Jail vs Prison! Both jail and prison are correctional facilities that are used to incarcerate people charged with or convicted of a crime, but the similarities stop there.
Jail vs Prison
Jail and prison are not exact synonyms for each other because they refer to two separate institutions that house different groups of criminals and are run by different levels of government.
Jail Definition and Examples
A jail is a temporary, short-term detainment center where an individual waits for a trial and sentencing. Jails are run by local governments and are typically smaller than prisons in both size and infrastructure.
- She received countless letters of support while in jail.
- He received a twelve-month jail sentence.
- Police handcuffed him and hauled him off to jail.
Prison Definition and Examples
Prisons are where inmates go after getting sentenced for longer-term imprisonment, usually for more serious crimes. They’re run by either the state government or the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
- He spent 5 years in prison for forgery.
- These two shopkeepers are in prison for tax evasion.
- The guards thwarted his attempt to escape from prison.
Prison vs Jail Examples
- After his experience in jail, he has a pretty jaundiced view of the penal system.
- If she carries on shoplifting, she’ll end up in jail.
- I hope you won’t finish up in jail.
- The policeman wronged him and sent him to prison.
- They went to prison because they violated the law.
- The thief was adjudged to prison for three years.
Jail vs Prison Infographic
Confused Words: When to Use Jail vs Prison