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Conjugal Association in Prison - A World View

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Abstracts Volume: 14 Issue: 3 Dated: (September 1982) Pages: 406-416
A Goetting
Date Published
11 pages
A survey of conjugal association practices in correctional institutions around the world indicates that such programs occur sporadically and without any notable patterns, except that they are prevalent in societies of Spanish influence.
Information was collected from published sources and a questionnaire mailed to government officials and other selected persons in 1980-82. Conjugal visiting programs are relatively new in Canada and the United States. The Federal system has demonstrated the greatest initiative in Canada, and seven American States now allow private visits in prison. In contrast, conjugal association is common in Mexican, other Central American, and South American correctional facilities. Of the eight Asian countries responding to the survey, only India reported conjugal visits in open air prisons and prison camps, facilities for inmates who have already served much of their sentences. However, conjugal association is prohibited in closed prisons. Conjugal visiting is permitted in 10 of the 23 European countries surveyed. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark have very liberal policies for all prisoners. The Netherlands, Switzerland, West Germany, and Yugoslavia permit visits for selected groups, usually inmates who have served much of their sentences. Spain allows private visits for both men and women inmates in most penal institutions, while the United Kingdom prohibits conjugal visits on prison grounds. Of the six Oceania respondents, only the Philippines and Australia cited policies allowing conjugal association. Formal rules in the Soviet Union grant conjugal visits, but the frequency depends on the type of penal institution and officials' discretion. Their labor colony settlements allow prisoners to live with their families. No African respondents reported any conjugal association programs. The article includes 20 footnotes.


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