A jail, also called prison, is a correctional facility designed for housing prisoners that are awaiting a trial or have been convicted of a crime. Although the term jail and prison is often used interchangeably the words can be used to explain the differences between facilities. In this case a jail refers to a facility that houses people awaiting trial or those serving a short sentence and a prison is for offenders serving long term sentences. The goals of these facilities is to serve as a punishment and deterrent, prevent more crimes, remove dangerous criminals from the public and/or rehabilitate the prisoners to prepare them for a productive life after prison.
What is the largest prison in the world?
The largest jail in the world in terms of size is the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, commonly called the Twin Towers Jail. This prison is located in Los Angeles, California. It measures a massive 140,000 m2 (1.5 million sq ft.) and includes two towers, medical services and medical center jail ward. The jail can house over 2,000 inmates and although this sounds like a large number there are many other prisons in the world that house a larger number of inmates. The facility mostly houses maximum security prisoners and many prisoners suffering from mental health issues.
Did you know?
Officially, the United States has the largest incarceration rate in the world with an estimated total of 730 prisoners per 100,000 people. Canada has a relatively low rate of incarceration at just 117 prisoners per 100,000 people.
The Twin Towers Jail was completed in 1997, but remained closed for some time because of a lack of funds. Amazingly, during this time deputy sheriffs were assigned to the building to stop people breaking in!