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Autor:  Dale-USA
E-mail:  dale_thomas2004@yahoo.com.br
Data:  15/AGO/2010 4:28 PM
Assunto:  ex detento
Mensagem:  Help me out.  Exactly what is a "detento"?  Is he a "reu"?

In the USA, there are jails and there are prisons.  People confuse them, speaking of them as if they are the same thing.  They are not!  A jail is a correctional facility maintained by a city or county.  (A county is somewhere between the Brazilian municipio and the Brazilian  state.  I don't think there is a Brazilian equivalent.  California has about 58 counties.  The capital of a county is called the county seat.)  A jail is for people awaiting trial or transportation to prison, and for those who have been sentenced to one year or less in custody.  Are there exceptions?  Yes, but they are rare.  A prison is a correctional facility maintained by a state or the federal government.  They are for those sentenced to serve at least a year and a day in custody.  (A crime punishable by 366 days or more and/or a fine of $10,000 or more is a felony.  A crime punishable by 365 days or less and/or a fine of $9,999 or less is a misdemeanor.)  Someone in jail or prison is an inmate, prisoner, etc.  Only those in prisons are called convicts.

Other than "jailbird" or "former jail inmate", I can't think of a name or word to describe a former prisoner of a jail.

"Ex-con" and "ex-convict" are commonly used to describe former prison inmates.

The trouble with terms like "felon" and "offender" is that they do not refer to being an inmate, prisoner, etc.  The terms refer to crimes, not to punishments.  It is quite possible to be a felon without ever having been in prison.  On Google you will find "ex-felon" and "ex-offender".  The terms do not make sense.  If you are no longer in prison, you are no longer a convict.  You are an ex-con or ex-convict.  However, if you robbed a bank yesterday or murdered someone last year, aren't you still a bank robber or murderer?  It makes sense to me.  So, how can someone be an "ex-felon" or "ex-offender"?

Let's try testing ourselves with some true or false questions.
(1) Jack has been in jail.  Jack is a felon.
True or false?
Insufficient information.  Jack is a felon if he has committed a felony.  It has nothing to do with being in jail.
(2) Liz has been in prison.  She is an ex-con.
True or false?
(3) Pete was sentenced to three years in jail.
True or false?
False.  Pete is going to prison, not jail.
(4) The thief was sentenced to six months in prison.
True or false?
False.  He was sentenced to six months in jail.
(5) The rapist has to register as ex-sex offender.
True or false?
False.  He must register as a sex offender.
(6) I am bored with this test.
True or false?
True.  But you understand more now than ten minutes ago.

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Índice de mensagens

 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
ex detento  –  Lucas Oliveira  14/AGO/2010, 4:57 PM
ex detento  –  Breckenfeld  14/AGO/2010, 6:51 PM
ex detento  –  PPAULO  15/AGO/2010, 9:57 AM
ex detento  –  Dale-USA  15/AGO/2010, 1:54 PM
 ex detento  –  Dale-USA  15/AGO/2010, 4:28 PM
sorry  –  Dale-USA  15/AGO/2010, 4:30 PM
sorry  –  PPAULO  15/AGO/2010, 9:28 PM
sorry  –  Dale-USA  16/AGO/2010, 12:13 AM
sorry  –  PPAULO  16/AGO/2010, 1:25 AM
sorry  –  Dale-USA  16/AGO/2010, 2:29 AM

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