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NCJ Number: NCJ 197747     Find in a Library
Title: Does Participation in Conjugal Visitations Reduce Prison Violence in Mississippi? An Exploratory Study
Author(s): Christopher Hensley ; Mary Koscheski ; Richard Tewksbury
  Journal: Criminal Justice Review  Volume:27  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2002  Pages:52 to 65
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 14
  Annotation: This article presents a study examining the effect of conjugal visits on violent behavior.
Abstract: Few studies have addressed the relationship between conjugal visitation programs and prison violence. Mississippi was the first State in the United States to allow inmates to engage in conjugal visits. Currently, there are three requirements that inmates must meet in order to be eligible for participation in conjugal visits. Only inmates housed in a minimum or medium security unit are permitted to participate in these visits. An inmate must provide proof of marriage. Conjugal visits must be earned through good behavior. The research questions investigated were whether inmates that engaged in conjugal visits had lower levels of threats of violent behavior and actual violent behavior toward other inmates that did not participate in conjugal visits. In 1994, 256 men and women incarcerated in 2 Mississippi prisons completed an anonymous questionnaire concerning these issues. Results show that conjugal visits did not have an effect on violent behavior when the violence scale was broken down into threats and actual acts of violence toward other inmates. One of the reasons for the continued use of the conjugal visitation program is its focus on the family. Conjugal visitation programs tend to maintain the nuclear family and lessen the emotional stress of an inmate’s spouse. Opponents of the program argue that conjugal visits generate negative attitudes on the part of those inmates not allowed to participate; and that they bring problems with drugs and contraband. One of the most disturbing problems associated with conjugal visitation programs is the spread of HIV/AIDS. If correctional administrators use standard precautionary measures, many concerns associated with these programs can be alleviated. Future research is needed in this area. 4 tables, 27 references
Main Term(s): Conjugal visits ; Correctional facility surveys
Index Term(s): Inmate Programs ; Violent inmates ; Inmate visits ; Families of Prisoners/Inmate Families ; Inmate marriages ; Inmate society relations
Publisher URL: 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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