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What's the difference between jail and prison in Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Sep 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

Many people use the terms "prison" and "jail" interchangeably, but they are very different in Nevada. In general, prisons are long-term incarceration facilities for people who have been convicted of Nevada felonies. Jails are for everyone else.

Note that each facility -- be it a jail or prison -- has its own policies regarding visitation, mail, phone calls, bail (if applicable), educational and work programs, and trust accounts.

Jails in Nevada

Nevada jails are run by a city or a county. The biggest jail in Clark County is the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC). Jails typically hold three types of inmates:

  1. people who have been arrested and have not bailed out yet;
  2. people who cannot bail out and are awaiting the resolution of their criminal case (such as a plea bargain or a trial); or
  3. people who are serving misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor jail sentences of less than one (1) year

Usually every city and county has its own detention center. Some jails are very small -- such as the Tucker Holding Facility in Laughlin -- and hold inmates temporarily until they can be transferred to a larger jail facility. Other jails located in Clark County include:

Jails house people of all sexes, but they are usually segregated by floor or section.

Prisons in Nevada

Nevada prisons are run by the state. (There are no federally-run prisons in Nevada.) Prisons are usually located in more rural, sparsely populated areas because they are so big and spread out over a lot of land.

Prisons typically hold people who have been convicted of a felony. Felonies usually carry a minimum one-year prison sentence. Depending on the case, felonies can carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. (Only first-degree murder may carry the death penalty in Nevada.)

A list of Nevada prisons include:

Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center is the only women's prison. Female inmates may also be housed in the Jean Conservation Camp (JCC) in Jean. Learn more in our article on women inmates in Nevada.

The Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) decides housing placement for transsexual prisoners on a case-by-case basis. The NDOC's Non-conforming Gender Review Committee (NGRC) makes the final decision.

All people incarcerated in Nevada prisons are searchable online.

Death Row in Nevada

Death row is where inmates who have been sentenced to death live pending their execution. The men's death row is located at Ely State Prison. The women's death row is located at the Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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