Jails and Prisons
Pedro A Prieto
Jails and Prisons
Imprisonment has been around since the middle ages. Centuries ago, other forms of punishment were more favorable over imprisonment. In this day and age, prisons and jails serve a vital role in the criminal justice system and also provide a more humane way of punishing criminals (Mutchnick, 2009). Types of Prisons
There are three different types of prisons; maximum-security, medium-security, and minimum-security. They are classified by their security levels. Maximum-security prisons provide very high level security. These types of prisons use thick walls, high fences, and other technologies like motion sensors and electronic perimeters. Maximum-security prisons also tend to have living area in the middle of the facility so there are many barriers that have to be crossed in order to leave. Medium-security prisons are much like maximum-security prisons in structure and technology, but typically the inmates are allowed more freedoms like exercise time, yard time, and also library time. Minimum-security prisons typically allow the inmate to roam the premises and armed guards are not used. Many minimum-security prisoners participate in some kind of work or study program (Schmalleger, 2011). There are also private prisons. These prisons are state-run, but are contracted out to private companies who run the day to day functions of the prisons. Some companies supplement the functions of the prisons and others provide full staffing to run the prison completely. (Schmalleger, 2011) Jails versus Prison
Prisons are typically long-term incarceration for prisoners serving out their sentences or waiting on death row. Depending of the type of crime committed tells which type of security prison the person will go to. Jails differ from prisons because they are “short-term confinement facilities originally built to hold suspects following arrest or pending trial” (Schmalleger, 2011). The Role of Jails
“Jails have been called the ‘shame of the criminal justice system” Shmalleger, 2011). Jails tend to be poorly funded and filled with low trained employees, but still jails serve many purposes in the justice system of the United States. Jails hold prisoners pending their trials and arraignments. They also re-admit the violators of parole and probation back into the system. Jails also serve as holding for military courts. Inmates are also held in Jails when overcrowding occurs. Jails also hold people with short-term sentences, usually less than 1 year. (Schmalleger, 2011) Jail and Prison Culture and Subculture
When inmates enter into prisons and jails for the first time there is a harsh reality of change that has to be realized. The first is the culture of the institution. The culture is the establishment’s harsh rules and procedures that are put in place and enforced by the corrections officers and staff of the institution. There is another element that may be even harder to adjust to. That is the prison or jail subculture. “The socialization of new inmates into the prison subculture has been described as the process of prisonization” (Schmalleger, 2011). The subcultures in the prison are ever-changing and in general reflect the values of the prisoners themselves. Each prisoner assumes their own roles. For example, a prisoner can be deemed a religious or an opportunist (Schmalleger, 2011). There is also the issue of sexuality in the prison subculture. “Sexual behavior inside prisons is both constrained and encouraged by the prison subculture” (Schmalleger, 2011). The issue of prison rape is a top priority for facilities and needs to be closely monitored. In addition to all the inner workings of the subcultures in the prisons and jails, the imprisoned female must also be taken into account. There are more than 115,770 women imprisoned in state and federal correctional institutions (Schmalleger, 2011). Females are...
References: Mutchnick, R. J. (2009, May 6). Chapters 11 & 12.
https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/UC/CJ/index.html/ CJI interactve.
Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal justice today: an introductory text for the 21st century.
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