The Nevada Jail and Prison System - General Information
Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys

Contrary to what many people think, "jail" and "prison" are not the same thing in Nevada. Both jails and prisons confine people who have been accused of crimes, but as our Las Vegas Criminal Defense attorneys explain in this article, the management, population and locations of Nevada jails and prisons are very different.

One distinction between jails and prisons is who runs them. Whereas the jails in Nevada are overseen by city or county government entities such as the Las Vegas Police Department, Nevada's prisons are administered by the state government--specifically, the Nevada Department of Corrections. (The federal government also operates prisons, but currently none are in Nevada.)

Another difference between Nevada jails and prisons is the length of time the inmates are incarcerated. Jails, also called "detention centers," hold people who have been arrested, who are awaiting trial, and who are serving misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor sentences, which are only a year or less. Prison, in contrast, is specifically meant to house people convicted of felonies, which are more serious crimes that carry sentences of a year or more.


Since prisons, also called "correctional facilities," are designed to keep people in custody for long durations, they tend to be bigger and have more exercise facilities, religious services and educational programs than jails do. And while jails detain both male and female inmates (in separate areas of the building), each Nevada prison is gender-specific.

The final way Nevada jails and prisons differ is where they are located. Since most jail inmates are in the pretrial phase of their cases or are awaiting sentencing, jails are typically located in the heart of each city's downtown within blocks of the courthouse where the inmates' cases are heard.

Most of Nevada's prisons, on the other hand, are located in remote areas with very little around them for miles. Prisons are classified as having either minimum, medium or maximum security. And because Nevada is a death penalty state, prisons usually have a "death row" and the facilities to administer capital punishment.

Below are links to our informational pages on all of the jails in Clark County, Nevada and Washoe County, Nevada. Scroll down further for links to the Nevada Department of Corrections' official prison pages.

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Jails in Clark County, Nye County, Elko County, and Washoe County, NV

Nevada State Prisons

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Have you been arrested in Clark County, Nye County, or Washoe County? We are here to help you. Call our Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).










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