Jails and Prisons, I


Prison is an institution for confining and punishing people who have been convicted of crimes.
Prisons punish criminals by severely restricting their freedom.

For example, prisons limit where inmates (prisoners) may go, what they may do, and with whom they may associate. Inmates serve sentences ranging from a year to the rest of their lives.

Prisons are important because they help protect society from dangerous criminals.

Prisons throughout the world hold about 10 million people. The United States has the highest percentage of prisoners in its population. Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland have relatively low prison populations.


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1. I have been in prison. True or false? Do you know anyone who has been in jail or prison?

2. Would you like to stay in prison? Would you like to go on a prison “tourism holiday”

3. Would you like to work in a prison?

Inside a Prison

4. What are the conditions like in prisons?

5. A few people commit crimes so that they can live in prisons. Have you heard of this?

6. Which countries have “nice” prisons? Describe them.

7. Most countries have “normal” prisons. What do you think?

Geography, Politics and Economics

8. Prisons are very expensive to build, operate and maintain. Yes or no?

9. All politicians and candidates promise to “get tough on crime”. Is this correct or wrong? What does this mean?

10. Is there a prison near your city?

11. Would you like to have a prison built in your town or city?

12. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a prison in your community?

Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology

13. What are the purposes of prisons?

14. What do prisons do to a person? How do prisons effect people?

15. Are there (many) movies about prisons? Have you seen any of them?

16. Will there be more, less, or the same number of prisons in the future?

17. What will prison be like in the future? Will there still be prisons?

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