BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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FAQ Detail
What is the difference between jails and prisons?

Jails are locally operated short-term facilities that hold inmates awaiting trial or sentencing or both, and inmates sentenced to a term of less than one year, typically misdemeanants. Prisons are longer-term facilities run by the state or the federal government that typically holds felons and persons with sentences of more than one year. Definitions may vary by state.


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