For questions about the housing of convicted offenders in secured locations as part of their punishment.
A prison (also called a correctional facility or a penitentiary, depending on jurisdiction) is a facility where person who have been sentenced by a court are held and forced to live for a set period of time, usually several years to the rest of their lives.
Prisons are commonly graded as "minimum security", "medium security" and "maximum security". These levels indicate how restrictive the rules for the people living there are, and how heavily guarded they are. Persons more dangerous to others, or more likely to try and escape custody, are placed in higher security settings.
In the United States, some states allow private companies to operate prisons. Other states forbid this and require all prisons to be run by the state and staffed by officers directly employed by the state. This is controversial.