The 13 types of prisons (and their psychic effects)

Prisons or prisons are institutions authorized by the government to imprison and isolate themselves from society to people who have disobeyed the law. Prisoners are imprisoned and deprived of their liberty for months, years and, in some cases, life.

Although all prisons serve the same purpose, they can be classified in different ways.

The prison system varies from country to country

The prison system is different in different countries and in some cases can become complex. The military has its own legal system and minors are not treated the same as adults. Although the concept of “prison” is very abstract, its characteristics largely depend on the legal, political and social context of each region, and there can be great differences between the ways in which countries determine the functioning of these institutions.

In the United States, for example, there are many jurisdictions (Federal or state) and different consequences for prisoners than in Spain, as is the case with the death penalty. In Spain, on the other hand, prisons differ according to the different types of inmates’ lifestyles. The goal with which the state legitimizes its use is the search for order and security for the vast majority of the population.

How imprisonment affects prisoners

The detainees are deprived of their liberty. The situation in which they live and the deprivation of behavior to which they are subjected make their stay in prison entail different physical and psychological consequences at different levels:

  • biological: Deprivation of liberty can lead to an increased instinct to attack by not being able to escape. It also causes problems of sexual or sensory deprivation (vision, hearing, …). On the other hand, at certain ages, a state of clear isolation can lead to serious developmental disruptions, although this does not happen in the prisons of democratic states.
  • psychological: Psychological effects are a reality for inmates with problems with self-esteem, drug use, anxiety, learned helplessness, addiction, etc. In addition, if used for several consecutive days, isolation cells are deficient in sensory stimulation which, in other settings, has been shown to be extremely harmful and can generate culture broth because psychiatric disorders occur. Some of these discoveries were made decades ago while experimenting with monkeys by Harry Harlow.
  • Social: Family issues, social and professional isolation, social learning issues, ability to relate to others and stigma. Above all, this last element is decisive in learning new habits upon release from prison; a strongly stigmatized person will have difficulty finding work and will be marginalized informally.

According to research, these detrimental effects on inmates are associated with sentencing time. In other words, the longer the prison, the more serious the consequences.

Types of prisons

However, What types of prisons are there? What are the different types of prisons? Below you can see the different types of prisons that exist:

According to the prison system

The prison system is the process by which the prisoner carries out his sentence. There are three degrees: first degree or closed regime, second degree or ordinary regime, third degree or open regime..

1. Prison of the first degree

The first degree modules or prisons are intended for the most dangerous and unsuitable subjects. They are regulated in art. 90.1 LOGP (general organic law on penitentiaries) and there are two classes:

  • Closed regime centers or modules: for prisoners with poor adaptation to common regimes.
  • Special services: for those who provoke altercations. For example: isolation modules.

2. Second degree prison

In the ordinary regime, convicts of the second degree, Prisoners and detainees and unclassified prisoners. In this type of prison, there are obligatory activities (personal hygiene and cleaning, cleaning and order of the cell). The day starts at 7:30 a.m. and the lights go out at 12:00 a.m.

3. Third degree prison

The open regime is intended for convicts, classified in the third degree, who they can continue their treatment in day parole. This is necessary so that the individual can achieve normal coexistence but with the necessary rigid controls.

This type of regime can be applied in three different prison structures:

  • Social integration centers: Independent centers for third degree prisoners.
  • Open sections: Departments forming part of a multipurpose prison, specially designed
  • Dependent units: Residences located in a community and managed by public or private institutions.

American prisons

There are different types of prisons in the United States

local prisons

These prisons they are for a short stay. They are local and crowded. They are generally intended for people who have just entered the criminal justice system.

Federal and state prisons

In the United States, it is possible to find federal prisons, jurisdictions is responsible for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and indicate, for more serious crimes and crimes.

1. Federal penal institutions

These are prisons for criminals who have committed serious crimes (embezzlement, fraud …) but who they are not classified as dangerous. These are minimum security prisons.

2. Federal medium security prisons

These are medium security institutions, which usually contain security perimeters and armed guards. These are the infrastructures most used to imprison prisoners.

3. High security prisons

Intended for violent criminals. Offenders are dangerous people, so they need more control than inmates in old prisons. They are designed to establish different layers of security and insulation between the exterior and the most protected areas of these architectural complexes, so that the central parts are practically airtight.

4. State prisons

State prisons they are intended for convicts who have committed very serious crimes and state crimes. There are different types: for women, for men, for maximum security, etc. The security of these complexes is exceptional, devoting a significant investment to them given the seriousness of the crimes of those who remain there.

5. Death Runner

Death Row is the name given to cells intended for inmates who have committed very serious crimes and who, in addition, they are serving the death sentence and awaiting their execution.

Another type of prison

There are other types of prisons, for example for minors or psychiatric ones.

1. The dungeon

The dungeon is a cell that is in the same police station or barracks. It is used to briefly jail subjects who have been arrested, especially for a subsequent trial. A detained person can spend up to 72 hours here.

2. Correctional for minors

Detained persons who have not reached the age of majority they must serve sentences in special centers and not in adult prisons.

3. Psychiatric prison

The psychiatric prison it is usually a prison hospital where the sentenced subjects suffer from mental illness.

4. Military prison

These are the centers where it is sent to soldiers, officers and non-commissioned officers of the army serve a sentence for violating the military penal code. This differentiation testifies to the particular importance that the State attaches to the security forces which ensure the maintenance of power.

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