What's The Difference Between Minimum, Medium, and Maximum Security Prisons?

August 29th 2015

The punishment should fit the crime, so the saying goes, and how that phrase translates into the physical space convicts are sent to serve time is no abstraction.

As ATTN: explains in a new video, minimum, medium, and high-security prisons are all designed differently to hold inmates convicted of different classes of crimes—each incorporating different levels of security, program needs, and staffing requirements. What type of prison a convict is sent to has an enormous impact on their day-to-day life. Social environments can be dictated by the types of inmates and their surroundings, and the prevailing atmosphere is no doubt influenced by staff presence, housing accommodations, and the availability of work programs.

The different types of prisons can be either run by the government, or contracted out to private companies. But the characteristics generally remain the same. Minimum and medium security facilities, for example, both provide more opportunities for inmates to work in-house jobs than maximum security prisons do.

Minimum security facilities often house those who committed white collar crimes, or low level drug offenses. Medium and maximum security prisons house more serious offenders, but inmates can also be sent to serve time in a lower security facilities for things like good behavior at the end of a sentence. The three types of prisons differ in how inmates are housed ranging from dorm-like housing to individual cells.

Check out the video below to get the run-down on what makes different prisons unique.


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