Jails are municipal or county-level facilities designated for the confinement of individuals who have been arrested and, in most cases, are unable to afford bail and are awaiting trial or, less commonly, have already been sentenced to a term of imprisonment and are actively serving that sentence. Although most people charged with a crime are booked in jail and released within hours or days, jails in most states allow for the confinement of those serving sentences of up to a year. Some states commonly house people serving state prison sentences in county jails through various work-release programs for terms of usually 1–5 years, and in rare cases, people awaiting trial for more serious charges may spend years in pretrial detention.

As the entryway to incarceration, jails ...

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