Comparison between jail and prison

  1. Has anyone worked both county jail and state prison? I'm currently in a very small county jail position and am thinking of moving to a prison. I would love some thoughts on the subject.
  2. Visit JailNursey24 profile page

    About JailNursey24

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 5; Likes: 1
    County Correctional Nurse
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Corrections, Acute Mental Health

    3 Comments

  3. by   Truegem
    I'm sorry, I work for a jail and haven't worked in a prison. One difference I can think of is that prisons would not have the turnover that jails do. You would know your patients really well. The bad part of that is that if you have a severe manipulator there (for example, always complaining of chest pain when you are sure it's not true but you have to cover your license) then you are stuck with him/her! But it might be interesting.
    If you decide to do it, let us know how it goes. =)
  4. by   prison_nurse
    I have worked in both jail and prison environments. Not every jail is the same and not every prison is the same. I have worked in minimum and medium security prisons and a large county jail. The biggest differences I see is at the jail, your patients are fresh off the street. You have the job of identifying their medical issues and verifying their treatments. The prisoners may be drunk or under the influence and you have to deal with detox. Prison nurses have the advantage of receiving prisoners who have already been in the system for a while and most of their medical issues will already be identified at the jails.

    I think prisons are a lot easier and less chaotic. I was a charge nurse at the county jail and I worried all the time about what the nurses were missing at the intake desk. I felt it was very easy for prisoners with serious medical issues to slip through the cracks... I often worked the front desk myself so I could monitor what was coming through the door.
  5. by   CheyRN
    Quote from Truegem
    I'm sorry, I work for a jail and haven't worked in a prison. One difference I can think of is that prisons would not have the turnover that jails do. You would know your patients really well. The bad part of that is that if you have a severe manipulator there (for example, always complaining of chest pain when you are sure it's not true but you have to cover your license) then you are stuck with him/her! But it might be interesting.
    If you decide to do it, let us know how it goes. =)
    I've worked in both and the best I can come up with it Jail=acute care and Prison=LTC. In the jail, you have to deal with alot more chemical abuse (drugs and etoh) but in the prison you have to have a thicker skin cause they are WAY more hard core. Hope this helps.

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