Prisons

The word prison is one of the many English words that are of French origin. The French word in turn has its roots in the Latin word ' pr?nsi? ' meaning " the action or power of making an arrest '' The word prisoun with the sense 'imprisonment' is often found in Middle English works- for example 'The Canterbury Tales' written by Geoffrey Chaucer. Pris is the past participle of the French verb prendre (to take).

Prisons are basically holding places for people who have committed a crime by not adhering to the law of the land. The person in the prison, or the prisoner, is deprived of certain personal freedoms which would be enjoyed by a normal law abiding citizen of the country. Depending on the crime committed, the length of the stay in prison is determined. If you are convicted of an extremely serious offence, you could very easily be spending your whole life there. Minor offences warrant a stay between a few days and a few months, depending on the country in which you are.

The United States of America has the largest inmate population in the world. When you look at the number of jailed persons as a percentage to the total population of the place, the United Kingdom tops the list.

Prisons have inspired some classic films and books over the years, prominent examples being " The Shawshank Redemption", " A Clockwork Orange" and "The Count of Monte Cristo "

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