Prisons and Jails

Topics: Prison, Corrections, Criminal justice Pages: 6 (2210 words) Published: December 17, 2012
Prisons and Jails
Jordyn Elby
University of Phoenix

The criminal justice system in itself is wide and covers many aspects. The most important part of those aspects is the jails and prisons around the nation. These are the places that are going to separate those who offend away from the community and keep our community overall pretty safe. Even though there is a funnel system within the criminal justice system, it should be noted that jails and prisons are still overcrowded. Due to the overcrowding those within the criminal justice system had to find a place for those who are first time offenders and those who behave well in jail. Probation and parole are another very important aspect of the criminal justice system.

Prisons and Jails
In the United States there are 1.6 million people that are incarcerated in the 128, 195 prisons (“By the Numbers: The U.S.’s Growing For-Profit Detention Industry,” 2012).  According to “By the Numbers: The U.S.’s Growing For-Profit Detention Industry” (2012) in May of 2012 there were 217,690 federal inmates in which 27,970 of those inmates were incarcerated in private facilities. There are different types of prisons that are designed to house certain types of inmates. Due to the overcrowding in jails and prisons, the criminal justice system has created other alternatives for those who have offended.

In the United States there are mainly four types of prisons. There is juvenile, minimum, medium, and high security prisons ("Types Of Prisons", 2008).  The juvenile prison would be more commonly known as a juvenile detention center. A juvenile detention center houses inmates who are 18 and under. Any inmate who is not of age in most circumstances is not housed with the adult inmates. The minimum security prison houses those inmates who have committed crimes that would be considered white collar crimes (“Types of Prisons”, 2008). These inmates would have committed crimes such as fraud. Fraud is a serious crime, but white collar crimes are non-violent and the offenders are considered to be not at risk. Minimum security prisons will usually offer the dormitory style living environment that will provide more freedom then the other prisons and will staff fewer guards (“Types of Prisons”, 2008). The medium security prisons will house most criminals and is considered to be the standard type of facility. The housing in this type of prison is considered to be cage style and the guards are armed. The inmates who are housed in medium security prisons are on more of a schedule than those housed in minimum security (“Types of Prisons”, 2008). A high security or otherwise known as maximum security prison houses the offenders who are considered to be violent and dangerous. These types of prisons staff far more guards and limit the freedoms in which the inmates receive. Persons who are housed in maximum security prisons are considered to be high risk (“Types of Prisons”, 2008).

For this paper I chose to look the York County Prison and the State Institutional Correctional Facility in Fayette, Pennsylvania. According to "What's The Difference Between Jail And Prison?" (2002), jails are normally run by sheriffs and local governments. Jails are designed to hold any inmates that are serving a short sentence or awaiting trial. Jails have Work Release programs and other programs that are considered to be specialized. Educational needs, vocational needs, and substance abuse needs are addressed by jails and given to inmates according to their behavior. State prisons are run by the state government and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The prisons will hold any inmate who has been convicted of a crime ("What's The Difference Between Jail And Prison?", 2002). 

When comparing the York County Prison and SCI Fayette the first things I noticed that were extremely different was the time each was built,...

References: By the Numbers: The U.S.’s Growing For-Profit Detention Industry. (2012, June). ProPublica, (), . Retrieved from
Friedman, P. D. (n.d.). Violent and Disruptive Behavior among Drug-Involved Prisoners: Relationship with Psychiatric Symptoms. Retrieved from
How do prisons play an important part in the criminal justice system. (2006). Retrieved from
Importance of Probation and Parole. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Krestev, J. (n.d.). Effects of Imprisonment. Retrieved from
Prison. (2012). Retrieved from
SCI Fayette. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Taking justice into custody. (2010). Retrieved from
Types of Prisons. (2008). Retrieved from
What 's the difference between jail and prison?. (2002). Retrieved from
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