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Effects of Prison Visitation on Offender Recidivism

NCJ Number
238963
Date Published
November 2011
Annotation
This study by the Minnesota Department of Corrections examined the effects of prison visitation on recidivism rates for recently released offenders.
Abstract
Major findings from this study on the effects of prison visitation on recidivism rates include the following: inmates who were visited in prison had a 13 percent lower risk of recidivism than inmates who were not visited in prison; each visit in prison reduced the risk of reconviction by 0.1 percent, while one visit per month was associated with a 0.9 percent decrease in the risk of reconviction; prisoners who were visited closer to their release date had a 3.6-percent decrease in their risk of reconviction; and the more individual visitors a prisoner had, the greater the reduction in the risk of reconviction, with each additional visitor reducing the risk of reconviction by 3 percent. This study from the Minnesota Department of Corrections examined the effects of prison visitation on recidivism rates for recently released offenders. Data for the study were obtained by examining recidivism rates for 16,420 offenders released from Minnesota prisons between 2003 and 2007. Various measures of visitation (any visit, total number of visits, visits per month, timing of visits, and number of individual visitors) were quantified to determine whether they had any type of effect on the risk of reconviction for recently released offenders. Regression analyses found that visitation in general significantly decreased the risk of recidivism, with visits from siblings, in-laws, fathers, and clergy having a positive effect on risk and visits from ex-spouses having a significantly negative effect on risk of reconviction. Implications for corrections policy and practice are discussed. Tables and references