Federal Prison vs. State Prison: What's the Difference?

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Primary Difference

Crime has become norm in all the countries around the world and there are many ways of tackling it in the form of sentence. These range from few weeks to life imprisonment depending on the crime but that is a totally different discussion. Prison cells are the places where criminals are kept to serve their time and they are of two different types known as Federal Prison and State Prison. They are not similar to each other though the names might suggest differently. There are many variations among them which will be discussed in the following space. The basic difference between them can be termed as a federal prison is managed by the central government of the country while the state prisons are managed by the local governments of the state. From this it can be concurred that people go to the federal prisons if they have broken the law of the country while people go to the state prisons if they have broken the state law. This is not true in all cases, for example it depends on different factors that a person will go to which prison based on their crime. If they have committed a serious crime that involved killing and raping they might be sent to federal prisons, since they will be deemed dangerous. While if the crime is something like theft and robbery the prisoner will be sent to state government since it is not that serious. This can also lead us to believe that there is more security in federal prisons while there is less security as state prisons. Both have some benefits and drawbacks based on the facilities but it cannot be said that one type is worse than the other. For example, the Texas State Prison is considered the worst in United States because of the type of people that exist there while most federal prisons maintain discipline and order. In comparison though, federal prisons always have more facilities as compared to the state prisons because they are given the grant directly from the central government while state governments don’t always have excess of money to spend. There are many other differences as well which will be detailed in points at the end while short paragraphs on both these types is given in the paragraphs below.

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Comparison Chart

Federal PrisonState Prison
DefinitionThese types of prisons are managed by the main government of the country and therefore are considered to have more security as compared to other prisons.These prisons are managed by the state governments and involve people who have committed crimes which are not considered too serious.
SecurityThere is more security in federal prisonssecurity is not that high in state prisons.
CrimePeople who commit serious crimes are moved to federal prisonspeople who commit moderate crimes are kept in state prisons.
Example example of criminals in federal prisons is murder, rape and treachery.Example of criminals in state prisons are robbers, thieves, frauds

Definition of Federal Prison

These types of prisons are managed by the main government of the country and therefore are considered to have more security as compared to other prisons. There are many other factors which are required to be taken into consideration such as people who commit serious crimes are send to these types of jail or the people who are serving long term jail end up in these prisons. There is more funding for such type of prisons and there are different security levels. In comparison to other prisons the number of criminals here is less and only the people who have broken country’s law are brought here. If they have committed a serious crime that involved killing and raping, they might be sent to federal prisons. In the United States, the number of federal prisons is relatively less but criminals who are brought here do not face problems such as bullying. Mostly people get access to basic rights and prefer staying in these prisons even if they are serving long or short terms.

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Definition of State Prison

These prisons are managed by the state governments and involve people who have committed crimes which are not considered too serious. These can include crimes such as bank fraud, robbery, theft and other similar crimes and the ones which do not have a long sentence. So criminals are kept in such jails in their own state and freed upon the completion of their term, the Texas State Prison is considered the worst in United States because of the type of people that exist there and people face many problems such as bullying in these prisons. There is also less funding for such prisons and the amount of facilities available are few too. Usually the penalty limit for people staying here is from few weeks to a year or more but not long term. If a prisoner is considered dangerous or create problems for others they can always be shifted to federal prisons with the permission of state government and have to serve their time in a separate cell.

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Differences in a Nutshell

  1. There are more number of state prisons in the world as compared to federal prisons.
  2. There are more criminals in the state facilities as compared to the federal prisons.
  3. State Prisons are managed by the local governments while federal prisons are managed by the federal governments.
  4. There is more security in federal prisons while the level of security is not that high in state prisons.
  5. People who commit serious crimes are moved to federal prisons while people who commit moderate crimes are kept in state prisons.
  6. If a person breaks the law of country, they are sent to federal prisons and if they break the law of state they are send to state prisons.
  7. People who are serving long term bans are send to federal prison while people who are detained for a short time are kept in state governments.
  8. Federal prisons are considered safer while state prisons are considered less safe.
  9. Example of criminals in state prisons are robbers, thieves, frauds while the example of criminals in federal prisons is murder, rape and treachery.

Conclusion

Two terms which basically mean the same when used in normal language terms but are very different from each other if you try to know the exact meaning. Federal and State Prison are usually considered the same but are different in the context, and hopefully this article will help in knowing the differences between them for people who did not know that before.

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