The actors were putting on a Shakespeare play in the old jail building which had been converted to a community theater. In the play, the stage directions said "... and he was placed in gaol"; which was easy because we had not removed the old jail cells.
2. A place for the confinement of people in lawful detention, especially those awaiting trial under local jurisdiction; detention in a jail.
3. Etymology: From about 1275, gayhol, from Old Normandy French gaiole and Old French jaole, both meaning "a cage, a prison"; from Middle Latin gabiola, from Late Latin caveola, diminutive of Latin cavea, "cage".
Both forms were carried into Middle English; now pronounced "jail"; regardless of how it is spelled. Norman-derived gaol (preferred in Britain) is "primarily a result of statutory and official tradition".
Mildred was arrested for drunkenness and spent a night in the city jail.2. A short-term detaining facility for those awaiting trial or for those convicted of minor offences: Aaron was kept in the city jail while he was being tried for murder and, if convicted, he would be sent to the state prison.
Trina was sentenced to forty years in a federal penitentiary for the crime that she committed.
In British English, there is no clear difference between jail and prison, and the word penitentiary is apparently not used in Great Britain.
The alleged criminal was held in the local jail which his British lawyer always referred to as the local gaol while his client was awaiting his trial.
When he was found guilty and sentenced, Adam was sent to the state penitentiary which his lawyer referred to as a prison.