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What's the difference between jail and prison?

Biloxi, MS |

I know jails are smaller, but there must be other major differences?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. "Generally," Jail is considered temporary holding, as opposed to prison that is where a convicted person serves their sentence. There are instances where one can be convicted and ordered to serve their sentence in Jail (these are usually the lesser crimes/sentences).

    In either event, Jail is where a person is held until they have an opportunity to have their case tried or agree to a plea bargain, at which point, they are sentenced to prison.

    In short, Jail is short terms whereas Prison is long term.

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