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Types of Prison

Prison vs. County Prison

Prison vs. County Prison

In general, those that are convicted of a crime by the county courts, are held at county prisons. In addition, those that may be awaiting trial, may also be held at a county court. Individuals convicted of a crime will be held at the county prison in the county where they were convicted of committing a crime, not in the county where they reside.
The county courts handle different types of cases than the state and federal courts. In general, less violent offenders are held at county prisons. In addition, county prisons generally have a focus on rehabilitation to avoid those convicted prisoners from re-offending. A county prison may however also house violent offenders, but they are likely to have less restrictions than they would at a state prison. 
 
 

How Federal Prisons Function in the US

How Federal Prisons Function in the US

A federal prison
is a form of correctional facility in the United States, which is solely run by
the federal government. Correctional facilities or prisons can be run by state,
county or local authorities; as a result of its advanced and extended
resources, a federal prison is able to maximize security precautions and enable
the correctional facility to harbor the most dangerous or unsafe criminals.
That being said, federal prisons in the United States possess varying levels of
security, and in many cases, simply harbor those individuals who commit white
collar, or non-violent crimes.

As of 2008, the Federal Bureau of Prisons oversaw and maintained over 105
federal prisons. As stated before, the levels of security vary; in total the
federal prisons housed over 195,000 inmates, or 9% of the total prison
population of the United States. Similar to the security levels, prison
sentences within a federal prison will vary. A federal prison will house those
individuals who are convicted of any federal crime, however, individuals may
also be transported there if their original was overcrowded, or an increase in
security is needed.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has categorized federal prisons into five
distinct security levels. A minimum security facility contains a limited amount
of the 4th category, a low security Federal Correction Institution contains
double-fenced perimeters, and inmates live in cubicle or dormitory housing. A
medium security federal prison is classified to hold medium-security inmates. A
medium security federal prison has strengthened perimeters, which consist of
double fences and electronic detection systems. Although a medium security has
the label “medium” it is typically considered a high-security
facilities. These facilities, which comprise the remaining classifications, are
highly secured with reinforced fences, and walls. 

Don’t Try to Break Out of a Maximum Security Prison!

Don't Try to Break Out of a Maximum Security Prison!

The scope of the United States’ legal system is incredibly expansive; every felony carries a different punishment in a coordinating prison or rehabilitation center. As a result of the legal system’s enormous breadth, the rehabilitation system is diversified to house the varying inmates based on the severity of crime committed. The different facilities that house inmates vary by security level; a maximum security prison for example, is the institution that holds the most dangerous inmates, or those individuals convicted of the most severe offenses such as murder or rape.
Each facility’s classification is categorized based on the security used to run the prison. Security measures, the administration of inmates, the types of housing, and the tactics or weapons used by corrections officers will greatly vary depending on the classification of the facility. The Bureau of Prisons, a federal government program, uses a 1 to 5 numbered scale to classify each security level. 
A maximum security prison falls under the level 5 category or the most secure, while a minimum security prison is accordingly labeled as level 1. In a maximum security prison all prisoners have individual cells that possess sliding doors controlled from a remote control station. Prisoners within a maximum security prison are only allowed out of their cell for one hour a day; when out of their cells, the prisoners must remain the cell block or an exterior cage. The prisoners are constantly monitored by armed guards, and interaction between the prison communities is rare.
Within category 5 exists a level more secure than the maximum security prison. A super max prison facility provides the highest level of prison security. A super max prison holds those considered the most dangerous individuals; this includes inmates who have committed murders, gang violence, assaults, rapes, or other serious violations. 
Inmates in a super max prison are kept under constant surveillance, in a facility that is secluded or heavily guarded by a natural confinement and armed officers. As a result of the dangerous inmates within a super max prison, the resources used to maintain order and discipline must be expansive.