Incarceration Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Incarceration, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Incarceration?


History and Meaning of Incarceration

Incarceration refers to the action of confining a person in a prison or jail for punishment, rehabilitation, or detention. The practice has been around for centuries, and over the years, it has taken many forms, from public humiliation to banishment to imprisonment. The modern system of incarceration has its roots in the early 19th century, when governments across Europe and the United States began building prisons as a way to deal with the rising crime rates of the Industrial Revolution. Today, incarceration is a common form of punishment for a variety of crimes, ranging from minor offenses to serious felonies.

Examples of Incarceration

  1. John was sentenced to three years of incarceration for stealing a car.
  2. Mary was released from incarceration after serving a three-month sentence for drug possession.
  3. The government has been criticized for the high incarceration rates among minorities.
  4. The prison system is overcrowded due to the high number of people in incarceration.
  5. Juvenile incarceration rates have been decreasing in recent years.

Related Terms

  1. Imprisonment: Another term for incarceration, refers to the action of being confined in a prison or jail.
  2. Solitary confinement: A type of incarceration where a person is held in isolation for an extended period.
  3. Parole: The conditional release of a prisoner before the completion of their sentence, subject to certain conditions.
  4. Probation: A period of supervision ordered by a court as an alternative to incarceration.
  5. Reentry: The process of reintegrating a person back into society after a period of incarceration.