(AmE) jail , prison and lockup are no synonyms

  • By Koop Tissingh

In Amerika zijn jail , prison en lockup geen synoniemen
(AmE) jail betreft een detentie-inrichting voor (1) gearresteerden die in afwachting zijn van hun berechting (a presentence facility), en (2) voor hen die wegens een minder ernstig feit (misdemeanor) zijn veroordeeld (kortgestraften, meestal tot maximaal 2 jaar cel).

Afhankelijk van de context moet (AmE) ‘jail’ dus vertaald worden als
(1) ‘huis van bewaring’
(2) ‘gevangenis’ (voor kort gestraften/plegers van misdrijven)

(AmE) prison (ook: penitentiary, pen) is een gevangenis voor hen die tot een langere gevangenisstraf (meestal vanaf 2 jaar) zijn veroordeeld wegens een zwaarder vergrijp/misdaad ( ‘felony’).

(AmE) lockup = arrestantencel, politiecel. Het betreft een cel (holding cell) die kan worden gebruikt omdat er tijdelijk geen mogelijkheid is om een arrestant naar een ‘jail’ over te brengen.

Zinnen die lastig vertaalbaar zijn
Because of his DWI, they’d send him to jail this time. Since the boy had been injured and he’d fled the scene of the accident, he could easily be facing prison in lieu of a jail sentence.  (Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, Buried Evidence, chapter 5)
Stealing a bottle of milk would be classified as a misdemeanor theft, and people don’t go to prison for theft. They can go to jail, but they can’t be sentenced to prison. (Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, Buried Evidence, chapter 21)
In jail he could survive, but not in prison. He knew what would happen to him there. (Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, Mitigating Circumstances, chapter 2)
“The cops arrested him for single possession, but he had enough coke on him to classify it as possession for sale. Your brother’s facing a prison sentence, not a jail sentence.” (Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, Trial by Fire, chapter  9)

Tot slot het Britse ‘gaol’
(BrE) gaol/jail geldt  als synoniem van (BrE) prison. De voorkeurspelling is ‘jail’. De spelling  ‘gaol’ beperkt zich voornamelijk tot juridische geschriften en wetboeken.

Zie ook de notes bij de terminologielijsten (law, note 32)

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