Conjugal Visits in Ohio Prisons

  • By: Better Halves United
  • Target: Ted Strickland, Govenor; Ernie L. Moore, Executive Director of Ohio Department of Corrections
In the state of ohio there is no bill allowing for a family visit in our prison systems.  These types of visits would allow families to share essential time together.  We believe that stress and frustration built up from having limited contact with family and loved ones causes havoc on families, therefore causing circumstances that could be avoided.  In our system it is known that an inmate is encouraged to have visits from family and loved ones on a regular basis, why is it not encouraged for them to have time alone together, where husbands and wives can have time to be together and share love, where children can have needed time with their parents to grow a bond that is ever lasting, these are things that are needed for a human being to survive, things that cannot be shared in a visiting room.  Our family members need love and time, just like those not dealing with prisons do, to recover, to be the best that they can be.
Conjugal visitation is not provided to most married or unmarried inmates in U.S. prisons. First implemented in Mississippi prisons, conjugal visitation programs have been successful in other states such as California and New York. Conjugal visits give inmates the opportunity to keep the family unit together. By doing so, inmates are more likely to have lower recidivism rates and are easier to manage while serving their sentences. There is a need for new research on conjugal visitation programs. Past research has shown that these programs are a valuable rehabilitative tool for the criminal justice system. If these programs can be used to reintegrate offenders back into the community, then they should be used on a larger scale.
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