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What's the difference between jail and prison?

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  • John R
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A jail is a local lock-up for holding people awaiting local court appearances or serving time on local misdemeanor charges or sentences of less than one year.

    The simplest explanation is that a jail is allowed to hold prisoners for up to one year. Any sentence over a year must be served in a prison.

    It used to be that jails were only holding facilities and prisons were "reformatories" but now even jails are considered reformatories in many places.

    The most notable difference is that prison inmates have been tried and convicted of crimes, while those in jail may be waiting for a trial. A prison is under the jurisdiction of either federal or state, while the jail holds people accused under federal, state, county and/or city laws. A jail holds inmates from two days to a year only.

    Source(s): personal experiance
    • Blue Baron6 years agoReport

      In Canada and some US jurisdictions the cut off is two years. This is often why you'll hear the terms "two years less a day" and "two years plus a day".

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  • 4 years ago

    Jail Vs Prison

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  • 4 years ago

    1

    Source(s): Any Record Search Database - http://AnyRecords.oruty.com/?Sax
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  • 3 years ago

    Jail And Prison

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  • 5 years ago

    In England, typically Jails are local ie in a town /city centre and usually are for remand or short sentences. Prisons are usually not located in a town / city centre and are for longer term sentenced prisoners. Having said that, they are mostly run by HMP (Her Majesty's Prison Service). Prisons are usually better equipped with a more settled population. Although due to recent budget cuts, there is hardly any difference now. Most prisons are now run like a local Jail IE- 24hr bang up, very little association/exercise and poor quality living accommodation.

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  • kejjer
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    In the USA--

    Prison is where you go AFTER being Convicted of a Crime--long term confinement.

    Jail is short term holding--until you are found Guilty or Make bail--after being charged with a crime but before your actual trial.

    Of course----short term confinement--say 30 days---will sometimes only merit Jail. That depends on the crime--misdeamoners criminals are sometimes kept in Jail because they don't merit a transfer into the PRISON SYSTEM due to the time necessary to process them in and out of it of it. That again falls on the local judiciary.

    Source(s): that thing on my shoulders.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Jail is at the city and county levels, prison is state and federal levels. Most of the time you go to jail if your sentence is less than one year anything more than that you go to prison.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Jail is where the hold you until you go to trail to be sentenced. Once you been convicted you can tranfer to a processing center and placed in prison to serve your term. Depending on the judge, you can get time served for the amount of time spent in jail awaiting trial.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Jail is where they hold you before sentencing.

    I hope i spelled that right...

    Prison is where you fill out your sentence.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    a jail is typically used for PRE-Trial inmates and is usually run and funded by the city or county.. Prison is generally used for POST trial inmates that have received a sentence from the court and are serving that sentence.. prisons are generally funded and run by the state and federal goverment.

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