State prisons are often described as being much more unpleasant than both county jails and federal prisons. For an individual to become a state prison inmate, he/she must be tried and convicted by a specific state court, for violating a state law. If he/she is sentences by federal court, he/she will be contained within a federal prison.
Violent crimes, including murder, attempted murder, and assault, are usually matters of the state, and therefore, the majority of individuals responsible for committing these crimes will be tried by a state court. As a result, state prison inmates are often unmanageable and state prisons maintain a large population of violent offenders. Inmate violence is much more frequent in state prisons, and conditions are often unpleasant.
In many instances, state prison inmates are considered to be dangerous. As a result, numerous state prisons are developed to be maximum security facilities. If an individual has committed a minor offense and has been sentenced to serve a relatively short prison term, it is likely that he/she will be moved to a county jail, or a minimum security state prison.
State prison inmates often have a history of criminal behavior and have spent time in jail before. It is important to understand that the difference between federal and state prisons is not the severity of the crimes committed. Many people falsely believe that the federal prison system is reserved for more severe offenders. However, the most dangerous criminals are often housed in state jails.