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

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2018
24 pages
This study documented barriers to prison visitation from the inmate’s perspective, with attention to the perspectives of inmates who received few or no visits, and it focused on how inmate perceptions of visits impacted the features of their prison life and influenced future visitations.
Using data from qualitative interviews, the study found evidence that inmates make willful decisions regarding prison visits, decisions influenced by one’s sense of self and further colored by the perceived social and economic strain their incarceration has on their 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: June 1, 2018