A prison cell (also known as a jail cell) is a small room in a prison or police station where a prisoner is held. Cells greatly vary by their furnishings, hygienic services, and cleanliness, both across countries and based on the level of punishment to which the person being held has been sentenced. Cells can be occupied by one or multiple people depending on factors that include, but are not limited to, inmate population, facility size, resources, or inmate behavior.
The International Committee of the Red Cross recommends that cells be at least 5.4 m2 in size for a single cell accommodation (one person in the cell). However, in shared or dormitory accommodations, it recommends a minimum of 3.4m2 per person, including in cells where bunk beds are used.
Prison cells vary in size internationally from 2 m2 in Guinea, 3 m2 in Poland, 7 m2 in Germanyto 10 m2 in Norway and 12 m2 in Switzerland.
Council of Europe (Strasbourg, 15 December 2015) call for a minimum standard for personal living space in prison establishments is 6m² of living space for a single-occupancy cell or 4m² of living space per prisoner in a multiple-occupancy cell for the prevention of torture and inhuman treatment.
A March 1991 federal government study of U.S. prisons reported that:
"Until recently, [the federal Bureau of Prisons] based its determination of rated capacity in existing facilities on a single-bunking standard, which currently calls for providing each inmate with at least 35 square feet of unencumbered space in a single cell. This essentially translates to a cell size of roughly 65 square feet.*
- *(65 square feet, minus 35 square feet of "unencumbered space" leaves 30 square feet of "encumbered" space, which would likely contain bed, toilet and sink - for a single inmate in a single cell)
"In practice, however, BOP has accommodated inmate population increases by double-bunking inmates in virtually all its facilities and in cells... of varying sizes, but generally in the 50 to 70 square foot range."
In the United States old prison cells are usually about 6 by 8 feet in dimension which is 48 square feet[ citation needed ], (moreover, however, American Correctional Association standards call for a minimum of 70 square feet = 6,5 m2), with steel or brick walls and one solid or barred door that locks from the outside.[ citation needed ] Many modern prison cells are pre-cast. Solid doors typically have a window that allows the prisoner to be observed from the outside.[ citation needed ]
Furnishings and fixtures inside the cell are constructed so that they cannot be easily broken, and are anchored to the walls or floor. Stainless steel lavatories and commodes are also used. This prevents vandalism or the making of weapons.[ citation needed ]
There are a number of prison and prison cell configurations, from simple police-station holding cells to massive cell blocks in larger correctional facilities. The practice of assigning only one inmate to each cell in a prison is called single-cellingor "single-bunking" (as in "bunk bed"). The practice of putting two persons to a cell is referred to as "double-bunking."
In many countries, the cells are dirty and have very few facilities. Other countries may house many offenders in prisons, making the cells crowded.
In the United Kingdom, cells in a police station are the responsibility of the custody sergeant, who also logs each detainee and allocates him or her an available cell. Custody sergeants also ensure cells are clean and as germ-free as possible, in accordance with the Human Rights Act of 1998.
In the United States, the standard cell is equipped with either a ledge or a steel bedstead that holds a mattress. A one-piece sink/toilet constructed of welded, putatively stainless steel is also provided. Bars typify older jails, while newer ones have doors that typically feature a small safety glass window and, often, a metal flap that can be opened to serve meals.
A limited number of United States prisons offer upgrades. Costing around $100 a night, these cells are considered cleaner and quieter, and some of them offer extra facilities.
Often, different standards for cells exist in a single country and even in a single jail. Some of those cells are reserved for "isolation", where a convict is kept alone in a cell as punishment method. Some isolation cells contain no furnishing and no services at all.
Incarceration in the United States is a primary form of punishment and rehabilitation for the commission of felony and other offenses. The United States has the largest prison population in the world, and the highest per-capita incarceration rate. In 2018 in the US, there were 698 people incarcerated per 100,000; this includes the incarceration rate for adults or people tried as adults. In 2016, 2.2 million Americans have been incarcerated, which means for every 100,000 there are 655 who are currently inmates. Prison, parole, and probation operations generate an $81 billion annual cost to U.S. taxpayers, while police and court costs, bail bond fees, and prison phone fees generate another $100 billion in costs that are paid by individuals.
Risdon Prison Complex is an Australian medium to maximum security prison for males located in Risdon Vale near Hobart, Tasmania. The facility is operated by the Tasmanian Therapeutic Services, an agency of the Department of Justice of the Government of Tasmania. The facility accepts criminals aka "Residents" convicted under Tasmanian and/or Commonwealth legislation.
