For most people when they hear prison or jail they think its the same thing, and in a lot of ways they are very similar. However, there is actually a very important distinction between prison and jail. These distinctions are especially important to note for those who may be going to one or the other. The biggest and most important differences between jail and prison are in relation to time and location.
Utah State Prison
Prison sentences are when the court orders an individual to do possibly more than one year of incarceration. Usually what this means is that the crime that you're doing time for is more serious in prison versus jail. Additionally, once you get out of prison you go through parole instead of probation. A special parole board handles probation and decides whether or not to release an individual. Additionally, that parole board may decide to put you back in prison if you violate the terms of your parole.
In Utah the main prison is currently located in Bluffdale, Utah; although they are currently working on a move to a site west of the airport, on I-80. Additionally, there is a prison facility in Gunnison, Utah; that is much smaller. The State of Utah runs the prisons and they have very different rules and facilities than jails. Generally this is because prisons house offenders much longer than jails do.
Jails in Utah
The most important thing to remember about jail is that the court can only sentence you to a year or less in jail. For incarceration sentences longer than a year the court must send the individual to prison. In Utah most jurisdictions have their own jail. Some city's have their own jail but for the most part jails are grouped by county. Jails are ran very differently than prison and really no two jails are the same, although they have many similarities. When a person is released from jail the court usually orders them to be put on probation. Probation is analogous to parole in the prison scenario. However, with parole the parole board decides the punishment for parole violations. With probation the original sentencing judge determines if an individual will be sent back to jail for violating probation.
Staying Out of Jail/Prison
While there are differences between jail and prison for most people they would prefer to stay out of both. If you are facing criminal charges then its possible that time in custody isn't even something to worry about. To get some peace of mind about your case call or email us today and we'll let you know if we think you need to worry about serving time in your case or not.