Q: What is the difference between a jail and a prison?

A: Jails are managed by the county Sheriff, usually and elected law enforcement position. They house men and women (inmates) that are awaiting trial. Jails also house anyone sentenced or convicted to up to one year in custody. People that work in jails are referred to as detention officers.

Prisons, on the other hand, are managed and run by the state government under the direction of the elected governor. Prisons house the more serious CONVICTED offenders (prisoners) – those whose sentences are longer than one year. Employees of state prison systems are called correctional officers.