Courtney A. Waid & Rhonda R. Dobbs
With a few exceptions, jails are operated and financed by local county or city governments. Typically, these institutions house four types of inmates: (1) those waiting for trial, known as pre-trial detainees; (2) those sentenced to jail time who have been convicted of misdemeanors; (3) those awaiting transfer to state or federal institutions who are convicted felons; and (4) those convicted and waiting for sentencing who are also convicted felons. Some jails also hold material witnesses for safety and assurance purposes; however, this group comprises a small percentage of the jail population. Other offenders who may be found in local jails include probation, parole, and bail bond violators and absconders, juvenile detainees, and mentally ill persons awaiting transfer to mental health facilities. Jail time is also required in some circumstances as a condition of an offender's probation. He or she may have to serve a short period of time in ...