CJS200 Week Seven Checkpoint Jails and Prisons Submitted by Travis Hance

Identify the four types of prisons. I found this question interesting, because I feel that there are actually two sets of answers to this question. Within the corrections system there are four types of prisons, county, state, federal, and military. The reason that I identify these as prisons is that they are not jails, or lockups. Within the police function of the criminal justice system we utilize the jail system as an intermediate holding center for before and possibly after the trial period. However, prison is unilaterally perceived as a facility for those tried and convicted of a crime. Within the examination of this material, I was also able to identify another set of descriptions that fit the ‘four types of prisons’, and I must therefore describe them. The more basic description, which falls in line with our weekly material, is federal, state, private, and local. Federal prisons are a subject I have already discussed, and state prisons are by nature different from jails and lockups. Private prisons have become a topic within the past century as a means for dealing with hardened criminals, while local prisons are rare. While we as a society continue to evolve in our methods for dealing with criminals, one truth remains constant. Prison is for those who are convicted of heinous crimes against the people, jail is a temporary situation leading to a trial or misdemeanor sentencing.

Explain the concept of prison as a total institution. The concept of prison is one that society has evolved over the past several centuries. While prisons have always served a role in the rehabilitation of citizens, now they also serve to segregate violent or unrepentant criminals from otherwise productive society. In many instances there are productive programs to help the hardened criminal learn a new skill, contribute to society while within prison through work programs, or continue their personal education by partaking in distance learning. Regardless of what an inmate might choose, modern prisons reflect the best ideals of our society, that very few violators are beyond hope for improvement and redemption.

Explain why jails play an important role in the criminal justice system. Jails play an important part of our criminal justice system. They serve as a temporary holding area for time periods both before and after a trial. They allow time for officers to compile data, consult with the district attorneys office, and still protect the suspect’s rights. While most might see jail time as an imposition on personal freedoms, it is one of the more important times where legal counsel is readily available. In addition, upon completion of a sentence for a minor offense, jails also serve as a means of release back into society. While the system is far from perfect, it does work, and we should all give recognition to those who work within both the prison and jail systems for the hard, and often under appreciated work that they do on a daily basis.

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