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NCJ Number: 186414 Find in a Library
Title: Are Conjugal and Familial Visitations Effective Rehabilitative Concepts?
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:79  Issue:1  Dated:March 1999  Pages:119-135
Author(s): Jill Gordon; Elizabeth H. McConnell
Date Published: March 1999
Page Count: 17
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents pro and con arguments regarding whether conjugal and familial visitations are effective rehabilitative concepts.
Abstract: The argument for the rehabilitative benefits of such visitations notes that extended family visitation programs allow family members to visit inmates for more than a few hours and enable the families to engage in "family" activities, including cooking together, reading to their children, and discussing family issues. Family reunion programs can reduce strains on the inmates' relations with their families and improve the inmates' postrelease success. Researchers have found that in the context of such programs, families have engaged in conversations, played games, cooked, watched television, and had some sexual relations (reported as the least-occurring activity). The inmates in the study reported that they enjoyed the visits, felt part of the family, and felt closer to their wives. The opponent of such visits argues that one of the chief objections to conjugal visit programs is the belief that they are incompatible with existing mores, based on the belief that the primary focus of the programs is the physical dimension of the sexual relationship between married couples. Other negative aspects of a conjugal visitation program are embarrassment to participants, the exclusion of some inmates from such programs, the opportunity presented for increased prison contraband and escapes, the risk of HIV/AIDS, and the risk of pregnancy. Thus, the negative aspects of conjugal visits are believed to outweigh possible benefits. The authors provide rejoinders for one another's arguments. 27 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Conjugal visits; Corrections effectiveness; Families of inmates; Inmate visits
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