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Comparing State and Federal Prison

By dirtdiver74 Apr 26, 2015 615 Words


William Proctor
Dr. Stephen Pate
CMRJ 316
May 15, 2013

Federal prisons are a branch of the Department of Justice. This agency provides guidance for all federal prisons, setting the standard of conduct and establishing a standardized practice for all the facilities. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons their mission is it “protects society by confining offenders in the controlled environments of prisons and community-based facilities that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure, and that provide work and other self-improvement opportunities to assist offenders in becoming law-abiding citizens”. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) operates approximately 122 facilities in six regions. The Bureau of Prisons has five categories of prisons, created and managed in a way best suited for each type of inmate. The categories of these facilities are; minimum, low, medium, high and administrative. The only inmates or detainees that are held in federal prisons are those that have violated federal laws or are being held for trial on suspicion of having committed a federal crime. The only exception is that anyone convicted in the District of Columbia for a felony will also be held in a federal prison. This exception is based on National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997. While the federal government has established some base line rules that all state prisons must follow, each state is responsible for establishing standards and procedures for their own state prison system. The Department of Corrections for each state is typically the lead agency expected to establish standards of conduct and establishing standardized practice for the facilities it controls. Typically inmates serving time in state prisons will have been convicted of a felony, typically these offenses are; murders, rapes, robbery, violent crimes committed with a firearm and white collar crimes such as petty embezzlement. The security levels of state prisons vary from state to state. For instance California has seven categories for their inmates, they are; Level I, Level II, Level III, level IV, Security housing, Reception center and condemned. However, the North Carolina state prisons only have three levels; close, medium and minimum security. While the ways in which state prisons are run vary from state to state they all hold the worse criminals the state has, in as such as they have been convicted of felony crimes. The major similarities in state and federal prisons are both types of facilities hold the worse criminals in their respective jurisdictions. Both types of prisons have various levels of security based off the necessity of the inmate population. Federal Prisons receive their guidance from the Department of Justice while each state will receive guidance from their respective Department of Corrections or Department of Public Safety. There are several differences in state and federal prisons. One difference is that funding for federal prisons is higher than that of state prisons. This typically results in better facilities and recreation equipment for the inmates. Another difference is the rate of assault both sexual and physical assault is higher in state prisons than in federal prisons. A study in 2000 showed that 1 in 36 inmates were assaulted in state prison while the number was dramatically lower in federal prisons where 1 in 58 reported being assaulted. A difference that is very desirable for those in state prison is that some states such as New York allow conjugal visits with their legal spouse as well as overnight visits from children and grandchildren. (O’Donnel, 2004)

References

O’Donnel, J., State Time or Federal Prison, USA Today (March 2004) retrieved June 1, 2013 from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/companies/2004-03-18-statetime_x.htm Federal Bureau of Prison website, retrieved June 1, 2013. http://www.bop.gov/

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