Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

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September 29, 2020 51 min
After reaching their peak, conjugal prison visits are all but gone in the U.S. Learn all about these frisky visits in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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Episode Transcription

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Welcome to Stuff You Should Know a production of iHeartRadio, How Stuff Works, hey and welcome to the podcast, I'm Josh Clark and there's Charles W cuck bright and there's Jerry over there.

This is stuff you should know another prison edition, we're starting to fill it out a little bit yeah. I don't remember even talking about this in our prison episode. Did we there's just no way we didn't mention it somehow we certainly didn't go into depth. I remember wanting to do this for a while and looking into it before and being like. Oh, it's not really a thing.

Luckily, you put Julia Lahton on it and she did a little more digging and it turned out. It was a kind of a human rights criminology thing yeah, but you're sort of right that it's not really much of a thing which is sad. I've learned yeah, I think so I think any yeah I think we'll get to it. But yes, I'm in favor of extended family visits which mayor may not include sex, ere yeah. I got that from now.

Hob goblins the mystery science theater, three housand version of hob goblins Y IIT's, pretty great just just go check it out. It'll show up eventually yeah. Well, I mean you mentioned sexy time and I think when you think of conjugal visits, that's the fird. I mean that's originally what it was and we'll get to the history, but this the first thing you probably think of is time set aside at a certain place at a prison.

Probably not you know a separate building at a prison where and you generally think of, like a wife going to have sex with her inmate husband, yeah, and in fact I mean that's actually a pretty good term for it, because in Ein Biology to conjugate means to become temporarily united in order to exchange genetic material man. If that's not a clinical term, I never heard oy before yeah right yeout there with mouth parts I mean yeah, it does everybody's heard of cojugal visits. I mean like it's just kind of like this legendary mythological thing like if you've ever seen a bugs bony cartoon from the ES. You know about conjucal visits. You know what I mean: really no Jubut, you cound see it, though, couldn't you wouldn't that be like one of those random things where, as an adult, you went back you're like I can't believe like this is part of this cartoon.

I think I would be surprised if bugs bunny featured prison or sex, so yeah I'd be pretty surprised all right. I guarantee prisons made an appearance right, but the thing is is there does seem to be like a huge misunderstanding about conjugal visit or and understanding about them, but then a complete lack of understanding about how much further these visits go, and actually I think that that kind of has led to their decline, because you need public support to keep something like that up, because it's realy easy to get rid of a you are are so minded it's very easy to get rid of and as you'll see or you know here that's been happening over the course of the past twenty years in a big way, and a big reason is because what you mentioned earlier, what we're really talking about these days in the United States and we'll get to other countries? Other countries are like bring it.

Do it six ways to Sunday oncs a month, but now like we really have to watch they're called extended family visits in New York, they're called family reunion visits, and it's really easy for a politician of a certain kind of politician that doesn't want this kind of thing going on to just lump it in there. As you know, your taxpayer dollars are going toward these hardcore criminals just being able to have sex and like. Why would we support that right? Thin hancn go out the case. They can say, watch this, I'm physically conservative and tough on criminals. It and then the people say how much did you save and they go hm yeah well e get to that do so, let's talk about how will explain how much beyond what the publics understanding conjugal visits are that it goes. But let's talk about the origins of these things, you want to yeah the the basically racist origins in Mississippi, Mississippi Statepin. In the early ninetee hundreds there was a four profit. Labor camp called parchment farm where the warden basically said you know what everybody knows: Tha, that black men have an insatiable sex drive and that's one reason they're in here to begin with. So if we get these guys having a little bit of sex as an incentive, then they're going to work harder for us and increase our profits that that's the origin of conjugal visits period.

Really, that's it, and so this warden started this program at Parchment, which became, I believe, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, and this was in a USAND, nine huneed and eighteen yeah hus ninended eteen is when he started bringing in sex workers right and you just hit the nail on the head as it were on Sundays, in Ela on Sundays. The warden would bring in sex workers for to lay with the inmates and do more than just laying yeah like married, not a problem single, not a problem.

We got the shack out in the back and you know I don't know if you want to be like tenth on that list for the day but Ogd. That's that's! How we're going to do things around here!

Yeah and like the that, you were right about the racist origins of it because it wasn't until twelve years after that program was insttituted, that it was extended to white anmates, and then it wasn't another. I think, fifty four years before it as finally extended to female to women, FEM female inmates, yeah and along the way. What's crazy, is between that that Gulf of time, Uninetneen, eighteen and in one thousand nine hundred and seventy two when women were first became eligible in Mississippi for conjugal visits.

It underwent this kind of like surprising enlightenment, transition to where there was a n onethousand, nine hundred and sixty six, maybe study that was done on it and in the notes on the study, like some criminologist, O corrections. Official basically said you know, this is possibly one of the most enlightened programs in the entire corrections field in the entire country, Mississippi.

