Prisons are a type of correctional facility that may be operated at the state or federal level. At these facilities, individuals convicted of crimes serve sentences that typically exceed one year. This distinguishes them from jails, which are usually operated at the local level and are intended for the short-term confinement of people found guilty of minor crimes or accused parties awaiting trial. Detention refers to confinement in a correctional facility while awaiting sentencing or deportation, while incarceration applies to confinement that occurs after someone has been convicted.
Many criminal justice experts believe incarceration serves four main purposes: deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and retribution. The fear of imprisonment, these experts believe, provides deterrence because it discourages people from committing offenses. The...Read more