What is the difference between jail and prison in Florida?

Whitney S. Boan Protecting Your Right

Video Transcript

Jails and prisons are actually two very different types of institutions in the form of who’s managing them and who is serving time within them.

Although the terms are used interchangeably; a jail is an institution where people are incarcerated either pending trial or if they’ve been sentenced to a term of a year or less. A prison, on the other hand, is maintained by the state of Florida or in federal cases, by the Bureau of Prisons for the Federal Government.

For felony offenses, which would land you in prison, if you’re sentenced and given a sentence that would give you more than a year and a day, you would go to prison. However, if you’re sentenced to less than a year, even on a felony, you could do your time in the county jail.

There’s a distinction between the two, even though they’re both places where people are incarcerated.