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Does Jail differ from a Detention Center? Know the key differences

Usually, a jail is a small facility at the county level and is in the hands of the local authorities. There are a few jails that are controlled by the state and federal government. A Detention center us a large facility which covers a region.

difference between detention center and jail
Does Jail differ from a Detention Center? Know the key differences

What is the detention center? How does it differ from Jail?

According to many, ‘detention center’ is quite a broad term that is concerned with a place/facility where people are held captive. As per the Bureau of Prison BOP) U.S., this is a place wherein persons who have not been declared convicts, however, they are charged for some reason, are held captive. Such people have not been granted bail as well. Nonetheless, if an individual is considered to be a threat to other people and might be considered as someone who would run off to escape and avoid the charges, such people are confined to the detention center. Jails are also a bit similar to these centers.

In the United States, a detention center could be either jail or a prison or a concentration camp or even an internment camp. It could also be places wherein a person or group has been detained. A detention center is further categorized into minimum, medium and maximum centers. Evidently, centers where criminals who are violent and have been imprisoned for life are confined, have the maximum security. Medium security centers confine people with a less criminal history and who are serving middle range sentences. The minimum center is referred to as a kind of work camp wherein people who offend the laws for the first time are housed and they normally have a short sentence. This center is a bit more liberal than the first two as the security staff of the center does not intervene a lot. 

There are a lot of detention centers. A few detention centers are large enough to form actual institutions. They could relate to subspecialty and correctional facilities such as a juvenile detention center meant for non-adult offenders, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center meant for people who enter the US or live in the US illegally, and the military detention center where spies who have been captured, prisoners of war, etc., are held captive.

detention center
Does Jail differ from a Detention Center? Know the key differences

In short, how does Jail differ from a Detention Center

  1. A jail is quite similar to a detention center. It is quite a specific term in comparison to the term “detention center” which includes jails, camps, prisons, and the like.
  2. In contrast to a detention center, a jail is a smaller place where people are held captive.
  3. A detention center encompasses specialty facilities such as juvenile, ICE and military detention centers.



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