government and involves with those prisoners that are considered blue collar convicts and in the federal prison systems they are mainly white collar convicts. Both state and federal prison systems in the U.S. have security levels which are minimum, low, medium, and high levels of security. The history of federal prison goes back in time when President Hoover was in charge of the U.S., he signed a bill to establish a federal prison system. The federal system will always relied on the local government to house criminals in prison. By time passing by the law has changed to provide lodging on the growing prison population of prisoners as well as to rehabilitate and not just to imprison the prisoners. The federal prisons was the first large facilities in the U.S. to confined inmates with different levels of security. Also federal prisons are mainly used to incarcerate inmates for a long period of time. State prison was based on the legal reforms of the Age of Enlightenment. Most states actually began with one prison but now each state in the U.S....
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