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Date Title Type
Document 031471
You've Got Mail: The Promise of Cyber Communication in Prisons and the Need for Regulation
By Raher, Stephen. Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) (Easthampton, MA).
"As with most aspects of life, communications options for incarcerated people are in flux due to technological changes. For practical, political, and technical reasons, communications methods have evolved more slowly in prison than in the outside world, but change is nonetheless here. New technologies such as video visitation and electronic messaging have the potential to improve quality of life for incarcerated people and help correctional administrators effectively run secure facilities. Yet t... Read More

33 pages
Document 032690
Protecting Written Family Communication in Jails: A 50-State Survey
By Frost, Corey. Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) (Northampton, MA).
This report "reviews which agencies in each state provide rules, guidelines, or best practices to local jails and uncovers what, if anything, these entities say about mail that people in jail may send or receive. As expected, we find a strong correlation between the states that have strong language protecting letter writing and the states in which no jails are experimenting with banning letters" (p. 1).... Read More

Document 029678
Screening Out Family Time: The For-Profit Video Visitation Industry in Prisons and Jails
By Rabuy, Bernadette; Wagner, Peter. Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) (Northampton, MA).
This is the most comprehensive website you will find about the for-profit video visitation industry. It is essential reading for anyone considering using a for-profit video visitation system in their correctional facility. "Video technology like Skype or FaceTime can be a great way to stay together for people who are far apart. It is not the same as being there in person, but it is better than a phone call or sending a letter. Given that there are 2.2 million people who are incarcerated, often m... Read More
38 pages
Document 031260
Separation by Bars and Miles: Visitation in State Prisons
By Rabuy, Bernadette; Kopf, Daniel. Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) (Northampton, MA).
"Almost by definition, incarceration separates individuals from their families, but for decades this country has also placed unnecessary burdens on the family members left behind. Certainly in practice and perhaps by design, prisons are lonely places. Analyzing little-used government data, we find that visits are the exception rather than the rule. Less than a third of people in state prisons receive a visit from a loved one in a typical month … Despite the breadth of research showing that visit... Read More

Document 029609
Video Visiting in Corrections: Benefits, Limitations, and Implementation Considerations
By Hollihan, Allison; Portlock, Michelle. National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (Washington, DC); NIC-12C506GKM5. Osborne Association (Bronx NY); National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Community Corrections Division (Washington, DC).
"The purpose of this guide is to inform the development of video visiting programs within a correctional setting. “Video visiting” is real-time interactive video communication which uses video conferencing technology or virtual software programs, such as Skype. It is an increasingly popular form of communication between separated family members in settings outside of corrections. The rapid expansion of video visiting in jails and prisons over the past few years suggests that video visiting may b... Read More
105 pages
Document 031368
Video Visitation: How Private Companies Push for Visits by Video and Families Pay the Price
By Renaud, Jorge Antonio. Grassroots Leadership (Austin, TX); Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (Austin, TX).
This publication explains how video visitation negatively impacts the families of inmates. "While prison advocates have long anticipated the technology that would allow for video visits as a way to increase communication between incarcerated individuals, their family, and community members, it was always envisioned as a supplement to in-person visitation. The reality of incarceration is that many individuals are assigned to units in rural communities, far away from their loved ones, burdening mo... Read More

12 pages
Document 031562
Managing the Elderly in Corrections
By Porporini, Frank J..
"The elderly offender is still treated as distinctly marginal and remains more or less peripheral to policy and advocacy within most correctional jurisdictions. Where innovative practices have emerged, it is typically because of the local efforts of determined correctional professionals, often in partnership with the voluntary sector. Despite their increasing numbers, elderly offenders have not yet attained visibility as a national or international policy issue in corrections" (p. 18-19). This d... Read More

29 pages
Document 031318
The Effect of Conjugal Visitation on Sexual Violence in Prison
By D'Alessio, Stewart J.; Flexon, Jamie; Stolzenberg, Lisa.
The impact of conjugal visitation on prison sexual assaults is investigated. Sections following an abstract include: introduction; theories about the causes of sexual violence—dominance, or sexual gratification; conjugal visitation and sexual offending in violence; data; findings regarding the increase in prison sexual violence due to prison population growth, and the impact of conjugal visitation on inmate sexual offending; and conclusion. Those states that allow conjugal visits have a signific... Read More

14 pages
Document 027266
The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth’s Behavior and School Performance: Findings from the Families as Partners Project
By Agudelo, Sandra Villalobos. Vera Institute of Justice. Family Justice Program (New York, NY).
Anyone involved with programming for incarcerated youth should read this report. It can be used to bolster ones attempt to develop family visitation programs in your agency. The positive impact of family visitation on the behavior and school performance of incarcerated youth is examined. The number of behavioral incidents decreased as visits increased. School performance for those who had frequent visits was 4.6 points higher than those youth who were not visited. “Despite the benefits of family... Read More
6 pages
Document 028105
The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth's Behavior and School Performance: Findings from the Families as Partners Project
By Agudelo, Sandra Villalobos. Vera Institute of Justice (New York, NY).
The relationships between family visitation and an incarcerated youth's behavior and performance in school are examined. The project studied was Families as Partners, a collaboration between the Vera Institute and Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). Sections of this brief include: introduction; background about the collaboration; data and methodology for this study; findings regarding the impact of visitation on behavior and school performance—youth characteristics, family contact frequency... Read More
6 pages
Document 024357
Constituent Services Informational Handbook
Arizona Dept. of Corrections. Constituent Services Office (Phoenix, AZ).
“This handbook is provided as a general resource to the public’ (p.3). This is a good example of a guide to basic policies for families and the press. Sections include: introduction; acronyms; inmate management; programs and services (including the “Visitor Checklist”); and release and community supervision.... Read More
32 p.
Document 026127
The Effects of Prison Visitation on Offender Recidivism
Minnesota Dept. of Corrections (St. Paul, MN).
The influence visitation has on the recidivism of visited prisoners is examined. Sections of this report include: research summary; introduction; prison visitation policies; reentry and social support; prison visitation research; methodology; results for descriptive statistics, impact of visitation on time to first felony reconviction, impact of visitation on time to first revocation, and impact of inmate-visitor relationship on time to first reconviction; conclusion; and implications for correc... Read More
41 pages
Document 023575
Do No Harm: An Analysis of the Legal and Social Consequences of Child Visitation Determinations for Incarcerated Perpetrators of Extreme Acts of Violence Against Women
By Conner, Dana Harrington.
The right of a male batterer to visit his child(ren) is discussed. Sections of this paper include: introduction; defining the issues; the problem of prison visitation determinations; rights versus interests; in search of a standard -- the court's choice, parent and child relations, and the nature of the crime; factors for considerations in prison visitation cases -- legal presumption, best interest, trauma to the child(ren), and supervision and transportation; the response of the community; and... Read More
81 p.
Document 003334
Policies Regarding Searches of Visitors: A Survey
By Scholes, Patricia. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). National Institute of Corrections Information Center (Longmont, CO); LIS, Inc. (Longmont, CO).
Policies of six western prison facilities and one department of corrections regarding searches of visitors are briefly reported.... Read More
2 p.
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