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Prison facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Inside view of Presidio modelo, a prison on an island, in Cuba
The prison at a police station in Germany

A prison (also called a jail or gaol) is a building where convicted criminals are held and incarcerated. Some prisoners are serving long terms or life sentence while some are waiting for trial. Those with short terms are probably locked up in a jail rather than prison.

Prisons are run by the government. Other words for prison include "penitentiary", "jail" or "gaol" (pronounced like "jail"), and "correctional facility". Some prisons or jails are called satellite camp, normal prison, special prison for death rows and maximum security prison. Inmates are forced to wear prison uniform with different bright colours from orange, blue, green and more depend on the prison. For instance, some prisoners who are prison workers might wear orange, or some prisoners with bad criminal records wear red uniform or vice versa.

A person who has been charged with a crime, but has not yet been convicted for it in a court, may be sent to prison if:

  • the police have arrested the person and are deciding whether to send them to court,
  • the court thinks that the person may not come to their trial,
  • the court thinks that the person may be a danger to the community, or
  • the court has asked for bail but the person cannot pay the amount.

People held in prisons are called inmates or prisoners. Those who have been sentenced to prison because of a crime are also called convicts.

In some countries, prisons are also used for political prisoners (people who disagree with the country's leader or government). In times of war, prisoners of war may also be held in prisons.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Prisión para niños

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