A cell block is a unit within a prison or correctional facility that is comprised of multiple jail cells. Cell blocks enable correctional facilities to house a large number of convicts or those convicted of illegal acts in a highly organized and efficient manner.
The amount of units or jail cells within a cell block will vary based on the correctional facility and the respective security level attached to it. In most cases, cell blocks are comprised of dozens of jail cells and are organized based on name, date of violation, or the severity of the crime in question. Cell blocks are organized through lettering or numbers; for instance, a correctional facility can contain 6 cell blocks, with the first cell block appropriately labeled ‘cell block A’ and the last cell block labeled ‘cell block E.’
The cell block structure was designed to organize and keep correctional facilities running efficiently. The most common problem associated with an American correctional facility revolves around overcrowding. The cell block was created to mitigate population problems; by grouping inmates and their cells within a compact unit, the correctional facility is optimally using the limited space.
Typically, each cell block is patrolled or supervised by a team of prison guards or correctional officers. To properly execute their jobs, these guards simply can walk up and down the row of cells, while peering inside the cells to observe the inmates and their activity.