Prison vs Correctional Facility: Difference and Comparison

We think jail, prison, and correctional facility are all the same, and we use them as synonyms. But these are not the same. They have different functions and serve as incarceration for other crimes and offenses.

Key Takeaways

  1. A prison is a correctional facility where convicted criminals are sent to serve their sentences. In contrast, a correctional facility can refer to any facility where individuals are detained for legal reasons.
  2. Prisons are run by state or federal governments, while government or private entities can run correctional facilities.
  3. Prisons are more secure and have higher supervision and control levels than other correctional facilities.

Prison vs. Correctional Facility

A prison is a place where criminals are sent. A person can be sent to prison for committing any type of crime. Punishments are given to the criminals according to law. The purpose of the correctional facility is to focus on the rehabilitation of the criminals. People who commit serious crimes or serial killers are sent to correctional facilities. 

Prison vs Correctional Facility

A prison is a vast building where people who commit crimes are confined. One can go to jail for various crimes and suffer punishment there.

A correctional facility might keep a connection with prisons and jails. The objectivity of correctional facilities is to rectify the criminals and rehabilitate them. These facilities vary on the type of prisoners.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPrisonCorrectional Facility
Purpose The purpose of prison is the imprisonment of convicted criminals. And punish them by restricting their freedom and punish them. The purpose of a correctional facility is to rectify and rehabilitate a convicted criminal.
Crime typeOne can go to prison for committing various types of crimes.Mainly serial killing and dangerous crimes receive correctional facilities.
ObjectiveThe objective of prison is to keep criminals away from society to protect society.The objective of a correctional facility is to rehabilitate the criminals so they can return to society at some point and not be a threat to society.
Type of criminalThe criminals who do not commit a grave crime only serve a few years in prison and get their punishment. People who commit grave crimes or serial killers are subjected to correctional facilities as institutions want to correct them rather than punish them.
MotiveThe motive of prison is to keep society safe by confining criminals.Correctional facilities are connected to the prison. Its motive is to change the cruel self of a person and prepare them to return to society without harming it again.

What is Prison?

Prison is a place to confine convicted criminals. The prisons were built for two main reasons: to imprison people who are harmful to society and its people and to punish the criminals for their wrong approach and wrongdoings.

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Prison became necessary after the decline of capital punishment in the late 18th century. And today, it is the only way to punish criminals and offenders.

The punishment in prison includes hard labor and restrictions on their freedom. Mostly day time is for doing various works, and after that, they stay confined in their cell.

Prison gives criminals a chance to reform themselves and return to the mainstream of society to live a life on the right path without harming other fellow beings.


What is Correctional Facility?

Correctional facilities pertain to prison. These facilities help the prisoners to emerge as new, reformed people who will not think of harming people again.

These facilities are primarily for serial killers and criminals who committed grave and severe crimes. These facilities try to rectify their mistakes by making them understand what they did was wrong.

In these facilities, the prisoners can do many vocational and educational things. They can participate in cultural programs and take small initiatives to educate the rest of the prisons.

As correctional facilities and prisons are interconnected, prisons include many opportunities, like a classroom, library, and a place to pray and worship gods.

correctional facility

Main Differences Between Prison and Correctional Facility

  1. Prison is for all sorts of crimes. A person can be held prisoner for committing various crimes. But correctional facilities are primarily for destructive killers or serial killers.
  2. By imprisoning criminals, the state intends to keep society safe. So prisons keep society protected. And correctional facilities try to reform prisoners so they can start their life again and not appear as a threat to society if they finish their punishment and go out in the community again.
Difference Between Prison and Correctional Facility
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Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Prison vs Correctional Facility: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article really helps to understand the differences among jail, prison, and correctional facility. The information presented is very useful for law enforcement professionals and scholars.

  2. The nuanced approach to the purposes of prison and correctional facilities enriches the analysis and fosters a deeper understanding.

  3. I couldn’t disagree more with the definition of prison. The article is not considering that the purpose of prison is not only to protect society but also to punish the criminal.

    • I see your point, but the focus of the article is on distinguishing between these terms rather than discussing the purposes in a moral sense.

  4. The main differences between prison and correctional facility are well explained. It’s interesting to see the focus on rehabilitation in correctional facilities.

  5. The article provides a well-structured comparison that allows the reader to understand the differences between prisons and correctional facilities.


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