Not all crimes are prosecuted and not all criminal trials will proceed all the way to a verdict and sentencing. But those that do often result in a confinement sanction designed to punish criminal wrongdoing, deter future crime and rehabilitate offenders.
There are three types of confinements: lock-ups, jails and prisons. Lock-ups are temporary holding cells housed by local police departments, courthouses or jails and funded by local governments. These help local officials manage short-term detentions, often just overnight, that are either required for public safety or ordered by a court. Confinement in a lock-up cannot exceed 72 hours.
Jails are for convicted offenders who receive relatively short sentences. Jails are maintained by county sheriffs’ offices, funded by county commissions and designed to house inmates for up to a year.[a] There are 80 such jails in Michigan. Some counties offer programming for jail inmates to earn their GED diploma or receive vocational or workplace skills programs. Michigan law authorizes county jails to charge inmates fees to help cover the cost of housing them. Jails may charge inmates up to $60 per day, but the daily rate varies by county.
Prisons are for individuals convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve more than a year in confinement. There are 30 prisons in Michigan, overseen by the Michigan Department of Corrections.
[a] MCL § 801.1; MCL § 801.4a; MCL § 51.75; MCL § 791.262(c). Offenses like retail fraud, driving under the influence and the malicious destruction of property would be minor offenses that might result in a short jail stay.