The prison system is "big business" providing good employment and benefits to all on the payroll. The network of prisons keeps expanding; because buildings are overcrowded. If you do not live in the vicinity of a state correction system facility, you may very soon!
It is interesting to ponder the different names for a prison the slammer, the big house, or the more conventional prison and jail. There is another to focus on, "penitentiary." It is not used much today; maybe it is not "politically correct."
I grew up not far from the Jamesville Penitentiary, in central N.Y. State. Driving past the prison grounds always made me scared; but another interesting aspect of the prison is the structure of the building. I have not seen the penitentiary in decades; but in the 1950's and 1960's I would describe it as almost beautiful, like a large campus in England!
Many years ago as a Christian I realized the significance of the term penitentiary. Prisoners were not to just reform using behavior management skills. Officials hoped offenders would truly feel penitent for their crimes, express sorrow and repent! The time behind bars would be restitution to the victims of their crimes.
We all could "serve time;" and express sorrow for our sins. Our best reward would be "early release" and freedom for eternity walking with the Lord!
With God all things are possible! Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Secret Place, Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, Light from the Word Daily Devotional. Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL http:/ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=520