Jails and Prisons

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Jails are a confinement facility administered by an agency of local government, typically a law enforcement agency, which holds people detained pending adjudication or committed after adjudication, usually those sentenced to a year or less. Usually, a county sheriff’s department runs the local jail. In most states, there is at least one jail in every county. In some bigger counties, they may have more than one jail to house the inmates. Criminal offenders who are sentenced to jail usually carry a sentence of less than one year. If an offender gets a sentence for longer than a year, then they are usually sentenced to a prison. Prisons are a confinement facility that is either, military, federal, state, or privately run. Prisons are given the custodial authority over the offenders sentenced to their facility. Not only is there four different types of prisons, there are different security levels for different prison as well. Maximum security prisons usually house the offenders who have committed the worst types of crimes and those that have been sentenced to death. Medium security prisoners have a little more privileges than the offenders in a maximum security prison. Prisoners in a minimum security prison are under only general supervision and usually have access to recreational, educational, and skills-training programs on the prison grounds. Jails tend to be considered the lowest security confinement. Jails play a bigger role in the criminal justice system than most people think. A prison does not come in to play until after an offender is sentenced. However, the jail will be used throughout the whole criminal justice process up to sentencing and sometimes after sentencing. Jails are used in the beginning of the criminal justice process to house suspects that are arrested for crimes. Depending on the suspect and the crime, the jail may be a temporary placement or
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