The Difference Between Jail and Prison

Understanding the Distinctions of Florida Detention Centers

If you’ve been convicted of a crime in Florida, you could face incarceration in one of many types of correctional institutions. Jail and prison are often thought to be interchangeable but are two distinct detention centers.

What Is a Jail?

Florida’s county jails are managed by the sheriff’s department of that same county. These institutions typically hold inmates if they are:

  • Awaiting sentencing
  • Convicted for a misdemeanor
  • Serving a sentence of a year or less

If an individual is found guilty of multiple misdemeanor counts, they may spend more than one year in jail as they serve their sentences consecutively.

Jails may offer substance abuse assistance, educational programs, and other enrichment opportunities. Some inmates may even qualify for work release.

What Is a Prison?

Most Florida prisons are managed by the Florida Department of Corrections. There are nine prisons in Florida reserved for federal offenders that are managed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Individuals typically land in prison if they are:

  • Convicted for a felony
  • Serving a sentence of more than one year

Because inmates are admitted for longer periods, there are often more resources available to satisfy long-term needs. Educational, rehabilitative, and other programs are often more regularly available. However, availability will vary within the prison depending on an inmate’s security levels.

If you’ve been arrested for a criminal offense, call Hubbs Law Firm. Our attorneys can help you fight to protect your future. Contact us today to discuss your case.