The Berrima Correctional Centre is an Australian prison, located at Berrima, New South Wales. The Centre was operational between 1839 and 2011 with a number of breaks in between, and was re-opened in September 2016. Initially established as Berrima Gaol, the facility closed in 1909 and reopened in 1949 as the Berrima Training Centre. The Centre is the oldest Australian correctional facility in operation. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
Calipatria State Prison (CAL) is a male-only state prison located in the city of Calipatria, in Imperial County, California.
Mountjoy Prison, founded as Mountjoy Gaol and nicknamed The Joy, is a medium security prison located in Phibsborough in the centre of Dublin, Ireland. The current prison warden is Brian Murphy.
HM Prison Frankland is a Category A men's prison located in the village of Brasside in County Durham, England. Frankland is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.
The Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin is a low-security United States federal prison for female inmates in Dublin, California. The facility also has an adjacent satellite prison camp housing minimum-security female offenders.
HM Prison Usk is a Category C men's prison, located in Maryport Street in Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service, and jointly managed with the nearby HMP Prescoed.
A prison uniform is the unified outward appearance of detainees in a situation of imprisonment. It is typically adapted under constraint.
HM Prison Northallerton was a prison in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England. It operated from 1788 until December 2013. During that time, it variously housed male and female adult prisoners, women with children, youth offenders, and military prisoners. Latterly Her Majesty's Prison Service struggled to keep the old prison operating to modern standards, and citing the costs of doing so and the relatively small size of the institution, it closed the prison in 2014. The prison was bought by Hambleton District Council, which is currently redeveloping the site.
HM Prison Kirkham is a Category D men's prison, located southwest of Kirkham in Lancashire, England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.
As of 2007, there were 85 prisons in Poland. At end of that year, Polish prisons had an official capacity of 79,213 inmates, but reported 87,776 persons in custody. As of 2011, there were 215 correctional institutions, including 70 institutions for pre-trial detainees, 87 prisons, 14 hospitals, and 44 other units. By February 2019, inmate numbers had dropped to 74,352. Of this number, 10.7% were pre-trial detainees, 4.2% were female, .1% were minors, and 1.4% were foreign prisoners.
Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women (LCIW) is a prison for women with its permanent pre-2016 facility located in St. Gabriel, Louisiana. It is the only female correctional facility of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Elayn Hunt Correctional Center is immediately west of LCIW. LCIW includes the state's female death row. As of 2017 the prison has temporarily moved due to flooding that occurred in August 2016, and its prisoners are housed in other prisons. The administration is temporarily located in the former Jetson Youth Center near Baker. By 2021 the Baker area address was given for the prison on the LCIW website.
The Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) is a correctional facility in Ottawa, Ontario. It opened in 1972.
The Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary or United States Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island was a maximum security federal prison on Alcatraz Island, 1.25 miles (2.01 km) off the coast of San Francisco, California, United States, the site of a fort since the 1850s; the main prison building was built in 1910–1912 as a United States Army military prison. The United States Department of Justice acquired the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Pacific Branch, on Alcatraz on 12 October 1933, and the island became a prison of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in August 1934 after the buildings were modernized and security increased. Given this high security and the island's location in the cold waters and strong currents of San Francisco Bay, prison operators believed Alcatraz to be escape-proof and America's strongest prison.
Prisons, and their administration, is a state subject covered by item 4 under the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. The management and administration of prisons falls exclusively in the domain of the State governments, and is governed by the Prisons Act, 1894 and the Prison manuals of the respective state governments. Thus, the states have the primary role, responsibility and authority to change the current prison laws, rules and regulations. The Central Government provides assistance to the states to improve security in prisons, for the repair and renovation of old prisons, medical facilities, development of borstal schools, facilities to women offenders, vocational training, modernization of prison industries, training to prison personnel, and for the creation of high security enclosures.
The Ulucanlar Prison Museum is a former state prison in Ankara, Turkey that was converted into a prison museum following restoration by Altındağ Municipality. The museum was opened in 2011. It is the first museum of its kind in Turkey.
The Department of Corrections is an agency of the Thai Ministry of Justice. Its mission is to keep prisoners in custody and rehabilitate them. Its headquarters is in Suanyai Sub-district, Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi Province. As of 2020, Police Colonel Suchart Wongananchai is director-general of the department. Its FY2019 budget was 13,430 million baht.
The government of Harris County, Texas maintains its main jail complex in Downtown Houston, Texas. The complex, operated by the Harris County Sheriff's Office, lies in the peninsula formed by the Buffalo Bayou in northern Downtown Houston. While most of the complex is based on county jails serving Harris County, Joe Kegans State Jail is also located within the complex. The Harris County District Court is located just next to the jail complex.
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