20+ Differences Between Jail And Prison

Although both the institutions of jail and prison are tools that the judiciary uses to confirm a justice in society with the rising crime rate, there seems to be a common confusion between the two constructs.

Since both terms are often synonymous, a professional in the field must be able to distinguish between the two. Yes, there is a big difference in the minute similarities between the two.

Hence, in this article, we will look at these significant differences with an eagle’s eye to fully understand the contrast between the two and simultaneously learn when to use which term.

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The Key Differences Between a Jail and a Prison

Jail:

  1. A jail holds custody and supervises offenders and wrong-doers who have been charged with petty offenses or arrested.
  2. People sent to the facility of jail usually await their chance of a reasonable and fair trial in a court of law.
  3. The jail size is comparatively more minor since the institution does not have greater power or authority than a prison. 
  4. An individual may apply for bail and be released from being locked up in the institution of a jail.

Prison:

  1. A prison holds custody of criminals who have been tried reasonably in a court of law and are convicted of heinous crimes.
  2. People who are sent to the construct of prison are usually those who have gotten their chance at a fair trial in a court of law but have been found guilty of the offense.
  3. The size of prison is comparatively bigger since the institution holds greater power or authority than a jail. 
  4. An individual can only be relieved from his sentence in prison if they prove their innocence in a court of law.

Comparison Between Jail And Prison

ParametersJailPrison

Definition

A jail refers to a kind of a construct that confines individuals who have either been accused or convicted of an offense and are kept under strict custody of the police or the jail authorities in order to enhance the hands of justice.

A prison refers to a kind of construct that confines individuals who have been convicted of an offense and are kept under strict custody until they complete their sentence, thus enhancing the hands of justice.

Purpose

The construct of jail has been introduced in order to hold the possession of offenders and wrongdoers who have been charged with petty offenses or have been arrested.

The construct of a prison has been introduced in order to hold custody over criminals who have been tried and ultimately convicted of heinous crimes.

Size

The size of a jail is comparatively more minor since the institution does not have greater power or authority than a prison. 

The size of a prison is comparatively bigger since the institution holds greater power or authority than a jail. 

Inmates

The individuals who have been arrested or those who are awaiting their chance to a fair opportunity for a trial before the just court of law are sent to the construct of a jail. Sending an accused to jail is more or less a judicial process that facilitates the hands of justice.

The individuals who have been charged fairly, tried and found guilty are called convicts. These convicts are sent to the construct of prison to complete their sentence and strengthen the hands of justice.

Duration

Individuals who are sent to the facility of jail are mandated to stay in the facility for a comparatively short amount of time. This is because the act of sending an individual to jail is more or less a judicial process that enhances the hands of justice after they have exercised their right to a fair trial.

Individuals sent to the construct of prison are mandated to stay in the facility for a comparatively long time. This period may vary from a few months to even years. The construct of prison also enables the idea of life imprisonment and convicts waiting for their death sentence and are on death row.

Bail

An individual who is sent to the facility of jail may apply for bail through which the charges he has been accused of won’t be lifted. Still, the individual would be released from custody, provided they follow specific rules and regulations until they get a chance at a fair trial.

The individuals who are sent to the construct of prison are expected to fulfill their sentences and punishment so that they may fulfill the needs of justice. These individuals cannot be released from prison on bail and can only avoid punishment if their innocence is proven in a court of law.

Objective

The purpose of a jail is simply to arrest and hold supervision and custody over individuals who are either suspected of a crime or are waiting for their chance at a fair and reasonable trial in a court of law.

The purpose of a prison is to send individuals who have been found guilty of committing a crime into an institution that can help bring reformative and rehabilitative justice to reunite criminals while teaching them the ethics of living in a society.

The Distinctive Characteristics Of Jail and Prison

What Exactly Is A Jail?

A jail refers to an institution that confines individuals who have been accused or convicted and are kept under strict custody.

Arrested individuals need to be supervised so that a proper investigation of the crime can be followed through. In addition, people awaiting their chance of a reasonable trial in a court of law before being sent to prison are also sent to the facility of a jail.

Thus, simply put, the purpose of a jail is to keep an eye on individuals who are either suspected of a crime or are waiting for their chance at a fair and reasonable trial in a court of law.

What Exactly Is A Prison?

The construct of a prison refers to a kind of institution that plays a role in confining individuals who have been convicted of an offense and are kept under strict custody until they complete their sentence, thus strengthening the hands of justice.

The purpose of a prison is to send individuals who have been found guilty of committing a crime into an institution that can help bring reformative and rehabilitative justice to reunite criminals while teaching them the ethics of living in a society.


The Major Differences Between Jail And Prison

Definition

  • Jail: A jail essentially refers to a type of judicial structure that plays the role of confining people who have been either accused or convicted of an offense while keeping them under strict custody in order to strengthen the hands of justice and ensure that the good prevails over the bad.
  • Prison: A prison, on the other hand, refers to a kind of construct that plays the role of confining individuals who have been convicted of an offense and are kept under strict custody until they complete their sentence, thus enhancing the hands of justice and ensuring that good prevails over bad.

