By University of Phoenix
Detention centers and jails serve different purposes within the criminal justice system. Often, detention centers are used as an umbrella term to encompass facilities that temporarily house and rehabilitate offenders who are under the age of 18 and those who are to be sent outside of the U.S. Jails, on the other hand, are simply used to hold adult citizens awaiting trial or sentencing.
Detention centers have the primary goal of educating and rehabilitating offenders so they can go on to rejoin society. Jails exist primarily to hold inmates until their case is resolved.
Juvenile detention centers are facilities that house youths awaiting trial or placement in a long-term program. These facilities are reserved for juveniles who are considered a danger to themselves or the community, and cannot be adequately supervised.
Detention centers are not jails, and the primary purpose of detention is not punishment. Rather, detention ensures that a juvenile offender appears for their adjudication hearing and protects the community from serious harm. These centers typically provide educational and recreational programming, as well as mental health and medical services.
Additionally, juvenile courts operate detention centers, and they are subject to strict regulations regarding the care and custody of detainees.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Homeland Security. ICE’s main mission is to promote national security and public safety through criminal and civil federal law. Areas under its responsibility are:
ICE detention centers hold people going through the process of being removed from the U.S. or who have been ordered removed and are awaiting transportation.
ICE facilities are operated by ICE, not state or local governments, and are run by immigration and customs inspectors. In addition, people in ICE custody haven’t been convicted of a crime; they’re detained pending a determination of their immigration status. Lastly, people in ICE custody are held in civil detention, not criminal detention.
Overall, jails, prisons and detention centers serve different purposes within the criminal justice system, but all three work together to ensure public safety.
Now that you have an understanding of the types of incarcerations, learn more about whether a career in criminal justice is right for you. If you’re interested in learning more about criminal justice degree programs at University of Phoenix, here are a few options to explore: