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NCJ Number: 41133 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CONJUGAL VISITS IN PRISON - PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES
Author(s): J Q BURSTEIN
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 145
Sponsoring Agency: D C Heath and Co
Lexington, MA 02173
Sale Source: D C Heath and Co
125 Spring Street
Lexington, MA 02173
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DEPRIVATION OF 'NORMAL' SEXUAL OUTLETS IN PRISON HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN JUSTIFIED AS PART OF THE PUNISHMENT RATIONALE.
Abstract: THIS BOOK EXAMINES THE PSYCHO-SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF CONJUGAL VISITS IN PRISON, PARTICULARLY AS THESE MANIFEST THEMSELVES IN THE DURATION AND QUALITY OF THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP, AND THE SUCCESSFUL REINTEGRATION INTO SOCIETY OF THE PRISONER AFTER COMPLETION OF HIS SENTENCE. IT REPRESENTS THE FIRST EFFORT TO EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF CONJUGAL VISITS ON PRISONERS AT THE CORRECTIONAL TRAINING FACILITY FOR MEN IN SOLEDAD, CALIFORNIA. A PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH IS USED TO ASSESS THE GLOBAL MEANING OF SUCH VISITS IN THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE OF CRIMINAL CONFINEMENT. ('PHENOMENOLOGICAL', IN THIS CONTEXT, IS USED TO SUGGEST THAT THE SUBJECTS' DESCRIPTIONS OF THEIR INNER STATES ARE ALLOWED TO SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, WITHOUT INTERPOSING SOME METHOD OF CAUSAL EXPLANATION.) THE DIFFERENTIAL OUTCOMES OF AN EXPERIMENTAL GROUP OF INMATES WHO RECEIVED CONJUGAL VISITS IS CONTRASTED WITH A COMPARATIVE GROUP WHOSE WIVES WERE PERMITTED ONLY REGULAR VISITS. THE STUDY BEGAN IN MAY 1975. FINAL DATA WAS COLLECTED IN MAY 1976. FROM MAY THROUGH EARLY JULY 1975, STRUCTURED, CONFIDENTIAL INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED IN VARIOUS SECTORS OF THE PENITENTIARY AMONG 40 INMATES. THOSE IN THE EXPERIMENTAL GROUP GAVE POSITIVE RATINGS TO THE SUITABILITY AND PRIVACY OF THE VISITING FACILITIES, VIEWED THE MOST VALUABLE BENEFITS OF THEIR VISITS AS THE STABILIZATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF THE MARITAL AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIP, AND INDICATED THE BELIEF THAT THE VISITS SERVED AS AN INSTRUMENT OF CONTROL. INMATES IN THE COMPARATIVE GROUP, ON THE OTHER HAND, FOUND THE VISITING SITES LACKING IN EITHER COMFORT OR PRIVACY OR BOTH, SAW VISITS AS PROVIDING RELIEF FROM THE VICISSITUDES OF INSTITUTIONAL LIFE, AND REPORTED DISTINCT DISCOMFORT ON THE PART OF THEIR WIVES DUE TO THE PRISON SETTING. BOTH GROUPS PERCEIVED VISITS AS BEING MUCH SHORTER THAN THEY ACTUALLY WERE, AND BOTH GENERALLY CONSIDERED IT VALUABLE TO INCLUDE THEIR CHILDREN IN VISITS. A ONE-YEAR FOLLOW-UP STUDY REVEALED ALMOST TWICE THE PROPORTION OF MEN IN THE COMPARATIVE GROUP EXPERIENCED SOME LEVEL OF PAROLE DIFFICULTY AS CONTRASTED WITH THE MEN IN THE EXPERIMENTAL GROUP. THE COMBINED RATE OF SEPARATION AND DIVORCE IN THE COMPARATIVE GROUP WAS ALMOST FOUR TIMES AS HIGH AS THAT IN THE EXPERIMENTAL GROUP. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THESE FINDINGS FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF IMPRISONMENT AND RELATED SOCIOLOGICAL QUESTIONS ARE DISCUSSED. THE INMATE QUESTIONNAIRE AND FOLLOW-UP STUDY FORM ARE APPENDED, ALONG WITH AN INDEX AND A LIST OF REFERENCES. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Conjugal visits; Correctional institutions (adult); Domestic relations; Effects of imprisonment; Follow-up contacts; Inmate attitudes; Inmate Programs; Prisoner's rights; Program evaluation; Psychology; Recidivism; Rehabilitation; Social psychology; Success factors
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=41133

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