Prisons and jails of the Bible
The first occasion on which we read of a prison is in the history of Joseph in Egypt. Then Potiphar, “Joseph's master, took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound” (Genesis 39:20-23).
Imprisonment under Mosaic Law
Prisons and prisoners are mentioned in the book of Psalms (Psalm 69:33; 79:11; 142:7).
In the subsequent history of Israel, frequent references are made to prisons (1 Kings 22:27; 2 Kings 17:4; 25:27; 25:29; 2 Chronicles 16:10; Isaiah 42:7; Jeremiah 32:2).
New Testament prisons
Prisons seem to have been common in New Testament times.
John the Baptist was imprisoned.
For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ —Matthew 25:35-36 LSB
I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ —Matthew 25:43 LSB
The apostles were put into the “common prison” at the instance of the Jewish council (Acts 5:18; 5:23; 8:3); and at Philippi Paul and Silas were thrust into the “inner prison” (Acts 16:24; compare Acts 4:3; 12:4-5).