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CONJUGAL VISITATION AND FURLOUGH PROGRAMS FOR OFFENDERS IN MISSISSIPPI

NCJ Number
32070
Journal
New England Journal on Prison Law Volume: 2 Issue: 1 Dated: (FALL 1975) Pages: 67-72
Author(s)
M BRASWELL; D A CABANA
Date Published
1975
Length
6 pages
Annotation
THE OLDEST CONJUGAL VISITING PROGRAM FOR INMATES IN THE UNITED STATES IS AT THE MISSISSIPPI STATE PENITENTIARY IN PARCHMAN, MISSISSIPPI.
Abstract
PARCHMAN IS A 21,000 ACRE PLANTATION-STYLE PRISON, ESTABLISHED BY LEGISLATIVE ACT IN 1900. THE CONJUGAL VISITATION PROGRAM THERE WAS NEVER FORMALLY ESTABLISHED BY LAW. IT SEEMS TO HAVE SIMPLY EVOLVED IN A VERY INFORMAL MANNER, WITH THE EARLY PRISON OFFICIALS USING IT PRIMARILY AS AN INCENTIVE TO INCREASE THE WORK PRODUCTION OF THE INMATES. IN ITS EARLIEST YEARS, CONJUGAL VISITING WAS USED BY PENITENTIARY OFFICIALS AS AN ACCOMMODATING DEVICE, PARTICULARLY IN THE CASE OF BLACK INMATES. THERE WAS LITTLE CONCERN FOR ANY POSITIVE EFFECTS A CONJUGAL VISITATION PROGRAM COULD EXERT ON SUCH PROBLEMS AS INMATE HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITY OR MAINTENANCE OF THE INMATE'S TIES WITH HIS FAMILY. TODAY, THE MISSISSIPPI STATE PENITENTIARY IS ONE OF THE FEW PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES WHERE ALL MARRIED MEN AND WOMEN ARE AFFORDED THE PRIVILEGE OF CONJUGAL VISITATION. OVER TWO THOUSAND MEN AND WOMEN ARE INCARCERATED IN THIS INSTITUTION. MISSISSIPPI PRISON OFFICIALS ARE COMMITTED TO BOTH THE HOME FURLOUGH AND CONJUGAL VISITING PROGRAMS. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT)