What’s the Difference Between Jail and Prison?

If you have been arrested, you are probably thinking to yourself, “Oh no, they’re taking me to prison!” or “I am going to spend the rest of my life in jail!” We have all heard the words jail and prison used interchangeably, so we assume they are the same thing. Actually, a jail and prison have some very key differences.

What’s the Difference?

Fact is, when your loved one is first arrested, he/she will be heading to a local jail. A jail is normally run by local law enforcement and is used for temporary holding. When you break a local law, you’re going to be heading to a jail as opposed to a prison, where you will be going if you break a federal law.

Whether you go to jail or prison  also depends on what kind of crime you committed. If you’ve been arrested for a misdemeanor, you will be sentenced to time in jail. If you committed a felony, you will be brought to jail for temporary holding, and then sentenced to time in prison.

More people frequent jail houses as opposed to prison, making a jail stay even more uncomfortable than it was to begin with. Jail time is also unexpected. People who are being sent to prison are prepared for the transition because they are aware of the sentencing ahead of time. The same cannot be said for jail inmates.

Who is Usually Going to these Places?

The length of stay is one of the most important distinguishing factors between jail and prison. Inmates will normally stay in jail for two years at most. There are four types of people who are sent to jail:

However, a prisoner heading to a prison has already been through the trial process and received sentencing. Inmates in prisons must face a longer incarceration time. The positive factor of prison over jail, though, is it is more equipped to handle living needs, such as better food, education programs, and rehabilitation.

Get Out of Jail Today With a Bail Bond

If you or a loved one has been arrested in Northeastern Pennsylvania and is in need of a bail bondsman, don’t let them stay one more minute in jail. Contact Andrew Pizzo Bail Bonds today.

Need a Bail Bondsman Now?

Call Our 24-Hour Hotline at (570) 793-0140 for Immediate Service!


We make it our mission to confidently and compassionately guide our clients and their families step by step through the process of bail in a timely fashion.

    Fly Straight with Andrew Pizzo Bail Bonds

    There are no hidden surprises when it comes to bail conditions or bail fees. We are honest and straightforward from the beginning.

    Connect with us on FacebookConnect with us on Facebook

    Follow us on TwitterFollow us on Twitter

    Join us on Google+Join us on Google+

    Verified by ExactMetrics