Click on the words inside the Dictionary to learn their definitions!
A person is stopped by the police, asked questions, and may have to stay at a police department, jail or prison. If the arrested person does have to go to a police department, jail or prison, the stay can be very short or very long. Ask an adult you trust if they know how long the arrested person might have to stay.
A small room in a prison where a person in prison lives. One or several people may live in that same room.
This stands for Children with Incarcerated Parents.
The Clerk helps the judge to make sure that court processes are followed.
Where people can buy food, snacks, toiletries, and other items for sale
This is a person who gives care, guidance and support to children with incarcerated parents or loved ones. A Community Caregiver usually lives with the children they provide care for. Some examples of a Community Caregiver are parent, step-parent, guardian, girlfriend or boyfriend of a parent, grandparent, foster parent, or older sibling.
This is a person who helps children with incarcerated parents or loved ones, and their families but does not live with the children. Some examples of Community Supporters are teachers, neighbors, therapists, counselors, coaches, mentors, social workers, doctors, and school nurses.
In most prisons in Connecticut, during a contact visit visitors are allowed to briefly touch (hug, shake hands and kiss) the person they are visiting at the beginning and again at the end of their visit. During the visit, the visitors and incarcerated person are allowed to sit across from each other at a table and talk. They are not, however, allowed to touch while sitting at the table during the visit.
There are a lot of things that are not allowed inside a prison, like cell phones, toys and cameras. Anything not allowed inside of a prison is called “contraband”. When you go to prison to visit someone, you might be able to bring these items into the waiting area, but not inside the visiting room. Staff at the prison will check to make sure you and others visiting do not accidentally bring something into the visiting room that the prison does not allow.
When the court decides that the person arrested for breaking a law or rule did break the law, they have been found “guilty” and are “convicted” of breaking the law.
Correctional facility, or correctional institution
In Connecticut, a correctional facility (sometimes called correctional institution or prison) is a place where an arrested person, and people convicted of a crime, stay. To find out how long your loved one might stay at a correctional facility, correctional institution or prison, ask an adult that you trust.
A person that supervises the people staying at a jail, prison or correctional facility. Correctional Officers, sometimes called COs, are also the people that supervise visits at jails, prisons and correctional facilities.
Court is where a judge listens to your family member and other people during a trial or hearing. The judge tries to find out what happened and make a fair decision about what will happen next.
The Court Monitor sits in the courtroom to record what people say during hearings and trials.
When police temporarily keep an arrested person at the police department, jail or prison.
Is the person who the police say has committed the offense or broken the rule.
Information that is presented in Court to help the judge or jury determine whether they believe that the arrested person did break the law, or disobey a rule.
When it is decided by the court that the person arrested for breaking a law or rule did break the law, they have been found to be “guilty”.
When some people are released from prison, they move into a halfway house. A halfway house is a home that is away from the prison and in a community. Living in a halfway house can help people that are leaving prison get used to life outside of prison before they return home. Once it is determined that the person living at the halfway house is ready to return home, they are released and allowed to move out.
When a person has to live in a jail, prison or correctional facility they are “incarcerated”.
Inmate or prisoner
Both words refer to a person that is living at a jail, prison or correctional facility.
When it is decided that the person arrested for breaking a law or rule did not break the law, they have been found to be “innocent”.
The place where an arrested person lives while they wait for their trial if in another state. In Connecticut, there are no jails. A person that has been arrested in Connecticut will stay in prison while they wait for their trial.
A judge is the person that is in charge of the court and oversees the hearings and trials that happen at court. For some cases, the judge will also decide if the defendant is guilty of committing the offense (or breaking the rule). In other cases, a jury (a group of people) will decide if the defendant is guilty of committing the offense.
Judicial Marshal (or just “Marshal”)
A Judicial Marshal works at the court to make sure that everyone follows the rules of the court while they are there. Judicial Marshals will make sure that no one brings anything into court that is not allowed and they help people that have been arrested and are staying at a prison or jail get to-and-from court safely.
A jury is a group of adults, called Jurors, who are asked to come to court to decide whether the evidence presented during a trial demonstrates that the arrested person is guilty or innocent. Some cases don’t have Jurys. In those cases, the Judge will decide whether the evidence presented during a trial demonstrates that the arrested person is guilty or innocent.
Lawyer or Attorney
A person who has studied the law and gives advice to clients and assists them in court.
A visit in a jail or prison when visitors are not allowed to touch or hug the person that they are visiting. Usually, the visitor and the person they are visiting sit across from each other, separated by glass or a window. They can see each other through the window but not touch each other. Each side of the window has a telephone so the visitor and the person they are visiting can talk to each other on the phone.
When a person is released from prison but still has to follow some rules and check in with a Parole Officer, they are “on parole”, or “have been paroled”.
A Parole Officer tries to make sure that the person on parole is following the rules that they have been given and is doing well while not in prison.
A person who works for a police department to make sure that everyone follows the laws, or rules, in that area. If they believe a law or rule has been broken, they ask people questions and look for proof that the law was broken to see if a person broke the law and needs to serve a consequence for it. Sometimes, police officers arrest people that they believe broke a law or rule so that the person can serve their consequence.
In Connecticut, prison is a place where arrested and convicted people stay if going to prison is part of their consequence for breaking the law, or rule.
When an arrested person is “on probation”, they are not in prison but do check in with a Probation Officer. Sometimes people are put on probation after an arrest so they don’t have to go to prison. Other times they are put on probation after being released from jail or prison.
A Probation Officer tries to make sure that the person on probation is doing well and follows the rules given to them.
When formerly incarcerated people return to life outside of jail, prison, or a correctional facility.
When someone that has been staying at jail, prison, or a correctional facility is allowed to leave, they are “released”.
When it is decided that an arrested person is guilty of breaking a law (they have been convicted), a sentence, or consequence, is given to them. This sentence may include living in a prison for a certain amount of time, paying some money, or having to follow additional rules that a Probation Officer will try to make sure are followed.
Trial and Hearing
These take place at court. They are kind of like meetings where a judge, lawyers, and maybe a jury talk about the arrested person’s situation to decide if they believe the arrested person is innocent or guilty of breaking the law. If it is decided that the arrested person is guilty, than they will be convicted. If it is decided that the arrested person is innocent, than they will be allowed to go home.
This is a person who the judge has agreed can support a witness or victim while they are in court.
Witnesses are people who have knowledge that might help the judge or jury decide if the defendant has broken a law, or rule.