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Jail and Prisons Comparisons Paper

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Jail and Prisons Comparison Paper
Marcus Alexander
CJA/234 Introduction to Corrections
June 23, 2014
Sherri Webster

Jail and Prisons Comparison In the U.S. criminal justice system, when a person is arrested, the first place they are usually taken to is jail. From there, they see a judge and go through a court process. If further incarceration is needed, the individual is sentenced to serve time in either a county jail, state prison or federal prison. This paper will help discuss the history behind the jails and their use in addition to the history of state and federal prisons. While understanding the history of these three correctional facilities it will help to compare the different levels of security and how they work differently in each facility. A major problem in the United States, regarding the corrections system, is overcrowding. The effects of overcrowding are visible throughout the criminal justice system and there are different factors that influence the growth of jail/prison incarceration.

The jails of the modern era can be traced back to the 1100’s in England. The first jail created was ordered built by King Henry II in 1166, and the English term gaol was used in place of the word jail (Seiter, 2011). Jails then were also used, as they are now, for the purpose of housing offenders that were waiting for trial, but also took in individuals who were homeless, poor or suffered from mental disabilities. Individuals that are incarcerated in the jails today get 3 meals a day, shelter from the outside environment, and a decent place to sleep. A famous reformer of the jail system is John Howard, who was once an inmate himself after being taken captive on an English ship. Howard dealt with poor jail conditions that consisted of filth (poor sanitation), violence, poor food, little to no medical care with the presence of disease, lack...

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