A conjugal visit is a scheduled extended visit during which an inmate of a prison is permitted to spend several hours or days in private, usually with a legal spouse. While the parties may engage in sexual intercourse, the generally recognized basis for permitting such a visit in modern times is to preserve family bonds and increase the chances of success for a prisoner's eventual return to life outside prison.
The visit will usually take place in a structure provided for that purpose, such as a trailer or small cabin. Supplies such as soap, condoms, tissues, sheets, pillows, and towels may be provided.
In the United States
In the United States, inmates must meet certain requirements to qualify for this privilege, for example, no violation of the rules in the last six months, history of good behavior, and so on. Those imprisoned in medium or maximum security facilities and inmates on death row are not permitted conjugal visits.
The visitor may be required to undergo a background check, and the inmate must also be free of any sexually transmitted diseases. As a matter of procedure, both visitor and inmate are searched before and after the visit, to ensure that the visitor has not attempted to smuggle any items in or out of the facility.
Over the last 40 years, most new prisons included special buildings specifically designed for "Sunday visits." Today, conjugal visitation programs, also known as the Extended Family Visit, survive in only six states: California, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York and Washington.
In June 2007, California's Department of Corrections announced it would allow same-sex conjugal visits. The policy was enacted to comply with a 2005 state law requiring state agencies to give the same rights to domestic partners that heterosexual couples receive. The new rules allow for visits only by registered domestic partners who are not themselves incarcerated. Further, the domestic partnership must have been established before one of the partners was incarcerated.
[Calif. gay inmates get conjugal visits - Life - MSNBC.com]
The Federal Bureau of Prisons does not allow conjugal visits.
[Calif. gay inmates get conjugal visits - Life - MSNBC.com] [BOP: Conjugal Visits - General Information Page]
Around the world
- France and Canada allow prisoners who have earned the right to a conjugal visit to stay in decorated home-like apartments during extended visits.
- In the Russian penal system, since a campaign of prison reform that began in 2001, well-behaved prisoners are granted an eighteen-day holiday furlough from incarceration to see loved ones. Prisoners also get extended on-site family visits, approximately once per month.
[After the Gulag: conjugal visits, computers...and a hint of violence - Times Online]
- In Brazil, male prisoners are eligible to be granted conjugal visits for both heterosexual and homosexual relationships, while women's conjugal visits are tightly regulated, if granted at all.
- In July 2007, the prison system in Mexico City has begun to allow gay prisoners to have conjugal visits from their partners, on the basis of a 2003 law which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation
[BBC NEWS | Americas | Mexico allows gay conjugal visits].
- Neither the English, Scottish nor Irish prison system allows conjugal visits, and political pressure to punish criminals makes it a difficult issue to suggest. However, home visits, with a greater emphasis on building other links with the outside world to which the prisoner will be returned, are allowed.
[Enhanced Home Leave 11-1-06]
- Australia: Conjugal visits, like the English system on which it is based, are not allowed. But a very lenient visitation system as well as the likeliness a sentence will be reduced or parole granted very early remove any general issue surrounding it.
- Denmark: Conjugal visits have been allowed for years. The new prison in Jutland "Statsfængslet Østjylland" (Stateprison EastJutland) prisons have apartments for couples, where inmates who have been sentenced to more than 8 years in prison can have visitaton for 47 hours per visit.
["Statsfængslet Østjylland" - Prison Homepage - visitation from family]
- Saudi Arabia: Conjugal visits have been allowed for years. Moreover, inmates have the right to get married while they are serving their time in prison including prisoners on death row.
In popular culture
- In Season 4 of the sitcom Will & Grace, Karen goes to visit her husband, Stan, in prison on a conjugal visit. She is happy to find a security camera watching her. She also finds deli meat on the table and throws it on the bed so that Stan knows where to go.
- On the sitcom Seinfeld, George imagines conjugal visits to be the best sex possible. Later on George finds 'fugitive sex' to be superior.
- In a 2007 episode of the sitcom My Name is Earl, Earl's prisonmate has conjugal visits from his pre-lockup girlfriend.
- In the animated comedy Family Guy, Peter sees Quagmire enjoying "conjugal visit day" when Lois is locked up.
- In the animated comedy The Simpsons episode "Marge in Chains," Homer visits Marge in prison for a conjugal visit.
- In the movie Office Space, conjugal visits are a factor in Samir's decision to commit a crime.
- In season one of Prison Break, both Michael and Sucre are granted conjugal visits from their respective partners.
- In the episode of Code Monkeys where Larrity sends all the employees to prison, Claire volunteers for conjugal visits because she thought it had to do with teaching prisoners how to read.
- In the sitcom Reno 911! Trudy is shown several times on a conjugal visit to her boyfriend Craig while he is on death row.
- In the drama Desperate Housewives Gaby visits Carlos in prison for a conjugal visit.
- In the sitcom Arrested Development George Sr. receives a conjugal visit from his wife.
- In the music video for "21 Questions" by 50 Cents, his girlfriend comes to visit him for a conjugal visit in a trailer.
- In the song "The Take Over, the Breaks Over" by Fall Out Boy, there is a line that goes "They say your head can be a prison/Then these are just conjugal visits"
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This article is based on "Conjugal visit" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Conjugal+visit&action=history