Purpose

  • Jail: The construct of jail has been introduced in the judiciary in order to aid the law in holding custody over people who have played a role in offending the law, thus resulting in being charged with petty offenses or simply may have been arrested for suspicious activity and placed in the facility for keeping supervision over.
  • Prison: The construct of a prison has been introduced in the judiciary in order to aid the law in holding custody over people who have played a role in offending the law and who were accordingly tried in a reasonable and fair manner but found guilty either way. Thus, the prison is expected to hold the custody of convicts convicted of heinous crimes.

Size

  • Jail: The size of the jail is comparatively more minor since the institution does not have greater power or authority as compared to a prison. This is because the purpose of a jail is simply to arrest and hold supervision and custody over individuals who are either suspected of a crime or are waiting for their chance at a fair and reasonable trial in a court of law.
  • Prison: The size of prison is comparatively bigger since the institution holds greater power or authority as compared to jail. This is because the purpose of a prison is to send individuals who have been found guilty of committing a crime into an institution that can help bring reformative and rehabilitative justice to reunite criminals while teaching them the ethics of living in a society.

Inmates

  • Jail: The individuals who have been arrested or those who are waiting for their fair chance to have a trial before a just court of law are sent to the construct of a jail. Sending an accused to jail is more or less a judicial process that facilitates the hand of justice.
  • Prison: The individuals who have been charged, tried in a court of law in a reasonable and just manner, and found guilty are called convicts. These convicts are thus sent to the construct of a prison in order to aid them in providing the facility to complete their sentence and strengthen the hands of justice by ensuring reform.

Duration

  • Jail: Individuals who are sent to the construct of jail are mandated to stay in the facility for a comparatively short amount of time. This is because the act of sending an individual to jail is more or less a judicial process that enhances the hands of justice after they have exercised their right to a fair trial.
  • Prison: Individuals sent to the construct of prison are mandated to stay in the facility for a comparatively long time. This period may vary from a few months to even years. The prison construct also enables the idea of life imprisonment and convicts waiting for their death sentence and on death row.

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The Intensity – Jail vs. Prison

Jail:

  1. The size of jail is comparatively more minor since the institution does not have greater power or authority as compared to a prison.
  2. The individuals who have been arrested or those who are waiting for their fair chance to have a trial before a just court of law are sent to the construct of a jail.
  3. Individuals who are sent to the construct of jail are mandated to stay in the facility for a comparatively short amount of time. 

Prison:

  1. The size of prison is comparatively bigger since the institution holds greater power or authority as compared to jail. 
  2. The individuals who have been charged, tried in a court of law in a reasonable and just manner, and found guilty are called convicts. 
  3. Individuals who are sent to the construct of prison are mandated to stay in the facility for a comparatively long period of time. 

Bail

  • Jail: An individual who is sent to the facility of jail may apply for bail through which the charges he has been accused of won’t be lifted. Still, the individual would be released from custody, provided they follow specific rules and regulations until they get a chance at a fair trial.
  • Prison: The individuals who are sent to the construct of prison are expected to fulfill their sentences and punishment so that they may fulfill the needs of justice. These individuals cannot be released from prison on bail and can only avoid the penalty if their innocence has been proven in a just and fair manner in a court of law.

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What if I want to leave? – Jail vs. Prison

Jail:

  1. An individual sent to jail can apply for bail in case they want to exercise that right, which, however, depends on a case-to-case basis.
  2. When an individual is provided bail, they may leave the institution but have to follow several rules since the judiciary will still be processing their case.
  3. When an individual is provided bail, they do not have the option to leave the country and disappear but are simply given the right to house arrest rather than judicial arrest.

Prison:

  1. An individual who has been sent to prison cannot apply for bail.
  2. If an individual wish to leave the facility, they may have to prove their innocence in a court of law.
  3. The above scenario is only possible when a piece of new evidence is brought forth in front of a court of law.
  4. Additionally, the individual may also acquire a lawyer and appeal to a higher court against the order.

Objective

  • Jail: The purpose of a jail is simply to arrest and hold supervision and custody over individuals who are either suspected of a crime or are waiting for their chance at a fair and reasonable trial in a court of law.
  • Prison: The purpose of a prison is to send individuals who have been found guilty of committing a crime into an institution that can help bring reformative and rehabilitative justice to reunite criminals while teaching them the ethics of living in a society.

(FAQs)Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the key difference between the constructs of a jail and a prison?

While the institution of jail is for the judicial officers to keep supervision over persons who have been accused of a crime; have been arrested; or are simply awaiting their chance at a fair trial in a court of law, the institution of prison is responsible for holding custody of persons who have been found guilty of a certain offense and are sent to prison to serve their sentences.

Q2. What construct holds a greater power, a jail or a prison?

Technically speaking, the institution of a prison holds greater power than jail because prison is responsible for providing a facility to keep custody of persons who have been found guilty of committing heinous crimes and is responsible for bringing reformative justice by tutoring the rights and wrongs in society to the prisoners.

Q3. Why does an accused need to be sent to jail?

Individuals who have been arrested are required to be supervised so that a proper investigation of the crime can be followed through. In addition, people awaiting their chance of a reasonable trial in a court of law before being sent to prison are also sent to the facility of a jail.


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