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Opting Out The Role of Identity, Capital, and Agency in Prison Visitation

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 35 Issue: 4 Dated: 2018 Pages: 726-749
Date Published
24 pages
Since an emerging body of research suggests that prison visitation has implications for better understanding inmate institutional and post-release behavior, but not all inmates receive visits, the current study identified barriers to visitation from the inmate perspective and describes the perspectives of those who received very few or no visits; and it also determined how inmate perceptions of visits impacted the way they did time and impacted subsequent visitation.

Using data from qualitative interviews, the study found evidence that inmates made willful decisions regarding prison visits that were guided by each inmate's sense of self and were further influenced by the perceived social and economic strain of their imprisonment on families. These results challenge the perception of a universally positive visitation experience, and introduce the role of inmate choice in selecting into and out of prison visits. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018