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State and Federal Prisons When a criminal is arrested the type of crime determines whether or not he or she will be confined to a state prison or a federal prison. Federal and state prisons vary but may have the same theory. State prisons are run by the individual state and federal prisons are under the control of the federal government; both federal and state prisons can be run by private companies. The prison system has evolved greatly over the years. History of State Prison During the age of enlightenment state prison were formed because scholars felt that there was a more humane way of treating criminals.

Prison was not used as a form of punishment before the enlightenment era; it was primary used as a holding place for men, woman, children and the mentally ill, that were awaiting trials. The first penitentiary was formed in 1790, known as the Walnut Street Jail. “the Auburn model penitentiary, which became the American prototype because of its cheapness and economic productivity” (Burk F, 2006). Southern states took on their own model and created the agricultural prison in the 1930’s. Inmates were to be used as workers for farms. Men and Woman who are confined to state prisons are confined to The Department of Corrections.

The department of corrections consists of men, woman, juveniles, juvenile schools and work release programs. Today state prisons are ran according to classification History of Federal Prison Inmates that commit crimes such as bank robbery, inside trading, and tax evasion are sentenced to federal prisons. Criminals that commit crimes against the federal government are housed in these prisons. Federal prisons are run by the federal government; in 1891 an act called the “Three Prisons Act” was created by congress. This act help establish the Federal Prison system which created three prisons to be built, Leavenworth, Atlanta, and McNeil Island.

Since overcrowding was becoming an issue in 1928 James V Bennett did a study which led to the start of Federal Bureau of Prisons. The first federal prison to be built under this new reform and was USP Lewisburg, PA in 1932. This Prison “featured an original design that incorporated many new correctional concepts (e. g. , housing for different security levels in the same institution)” (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2010). Inmate classification became standard by the end of the 1930 and programs were initialized to help inmates receive training. By the time the 1950’s came around James v.

Bennett was the director of the Bureau of prison’s he influenced “Youth Corrections Act & the Prisoner Rehabilitation Act”. As time went on the bureau decided that operating several large facilities was not adequate, they moved to operating several small units to house inmates with similar security issues. “The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 established determinate sentencing, abolished parole, and reduced good time; additionally, several mandatory minimum sentencing provisions were enacted in 1986, 1988, and 1990” (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2010).

With the war on drugs and the number of illegal immigrants that were being held convictions rates increased. Security in State and Federal Prison The state prison has five levels of security; open security, minimum, medium, close high and maximum. Many state prisons are referred to as multilevel prisons meaning that they house two or more different levels of security within the same penitentiary. The Federal prisons also have five levels of security, minimum security, low security, medium security, high security, and administrative security.

The states open security prison is not like a prison at all; these facilities do not have security around them and are used for work release, and half way houses. If an inmate was to escape he or she is free to do so, but upon catching the inmate he or she will be reassigned to a higher security prison. Federal prison camps otherwise known as minimum security prisons are have some of the same features as a open security facility, they also do not have fences and inmates are free to roam the compound.

Minimum security facilities at the state level are different then federal, inmates may live in dorm style rooms with multiple inmates, the security is minimal and escaping is easy. The majority of inmates in a minimum security state facility have earned the right to be in this classification. These facilities are comparable to the federal low security facility, otherwise known as federal correctional institutions. The features of a low security facility includes double fencing which make escaping a little more difficult.

Medium security state prisons are smaller and have double fences a lot like the low security federal prison. Inmates that are entering prison are usually started at a medium security prison. Medium security prison at the federal level “have strengthened perimeters (often double fences with electronic detection systems)” (Federal bureau of Prisons, 2010), inmates are confined to cells rather then sleeping in dorms. Close-high-security is sometimes known as a maximum security prison. More security measures and correctional officers are higher than the medium security prisons (Burk F, 2006).

High security prisons in federal system are known as the penitentiary. The majority of people in the United States think of prisons as high security. High security prisons house inmates that are violent. Maximum security state prisons are older and follow extreme security precautions. Only about 12 percent of the states inmates are held in these facilities. There are more guards to control the inmates and is comparative to the federal supermax prisons. Super max prisons such as Marion, handles the most violent offenders.

Most prisoners at Marion have been transferred there because of violent episodes (e. g. , murders and rioting) at other prisons, but some offenders (e. g. , Puerto Rican terrorists) have been directly assigned to Marion (Maghan, 1996) Reason for growth The population of penitentiary’s will grow due to a number of factors including, criminal justice sentencing laws, the war on drugs, and illegal immigrants. Sentencing laws have increased the number of inmates in prison due to probation being taken away, and inmates receiving more time for rebellion.

The war on drugs has become a major issue in our country. Arresting individuals on drug charges increases the population in prison; the ability to obtain drugs in prison is a major effect of an inmate’s time. If he or she were to get caught with contraband in prison it may add additional time to his or sentence. Although federal and state prisons may have some similarities they are actually different. Each has five tiers of confinement, but each security level differs. The state is ran by the government of the state and federal is ran by the federal government.

Some crimes on a state level may also be considered as a federal crime such as murder. Our prison system will continue to grow and with that growth there will be new prisons built. Reference: Burk, F (2006), the fundamental, 1e, Upper Saddle River NJ: Prentice-Hall. Federal bureau of Prisons. (2010). The Bureau Celebrates 80th Anniversary. Retrieved from http://www. bop. gov/about/history/first_years. jsp Maghan, J. (1996, December). Long – term and Dangerous Inmates: Maximum Security Incarceration In the United States. Great Cities Institute, GCP(96), 6.

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