Jail vs. Prison

Jail vs. Prison
Jail and prison are not necessarily the same things. There is a distinction between the two.

Jail (noun) is a short-term holding area for those awaiting trial for minor offenses.

2. (verb) To take a person into lawful custody is to "jail" them.

Let's view some examples:

1. "My friend called his parents to bail him out of jail for shoplifting a video game."

2. "Andrew had to wait in jail until his trial next week."

Prison (noun) is an involuntary confinement for those convicted of a crime. Many criminals reside in long term prisons.

Let's view some examples:

1. "Many state prisons are filled to capacity, so more criminals are being released on early parole."

2. "It is often hard for an ex-convict to find a job after serving several years in prison."

*Tip/Hint: A jail is for short-term confinement, and prison is for long-term confinement.

Let's use both jail and prison in the same sentence to note their differences.

"The brothers committed the same crime, yet one was sent to a local jail and the other was sent to the state prison. There was more evidence against one than there was against the other."

Circle the Correct Answer:

1. Many people spend years in jail/prison for crimes that they didn't commit.

2. My parents want to move because they think we live too close to the local prison / jail.

3. If you have too many unpaid parking tickets, you could end up in jail / prison.

Answers: prison, jail, jail

Related Links:
Difference between Words
Science Related Words Difference and Comparison










Educational Videos