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what are the types of prisons

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Types of Prisons
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Types of prisons
Introduction
Prisons are operated by the state and the federal government. It is a concurrent power under the country’s constitution. The main punishment for the commission of felony offenses is imprisonment. People convicted of misdemeanor offenses and less serious offenders may be sentenced to a short term in local jails, probation, community corrections or restitution. Prisons are operated at various levels of security. It ranges from minimum security prisons to Supermax facilities. The United States has the highest number of people behind bars than any other country in the world, followed by China. Different facilities for prisoners vary in terms of administration of inmates, security level, correction tactics used by officers and the type of housing. Detention centers, reception centers, and county jails are where new commitments are held while awaiting trial or before moving to serve out their sentences. These areas operate under very high levels of security.
The various types of prisons
The first type of prison is the minimum and medium security. The minimum security prison is mainly reserved for criminals who commit fraud and embezzlement. Criminals who commit these crimes are white collar criminals. These prisoners are considered non-violent. Prisoners in this category sleep in dormitories that have bunk beds with lockers. The dormitories are supervised by one or more officers during the night. The staff to inmate ratio is relatively low.

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The dormitories are considered not secure. Prisoners share toilets, showers, and sinks. Internal movement of prisoners is under less supervision. This type of prison is a program and work related. The medium security office hosts most criminals. There are armed guards, daily routines, and cage style housing than in the minimum security prisons. The prison’s perimeter is double fenced and is always under patrol. Prisoners taken to these facilities are believed to pose very minimal threat to the public and are not- violent. The facility has a single fence that is watched by armed guards. This is only in cases of facilities in the urban areas. Those in the rural areas have no fences at all. Prisoners are made to participate in community works like wilderness conservation. States allow the prisoners to access the internet because there is personal freedom. The minimum security facilities are located near larger prisons, military bases or government institutions. They are referred to as Satellite Prison Camps. It provides a convenient supply of convict labor.
Another type is the Close Security. Prisoners in this category are placed in a one or two-person cells. The cells are operated from a remote control station. Unlike the minimum security facilities, each prisoner has their own sink and toilet. Prisoners are only allowed to leave their cells for correction programs and work assignments. They are also allowed into the exercise yard and common areas in the cellblock. The facilities have double fences with armed guards, watchtowers, and an electric fence in the middle. Prisoners in these facilities are considered dangerous to the public therefore need close supervision. Despite the lack of maximum security, it is very difficult to escape.
Maximum Security is another type of prisons. Prisoners have individual cells secured with sliding doors controlled by a remote control station. Usually, the prisoners are held in their cells for close to 23 hours per day but in other institutions they are released for the most of the day. Prisoners are only allowed to an exterior cage or a cellblock when they are outside their cells. There are assigned to escorts and restraints in case of movement out of the cellblock.
Supermax prison facilities offer the highest level of security. The most dangerous inmates are held in these facilities. They include inmates who have committed murders, committed assaults, serial killers, high profile criminals and inmates known to be prison gang members. Only one such facility is operated by the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, ADX Florence built in 1994. Conditions in these facilities are considered harsh by human rights organizations. Inmates are held in their cells close to 24 hours a day. An hour is spent in a solitary supervised shower or a recreation area. A solid walled pen is used for solitary confinement. There is less social contact between inmates, less external workings, and increased isolation. The cells are usually 7 feet by 12 feet secured with solid doors. Drainpipes and drains provided a method of passage of contraband between cells. The cells have no windows and are sound proofed. Physical contacts with visitors and telephone privileges are denied. There is very little freedom for the prisoners. Prisoners are only allowed to use telephones when communicating with their visitors. It happens because prisoners are isolated in compartments when speaking to their visitors. Small windows are designed no actual view of any part of the prison (Roth, 2006). It helps reduce escape attempts. Mails are read and censored before they are sent except the pre- announced legal communications. The prison is designed to prevent the armed attack and entry to the prison is only through a tunnel. There is a possibility of prisoners being moved to a maximum security facility as a reward for good behavior (Duguid, 2000). Other states are also following suit by building these facilities. Correctional complexes are majorly used for training purposes and might be of any security level (Varrette, Archambault & Correctional Service Canada, 2012)
