Jail, or gaol (especially in Canada, Australia and NZ [http://www.corrections.govt.nz/policy-and-legislation/policy-and-procedures-manual/section-d/d05/d05.html] ), [In British official use theforms with G are still current; in literary and journalistic use both the G and the J forms are now admitted as correct, but all recent Dictionaries give the preference to the latter. (Oxford English Dictionary, 1st Edition.)] [ [http://www.doctorconnect.gov.au/internet/otd/publishing.nsf/Content/work-Australian+English This Australian Government site] says "The Australian spelling of ‘jail’ is ‘gaol’".] remand prison, is a correctional institution used to detain persons who are in the lawful custody of the state. This includes either accused persons awaiting trial or for those who have been convicted of a crime and are serving a sentence of less than one year. [cite web | url = http://www.courts.state.va.us/glossary_of_court_terms.html | title = Glossary of Terms Commonly Used in Court | accessdate = 2007-04-21 | publisher = The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia | date = 2003-12-16] cite web |url=http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/pjim05.htm |title=Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005 |publisher=Bureau of Justice Statistics] Jails are generally small penitentiaries run by individual counties and cities, though some jails in larger communities may be as large and hold as many inmates as regular prisons. "Jail" is also a synonym for "prison" in most countries (excluding the United States), especially when the facility is of a similar size as a correctional facility. As with prisons, some jails have different wings for certain types of offenders, and have work programs for inmates who demonstrate good behavior.


Resocialization is a sociological concept dealing with the process of mentally and emotionally "re-training" a person so that he or she can operate in an environment other than that which he or she is accustomed to. Resocialization into a total institution involves a complete change of personality. Key examples include the process of resocializing new recruits into the military so that they can operate as soldiers (or, in other words, as members of a cohesive unit) and the reverse process, in which those who have become accustomed to such roles return to society after military .

United States

Jails in the United States are different from prisons. Jails are typically operated by city or county governments, and house prisoners who are being detained before trial or serving sentences less than one year. [Doris J. James, Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002, 2 (Bureau of Justice Statistics 2002) [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pji02.pdf available online] ] . Approximately half of the U.S. jail population consists of pretrial detainees who have not been convicted or sentenced. Prisoners serving terms longer than one year are typically housed in correctional facilities operated by state governments. Unlike most state prisons, a jail usually houses both men and women in separate portions of the same facility. Some jails lease space to house inmates from the federal government, state prisons or from other counties for profit.

In 2005, a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 62 percent of people in jails have not been convicted, meaning many of them are awaiting trial. [ [http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/60/19984 Number of US Inmates Rises Two Percent, By Elizabeth White, The Associated Press, Monday 22 May 2006] ] As of 2005, local jails held or supervised 819,434 individuals. Nine percent of these individuals were in programs such as community service, work release, weekend reporting, electronic monitoring, and other alternative programs.

In the United States, as compared to regular 'mainline' state and federal prisons, in which prisoners have already been investigated and classified by corrections personnel before being assigned to a level of security, in which many of the prisoners are committed for longer periods of time, and in which the population is on average older, jails usually house prisoners who are on average younger and have varying or unknown histories and propensities for violence or disciplinary problems. As a result, many jails operate their booking and receiving units at a relatively high level of correctional security, and also witness a disproportionately large amount of violence and disciplinary problems as compared to mainline facilities.


Gaol is an early Modern English spelling for jail with the same pronunciation and meaning. Although jail is now more common, gaol is still the favoured spelling in parts of the Commonwealth of Nations, for example in Australia. [ [http://www.ripefruit.com/melbourne/sights/old_melbourne_gaol.htm Old Melbourne Gaol, Australia] ] However, due to American influence in Australia Fact|date=July 2008, the spelling "jail" is now more common in popular contexts such as the media, the spelling "gaol" being mainly retained in historical use and in the legal profession. Canada, also a part of the Commonwealth, has made a similar transition in usage.

"Gaol" also remains in use as the standard spelling of "jail" in Ireland, but note that it typically applies to defunct English-run gaols from the English occupation of Ireland. [Kilmainham Gaol] [ [http://www.wicklowshistoricgaol.com/ Wicklow Gaol] ] [ [http://www.corkcitygaol.com/ Cork City Gaol] ] The word has strong historical connotations of unjust imprisonment in Ireland, and if an Irish person says someone is "in gaol" (or "in jail") rather than "in prison", they may be hinting that they consider the imprisonment unjust, a distinction that may be unnoticed by non-Hiberno-English speakers. In turn, Irish English-speakers may also invalidly assume that English speakers from other nations are making that distinction. "Prison" and "Detention Centre" are typically used for extant Irish-run incarceration facilities [ [http://www.irishprisons.ie/prisonsList.asp Irish Prison Service] ] . The English-built but still in-use Mountjoy Gaol was renamed to Mountjoy Prison. [Mountjoy Prison]

The Oxford English Dictionary states that "gaol" comes from the Norman French spelling "gaiole" down to the 17th century as "gaile". It remains in written form in the archaic spelling "gaol" mainly through statutory and official tradition. The only remaining spoken pronunciation is "jail" (IPAEng|dʒeɪl), from the Old Parisian French word "jaiole". In modern French, the word "geôle" is still used in literary contexts to refer to jail.

