Incarceration of any types is often seen as social taboo. It is a very unpleasant experience which can kill the social respect of any sentenced inmates. Jails and prison are the two types of detention cells meant to serve very different purpose for an inmate.
Jail can be seen as an institution or detention cell, where the inmates are kept for the shorter period or during trials, for small crimes the person has committed. Often the innocent persons can also be found here (who are undergoing trial in the court) until they are cleared of their charges by the court. The living conditions in Jails as compared to that in prisons are far harsher. Jails are most often run by sheriffs or local government. They try to address educational needs, vocational needs, operate work release programs, boot camps, and other specialized services for which they are paid too at the end of their term.
Prison, on the other hand, are detention cells meant to keep the hideous crime sinner, who has been sentenced to longer terms. Such persons are considered dangerous for the society and hence are kept away at far off places in prison. The living conditions in prison as compared to Jails are far harsher. The convicts brought here are generally convicted in serious crimes and undergo the various types of rejuvenation and counseling programs. Minimum and medium security programs include halfway houses, work release programs, and community restitution centers. Typically those who are eligible for such programs are nearing the end of their prison terms.