Another type of prisons is the Federal. They are under the Federal Bureau of Prisons jurisdiction. It is a subsidiary of the Department of Justice. It was initiated in 1891. Inmates who violate federal laws are taken to the federal prisons (Fuhrmann & Baier, 2013). Individuals are also held in federal prisons while awaiting trial. There are three federal prisons in Leavenworth, Atlanta, and McNeil Island. State prisons are more than federal prisons. Most inmates who violate local and state laws are taken to state prisons, county jails or city jails. There is an exception of violent crimes that are handled by the state prisons. The difference between federal and state prisons is the amount to be served in the prison. Amount served in federal prisons is higher than that of the state prisons. It is because federal prisons deny parole. Each state has the right to choose its correctional system. The juvenile is another type of prison where individuals under the age of 18 years are held for committing crimes. The first juvenile institution was opened in 1825 in the United States. They are considered juveniles. The facilities are designed for juveniles and have more fair conditions than the general prisons. However, some other juvenile institutions experience overcrowding. This condition creates dangerous environments that lead to the minimal providence of promised programs to reform the youths (Fuhrmann & Baier, 2013). Critics believe that most juveniles are from lower socio- economic classes and their overall effectiveness is questioned (Davis, 2003).
Psychiatric prisons are designed for mentally unfit law breakers. They have the resemblance of hospitals though they still have characteristics of general prisons. There is the presence of guards in case restraining is required. The United States refers to it as Federal Medical Centers. Psychiatric units are also available in other prisons to hold housing offenders diagnosed with mental disorders. This kind of prisoners is deemed mentally unfit after tests are conducted by medical professions. This kind of prison is meant to help people rather than confine them to pursuing rehabilitation methods. It helps the inmates with their mental disorders. Military prisons are meant for military personnel who breaks the law that affects the national security. All military branches have their own prison facilities to house prisoners of war (Casstevens, 2005) The treatment method of these prisoners is still under debate. The method of torturing is usually a controversially discussed topic.
Prisons are also gender sensitive. Women prisons especially are tailored for women facilities. This includes mother and baby units for suitability of women prisoners to give birth. The development of these prisons was because of abuse and sexual offenses such as assault and rape against women. Women still face violation from male correctional officials by denying them privacy (Sweeney, 2010). Most women inmates are from low socioeconomic backgrounds and suffer from major chronic diseases (Caster, 2008). HIV is more prevalent in women than to the men. 70% of the guards are mainly men in the prison. Women are a sensitive gender. Programs should be initiated to curb the female assaults in the prisons. Male prisons are the general prison that have no special facilities. Male inmates are more than the female inmates.
Political prisons and administrative detention is another form of prison. Prisoners in this category are imprisoned for their political beliefs, affiliations and activities. It still is not clear who is deemed as a political prisoner. It takes in people who speak against the government. In some countries, such inmates are tortured and executed with no trial (Berne, 2014). It can be done legally or be based on a false accusation by fabricating evidence against them. Administrative detention is specifically a detention center where people without trial are held.
Conclusion Summary
Many people fail to differentiate between prisons and jails. A jail is a short-term facility that is locally operated. They are mainly used to detain inmates before trial or detain inmates with sentences of less than a year. It also holds inmates before they are transferred to other facilities after being sentenced. A prison is a long term facility that is federally or state operated. Prisons are used after sentencing to house inmates for more than a year. Developed countries offer better living conditions for inmates than the developing and authoritarian countries (Sarkin- Hughes, 2008). It happens because of the Human Rights’ Association power. People in prison may be released to other community programs or parole supervision. The usual release is after serving the whole term in prison.
References
Berne, E. C. (2014). The world’s scariest prisons.
Casstevens, F. H. (2005). “Out of the mouth of hell”: Civil War prisons and escapes. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co., Publishers.
Caster, P. (2008). Prisons, race, and masculinity in twentieth-century U.S. literature and film. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
Davis, A. Y. (2003). Are prisons obsolete?. New York: Seven Stories Press.
Duguid, S. (2000). Can prisons work?: The prisoner as object and subject in modern corrections. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Fuhrmann, J., & Baier, S. (2013). Prisons and prison systems: Practices, types and challenges.
Roth, M. P. (2006). Prisons and prison systems: A global encyclopedia. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.
Sarkin-Hughes, J. (2008). Human rights in African prisons. Cape Town, South Africa: HSRC Press.
Sweeney, M. (2010). Reading is my window: Books and the art of reading in women’s prisons. Chapel Hill, N.C: University of North Carolina Press.
Varrette, S., Archambault, K., & Correctional Service Canada. (2012). A review of the use of force in three types of correctional facilities. Ottawa, Ont: Correctional Service of Canada.

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