Even though both the terms Jail and Prison are used interchangeably by most people, these two words have different meanings. Jail is often where a convicted suspect stays in for a short period of time, whereas the prison is like an extended stay for criminals. For example, in Florida if you get sentenced for less than a year you will go to jail. Also jail is run by your county department of corrections, while prison is handled by the jurisdiction of state or federal law enforcement. But the legal system they both are run under is the same, the Constitution of the United States.
Prison is much larger is size since it houses people who may even spend the rest of their lives behind the prison bars. These prisoner have conducted severe crimes and they are under strict watch of security officers. Prison has extensive amenities with gym, library, dining room facilities, etc. The inmates living in prison are often divided based on type of crime they committed. Dangerous inmates who poses danger to other prisoners could be isolated in a small single cell.
Jail is often very small and people are jailed for small crimes such as not paying their bills for a long period of time or they could be waiting to hear their trial the next day.
Criminals who live in prison are prisoners. Criminals who live in jails are inmates. County’s judiciary system may decide to send inmates from jail to prison if found necessary. Jail is often described as a place where you are waiting for your hearing trial. Once you get sentenced, you are sent to prison. Jail is pretty much a pre trial detention. Also, it seems like if you are in a jail you have a better chances of getting a bail out. If you are already imprisoned in a prison you chances are slim, even if you maintain a good behavior while serving your sentencing there.