From the 16th until the 18th centuries the word "goal(e)" was used widely, possibly as an erroneous spelling of gaol, or possibly an unusual phonetic spelling. [ [http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50122891 OED] ]

Tim Moore in his book on Monopoly "Do Not Pass Go" suggests that, in Britain, the change from "gaol" to "jail" was precipitated by the popularity and spread of Monopoly in the 1930s and '40s. The non-London specific squares and cards had been copied wholesale from the original Atlantic City version where the spelling "jail" was commonplace. It is also for this reason that the policeman on the "Go to Jail" square features a clearly American uniform in contrast to the traditional style British police helmet.


External links

* "Brian Dawe", [http://www.corrections.com/news/article/17728 Behind The Walls] , Corrections Connection
* "Ann Coppola", [http://www.corrections.com/news/article/17715 View from 35,000 Feet: Prison Overcrowding] , Corrections Connection
* "Joe Bouchard", [http://www.corrections.com/news/article/17829 Daily Safety Concerns in Jails] , Corrections Connection
* [http://prisonministry.net/ PrisonMinistry.net] - International Network of Prison Ministries (AKA "Prison Ministry Directory")
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=pkb9HLOzeTcC&pg=PT390&lpg=PT390&dq=us+%22average+time%22+before+trial&source=web&ots=cg0A0WR3g9&sig=eVB6TAP_nX8QAgpDG9CezQZFVe4#PPT276,M1 Criminal Procedure From Arrest To Appeal By Lester B. Orfield]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jail — (j[=a]l), n. [OE. jaile, gail, gayhol, OF. gaole, gaiole, jaiole, F. ge[^o]le, LL. gabiola, dim. of gabia cage, for L. cavea cavity, cage. See {Cage}.] A kind of prison; a building for the confinement of persons held in lawful custody, especially …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • jail — / jāl/ n: a place of confinement for persons held in lawful custody; specif: such a place under the jurisdiction of a local government (as a county) for the confinement of persons awaiting trial or those convicted of minor crimes compare house of …   Law dictionary

  • Jail — («тюрьма») механизм отделения процессов в операционных системах Unix. Jail позволяет разделить выполнение различных процессов. Например, вы можете держать любой сервис (apache, sshd, и т.д.) в jail и не бояться, что потеряете всю систему целиком… …   Википедия

  • Jail — Jail, v. t. To imprison. [R.] T. Adams (1614). [1913 Webster] [Bolts] that jail you from free life. Tennyson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • jail|or — jail|er or jail|or «JAY luhr», noun. 1. the keeper of a jail. 2. a person who keeps someone or something confined. Also, British, gaoler …   Useful english dictionary

  • jail|er — or jail|or «JAY luhr», noun. 1. the keeper of a jail. 2. a person who keeps someone or something confined. Also, British, gaoler …   Useful english dictionary

  • jail — [n] place for incarceration bastille, black hole*, brig, bullpen*, can*, cell, clink*, cooler*, detention camp, dungeon, house of correction, inside*, jailhouse, joint*, lockup, pen, penal institution, penitentiary, pound, prison, rack*,… …   New thesaurus

  • jail — (Brit. also gaol) ► NOUN ▪ a place for the confinement of people accused or convicted of a crime. ► VERB ▪ put in jail. DERIVATIVES jailer (also gaoler) noun. ORIGIN the word came into England from two Old French words, jaiole and gayole (the… …   English terms dictionary

  • jail — [jāl] n. [ME jaile, gaile < OFr jaole, gaole, a cage, prison < LL caveola, dim. of L cavea,CAGE] 1. a building for the confinement of people who are awaiting trial or who have been convicted of minor offenses 2. imprisonment vt. to put or… …   English World dictionary

  • jail — vb incarcerate, imprison, immure, intern Analogous words: confine, circumscribe, restrict, *limit: shackle, manacle, fetter (see HAMPER) Contrasted words: release, liberate, *free …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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