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Incarceration; the act of restraining the personal liberty of an individual; confinement in a prison.

Imprisonment can be effected without the application of physical restraint by verbal compulsion coupled with the display of available force. The tort of False Imprisonment involves the illegal arrest or detention of an individual without a warrant, by an illegal warrant, or by an illegally executed warrant, either in a prison or any place used temporarily for such purpose, or by force and constraint without actual confinement.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

IMPRISONMENT. The restraint of a person contrary to his will. 2 Inst. 589; Baldw. Rep. 239, 600. Imprisonment is either lawful or unlawful; lawful imprisonment is used either for crimes or for the appearance of a party in a civil suit, or on arrest in execution.
     2. Imprisonment for crimes is either for the appearance of a person accused, as when he cannot give bail; or it is the effect of a sentence, and then it is a part of the punishment.
     3. Imprisonment in civil cases takes place when a defendant on being sued on bailable process refuses or cannot give the bail legally demanded, or is under a capias ad satisfaciendum, when he is taken in execution under a judgment. An unlawful imprisonment, commonly called false imprisonment, (q.v.) means any illegal imprisonment whatever, either with or without process, or under color of process wholly illegal, without regard to any question whether any crime has been committed or a debt due.
     4. As to what will amount to an imprisonment, the most obvious modes are confinement in a prison or a private house, but a forcible detention in the street, or the touching of a person by a peace officer by way of arrest, are also imprisonments. Bac. Ab. Trespass, D 3; 1 Esp. R. 431, 526. It has been decided that lifting up a person in his chair, and carrying him out of the room in which he was sitting with others, and excluding him from the room, was not an imprisonment; 1 Chit. Pr. 48; and the merely giving charge of a person to a peace officer, not followed by any actual apprehension of the person, does not amount to an imprisonment, though the party to avoid it, next day attend at a police; 1 Esp. R. 431; New Rep. 211; 1 Carr. & Payn. 153; S. C. II Eng. Com. Law, R. 351; and if, in consequence of a message from a sheriff's officer holding a writ, the defendant execute and send him a bail bond, such submission to the process will not constitute an arrest. 6 Barn. & Cress. 528; S. C. 13 Eng. Com. Law Rep. 245; Dowl. & R. 233. Vide, generally, 14 Vin. Ab. 342; 4 Com. Dig. 618; 1 Chit. Pr. 47; Merl. Repert. mot Emprisonment; 17 Eng. Com. L. R. 246, n.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Imprisoned people continue to be referred to by numbers rather than names.
The wall around Gaza is just as evil as the wall the Nazis built around the Jewish ghetto in Poland as it serves the same purpose, to allow an aggressor to enjoy the spoils of war, and to imprison the local population.
nhsadmin I agree it's a great event and well done to all who took part but yet again local residents were imprisoned in their own homes.
Another of the film's sexual outsiders is Valerie, a lesbian prisoner of the state whose moving and thematically crucial story is told in flashback after Evey is captured, shorn bald, and cruelly imprisoned. Explains Natasha Wightman, the stunning London actress who plays Valerie, "she finds something, her integrity, which they can't take from her.
When the gentlemen who were imprisoned on the basis of coerced confessions around IRA bombings left prison, they met with psychiatrists.
"Senator McCarthy regularly informed witnesses of their right to decline to answer if they felt an answer might incriminate them," admits Ritchie, hastily insisting that McCarthy "interpreted their refusal to answer a question as an admission of guilt." However, in the very same paragraph Ritchie records that McCarthy "pointed out that membership in the Communist Party was not a crime." This means that while McCarthy took contempt of Congress seriously, he was not seeking to imprison people on the basis of their political beliefs or associations, however loathsome those beliefs or corrupt those associations.
The organization has worked tirelessly to secure freedom and basic human rights (as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 by the United Nations, but still nonbinding on member states) for people imprisoned or otherwise persecuted as a result of their political or religious beliefs, or because of ethnic or racial conflicts.
Human rights activists, journalists, and others imprisoned by the Uzbek government on politically motivated charges suffer torture and abysmal prison conditions.
Some of the 17 'suspects' in jail have been driven out of their minds and we aren't allowed to know why they have been imprisoned.
citizens imprisoned indefinitely without charge as part of the war on terrorism will supervise civil administration" in newly liberated Iraq, reported the April 4th London Guardian.
"To continue to imprison drug-only offenders mandatorily," he wrote, "is to hamstring further a justice system that controls crime in a daily war of inches, not miles, and that has among its main beneficiaries low-income urban dwellers." He explains: "I view the criminal justice system as a sorting machine.
In June last year the Supreme Court had directed the authorities to expedite efforts in the repatriation of Pakistanis imprisoned in Thailand and Sri Lanka.