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Types of Prisons

There are four types of prisons. The most common type of prison is a minimum security prison which is designed in such a way to accommodate only the nonviolent prisoners. There is little supervision in these prisons, and the prisoners incarcerated are not dangerous. Similar to minimum security prisons, there are low security prisons which do not have large facilities like other prisons. There are also medium security prisons which have higher-risk inmates who pose a threat to the guards; therefore, there is a high number of guards in this particular type of prison. The last type of prison is maximum security prison which accommodates extremely dangerous prisoners. All the mass murderers and drug lords are usually incarcerated in the maximum security prisons.

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Difference between Rikers Island (Jail) and Franklin Correction Facility (Prison)

The main difference between a jail and a prison is that a jail houses petty offenders, while a prison houses long-term felony offenders (Schlanger, 2003). Primarily, the people who are housed in a jail are mainly petty offenders who have been unable to settle their bail requirements. Second, jails only receive and release offenders within a short period of time, but prisons retain convicts for a long period of time. In addition, Franklin Correction Facility serves as a correctional facility for people who have been charged for crimes committed, while Rikers Island Jail serves as an administrative holding facility for people who have committed petty crimes or are suspected of committing a crime.

Aspects of Jail and Prison Culture and Subculture

Both jails and prisons have their own distinctive culture and subculture. Primarily, the culture in both of these institutions is formed by the existing aspects of the subculture. The main aspect of subculture in both facilities is the requirement not to inform on fellow prisoners. In other words, no inmate should attempt to spy on his/her fellow inmates. Once caught spying on fellow inmates, one can easily be murdered by the other inmates. The other aspect of the subculture in prison is sharing. An inmate incarcerated in prison is expected to share everything he/she has with fellow inmates. However, this aspect of subculture does not exist in jails as people rarely know each other. The only aspect of subculture in jails is to always help other inmates.

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The Role of Jails in the Criminal Justice System

Jails play a vital role in the criminal justice system by acting as administrative holding facilities. Fundamentally, jails house people who have committed petty crimes or those who are accused of committing a crime. Recently, the number of offenders in the United States has increased significantly. Consequently, this necessitates the need to have a facility that accommodates the high number of offenders; thus, jails play this role efficiently. Besides, jails allow the judicial system to have ample time to make key decisions on which inmates should be sent to the prisons (Cole and Smith, 2010).

The Role of Community-Based Correction Programs Associated With Jails and Prisons

Community-based correction programs are meant to help people who are facing conviction in a court of law. Some of the key aspects of these programs include home confinement, electronic monitoring, boot camp, and community services. Of more interest is the community service according to which the convicted offenders are required to spend few hours a week serving the community. Such measure has been proven as an effective way of helping inmates incarcerated in jails and prisons to reform their behavior. When they interact with members of the local community, they learn how to relate well to other people.

Violent Behavior That Occurs In Jails and Prisons

Both prisons and jails have always been characterized by the existence of violent behavior. The most common form of violent behavior in these facilities is brutality. Primarily, week inmates are mainly tortured by the bullies in prisons. The other form of violent behavior is sexual violence and rape (Evans, 2010). There has been many cases whereby inmates have been sexually exploited by other inmates. Primarily, this occurs in male prisons where there is a high number of homosexuals. Fighting of gangs in prisons can also be described as violent behavior because it normally leaves many inmates injured.

Role of Probation and Parole

The primary role of probation and parole is to offer protection to the community from offenders. In fact, it can be done by facilitating the successful completion of sentences by petty offenders. Parole officers are tasked with working closely with offenders and assisting them to reform their behavior and relate well to the community members. The other role of probation and parole is to access the suitability of offenders to engage in community-based orders. After successful assessment, parole officers forward their advisory report to parole boards on the best course of action.

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  • Cole, G. F., & Smith, C. E. (2010). The American system of criminal justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
  • Evans, K. M. (2010). Crime, prisons, and jails. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Cengage Learning.
  • Schlanger, M. (2003). Differences between jails and prisons. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Law School.
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