A prison (from Old French prisoun) is a place in which people are physically confined and usually deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime. Other terms used are penitentiary, correctional facility, remand centre, detention centre, and jail or gaol. In some legal systems some of these terms have distinct meanings.
A criminal suspect who has been charged with or is likely to be charged with criminal offense may be held on remand in prison if he or she is denied or unable to meet conditions of bail, or is unable or unwilling to post bail. A criminal defendant may also be held in prison while awaiting trial or a trial verdict. If found guilty, a defendant will be convicted and may receive a custodial sentence requiring imprisonment.
As well as convicted or suspected criminals, prisons may be used for internment of those not charged with a crime. Prisons may also be used as a tool of political repression to detain political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, and "enemies of the state", particularly by authoritarian regimes. In times of war or conflict, prisoners of war may also be detained in prisons. A prison system is the organizational arrangement of the provision and operation of prisons.
Famous quotes containing the word prison:
“The most anxious man in a prison is the governor.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)
“This great purple butterfly,
In the prison of my hands,
Has a learning in his eye
Not a poor fool understands.
Once he lived a schoolmaster
With a stark, denying look....”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.”
—Richard Lovelace (16181658)