Amanda Campos
Hey guys, what is the difference between jail and prison?
Nov 21, 2021 10:51 PM
Answers · 5
In the U.S., a jail is a facility where people are held in custody while awaiting trial, or if they've been convicted (usually of a minor crime) they're serving a sentence of less than a year. A prison is a facility where people are held who have been convicted of more serious crimes and sentenced to more than a year. There are both state and federal prisons.
November 22, 2021
The the US, "jail" is used to describe a local facility operated by a city or a county, and "prison" is a facility operated by the state or federal government.
November 21, 2021
I think in British English you might see the word "prison" more often in formal contexts.
November 21, 2021
No difference between gaol/jail and prison.
November 21, 2021
"Jail" is like a big cage with a toilet in the middle (not necessary in the middle) for many (same gender) people to share, most likely located inside a police station. Usually, people stay there for a few hours (days tops). A prison is a place where people who are convicted of a crime (or crimes) can spend years. Of course, for a number of reasons sometimes people can be sent to prison before a trial, but it is a movie-like situation.
November 22, 2021
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!