Difference Between Prison and Correctional Facility

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 they serve as incarceration for different crimes and offences.

Prison vs Correctional Facility

The main difference between prison and the correctional facility is that prison is to confine the grave crime, and the correctional facility is to rehabilitate the confined criminals. Correctional facility tries to rectify them, and the purpose of prison is to punish a criminal.

Prison vs Correctional Facility

A prison is a huge building where people who committed a crime are confined. One can go to prison for various crimes and suffer their punishment there.

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

Comparison Table Between Prison and Correctional Facility

Parameters of ComparisonPrisonCorrectional Facility
Purpose The purpose of prison is the imprisonment of the 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.Mostly serial killing and dangerous crimes receive correctional facility.
ObjectiveThe objective of prison is to keep the criminals away from society to protect society.The objective of a correctional facility is to rehabilitate the criminals so they can go back 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 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 punishing them.
MotiveThe motive of prison is to keep society safe by confining criminals.Correctional facilities are connected with the prison. Its motive is to change the cruel self of a person and prepare them to be back 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, one is to imprison people who are harmful to society and its people, and the second is to punish the criminals for their wrong approach and wrongdoings.

Prison became important after the declination 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 labour 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 go back to the mainstream of society to live a life on the right path, without harming any other fellow beings.


What is Correctional Facility?

Correctional facilities pertain to prison. These facilities help the prisoners to come out as a new reformed person who will not think of harm people again.

These facilities are mostly for serial killers and criminals who committed very serious 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 take part in cultural programmes and take small initiatives to educate the rest of the prisons.

As correctional facility and prison are interconnected, prison including many opportunities, like a classroom, library and even 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 a prisoner for committing various crimes. But correctional facilities are mostly for destructive killers or serial killers.
  2. By imprisoning the criminals, the state intends to keep society safe. So prisons keep society protected. And correctional facilities try to reform the prisoner so they can start their life once again and do 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


As stated, prison and correctional facility are connected. It is important to punish a crime to set an example to the rest of the nation so that others think twice before committing any crime.

Prisoners are humans too. Even after they make a mistake, they are allowed to have another chance if they penance and reform themselves, and here comes the need for correctional facilities.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J002v32n03_04
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23282774
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