Prisons are either state or federal. On average, serving sentence in a federal prison facility is better than doing so in a state prison. Federal prisons have more white-collar criminals and less violent criminals and, therefore, they are much less dangerous. In addition, they receive larger funds and in general they have better accommodation. On the other hand, state prisons usually house violent criminals and in general they are much more violent environments. In addition, they receive less funding and the facilities are much less comfortable.
There are four different levels of inmates and facilities in the Federal Correctional System. They are called: camps, low security federal correctional institutions, medium security federal correctional institution and high security federal correctional institution. Camps are like college dorms and there inmates that require minimum security are housed here. Camps have no bars on the windows and in some cases there is no security fence. Low Security facilities have fences and inmates live in cells that look like college dorms. In medium security prisons inmates are surrounded by electronic double fences and the High security facilities have perimeter walls or reinforced fences and there is a lot of staff members employed to keep close track on the inmates movements and whereabouts.
Once they arrive to the prison, inmates are registered and are provided with a registration number. Inmates receive some orientation and then they are assigned to a case manager that is in charge of making sure that the inmate is dealing with his or her imprisonment in an adequate manner. Case managers have to make sure that they pay for the financial obligations ordered by the Court, they are attending any program related to drug or sex abuse and that they are receiving proper medical care. Many inmates can attend educational and vocational courses while they are serving sentence.
Those inmates that have a good behavior or that are not violent can work in positions that match their skills. Inmates can work on electricity, plumbing, doing some clerical work or even in the prison library. This provides them with the opportunity of learning new skills and making some money to cope with their financial obligations.