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What's the difference between prison and jail?
I've only been to one jail and I've been to prison to visit someone. Jail is a lot smaller than prison and the stay there is usually pretty short ( a few days or until someone gets you out with bail or cash).
You will stay there until your court date (which a magistrate sets) or until someone pays your bail. You will be given a bail amount (unless you killed someone or did something pretty bad, where they don't want you to get out of jail) and someone will have to, either pay cash or visit a bondsman to post your bail to get you out of jail. If they don't have the whole amount of money, they can usually put up their house or something of value (collateral) so that if you don't show up for your court date, the bondsman won't get stuck with having to pay your bail, however the person who paid the money or put up their house, will lose whatever they put up.
Before you get put in jail, you will be searched and you can't have anything except the clothes you have on. Sometimes they give you jail clothes to wear. The cells are small and there are no windows. It's usually too cold or too hot and there's usually not good ventilation. They slide your food on trays under the door and you have no contact with anyone outside of jail. Sometimes you get visitors, like on Sundays, but you visit through a glass window. Sometimes they allow a TV. The shower is usually just a small area with one shower head and no privacy. Oh yeah, the cells are usually made for 2 people (and hope they like you but not too much). there's a commode in the middle of the 2 beds which have no mattress, just a cold metal frame. There's no pillows or cover or sheets (not at the one I know of). They make it as uncomfortable as possible.
Prison is large and there's a lot more room. Of course, this is the place you go after you go to court (if you are sentenced to Prison). You may get probation or community service if the charge was a misdemeanor. You can go outside for a short amt of time, depending on if it is a minimum or maximum security prison. I don't know a lot about prisons and they vary depending on several things. I've only been a visitor. Most have T.V's and prisoners can work out and some have jobs there.
Maybe someone can tell you more about prison. But, believe me, you don't want to go to either one.
If you are lazy and love to sleep you would maybe even enjoy jail if you dont end up with an assh*le for a bunkie, Some jailsactually have rooms with twenty or more people in them with only a couple toilets and showers; I've actually had to bunk up in yhe gym because of jails being overpopulated. It all sucks even though I get used to it easy but yea prison is where you go if you get 365 days or more. I've heard its actually a lot better than jail, better food a little more daylight and that.
Jail is run by a large city or a country. Its where the person is pretty much held until their trial date. Jail is more of a short-term thing.
Prison is run by the state/federal government. Its where the person goes when they have been convicted, usually of a major crime. Its more of a long-term situation.
jail is if you're going to serve a year or less. prison is if you're serving more than a year.