What grew out of their racist conjugal visit program became something like genuinely enlightened, which was pretty interesting yeah, and we should note that in one thousand nine hundred and sixty three is when they they were not bringing inse sex workers. At that point you had to be married and it had to be your spouse and that's an important distinction. But for you know forty five years it seems like they were bringing in every Sunday sex workers to to, I guess, lay with yeah to incentevize these guys yeah right right, and so I think that's where the transition came, where it became enlightened as it went from an incentive to get them to work harder because parchment was a for profhit prison labor camp which, by the way, if you, if you're like what is that go watch thirteen Thirteenh, the AVA duverne documentary n, the Thirteenth Amendment, one of the most mind altering documentaries - you will ever see really really well done, but really kind of drives home.

The idea of prison labor is an extension of slavery, but that was what this was. This was Jim Crow, slavery was legal slavery after slavery was abolished, and so the whole thing was to get these inmates to work harder, but then, over time they said. Well, no wait a minute. Maybe this is actually like good for society. Weirdly! It's going to keep these family ties between the inmates and the people they've been separated from.

I, you know just linked enough that when they go back out on the outside they're, not just going to go back to a life of crime, they're still going to have these relationships that they had before they went in yeah, and so you know, as as everyone knows, as things going to Mississippi, they generally follow in the rest of the United States and extended visitation is what they were calling it. Well, I guess they called it contrugal visits, but in the S is when it started to spread to more and more states around the United States. I think California, in South Carolina had programs in the lates New York and Minnesota jumped on board in the S.

I think in the s some other states, New Mexico and Wyoming got on board, and then I guess we would call it the golden age of conjugal visits.

In the early s. There were seventeen states that allowed some sort of extended visitation, yeah Butwa. So that was the peak and one of the reasons tha early s were the peak was because of about the early s the United States said you know what this whole like rehabilitation thing. That's kicked off in the s. This idea that prison was meant to rehabilitate people and turn them into better citizens. It didn't work and we think it's all a bunch of Hooi and we're going to abandon that and get tough on crime.

And that's what happened. I mean throughout the S nd s. We got super tough on crime, Super Conservative, about how we treat criminals and prisoners and the idea became if you were in prison youere in there for a reason and you you should not have any kind of frills or moments of joy, you're supposed to be anthere to be punished, rightmaybe to reflect on what you did wrong, but at the really. Ultimately, this is punishment and we're not going to treat you like a human being any longer you're a prisoner. It's a different kind of person and part of that is taking away conjugal visits right and that line of thinking, like you said, was pretty big sea change, and and now we don't have crime right, it worked new Gingrich's plan worked.

Should we take oh boy, I think we should take a break on new gingrige right sure. That's all take a break on new king. Let's take a little break and we'll be back right after this all right chuck. So let's talk a little bit about like what these things evolved to along the way, because if you're just sitting there like okay, so prisoners can't have sex anymore. That's really not the end of the world to me.

Well prepare for your heart to bleed a little more than it is right now, because over time, these conjugal visits developed into order, like you said, called extended, family visits or family reunion visits and they involved not just spouses but also kids, the parents, the the immate might come to visit siblings, might come to visit and there was no sex involved. It was family time like that was the point of the whole thing was to spend time with family, and if you read some of the accounts of the children of inmates who have memories of going to these extended family visits, they for these are like the memories of their lifetime, like these are some of their best childhood membories. Ironically enough yeah - and you know, the whole purpose here is primarily twofold, which is incentive it' still as an incentive to get inmates to follow the rules, because, as you'll see as we detail the stuff, you really really have to follow. The rules like very few prisoners, are even eligible for this kind of thing right and then the other thing is, you know just to foster that family tie.

So once you get out, you don't have that that Cliche, you see in the movie where you come home from prison, and you have these strangers sitting in your house that are your children right and there's at least some small moticum of of a relationship of some sort of a tie, emotional tie with a parent and a child, or, like you said, the parent of the inmate, or you know, spouses they're still involved. Obviously so when they get out, the idea is that they have a support system, theyre, waiting on them and not like well. Now I have this super awkward moment where I have to come in an and get to know my teenage children right or you know like this - is really hard on me. I think I'm going to go back to crime or go back to addiction or whatever, so the idea that there's this structure that remains in place and solid during their imprisonment that the the thought is that that just helps them ease into normal society. Afterward yeah, like we really need to drive that home, because I think the way I said it there might be people saying well. So what if it's superawkward you shouldn't have committed the crime?

It's not that it can be so awkward enough. Putting that it can.

It can cause someone like you, said to not go home and to not want to face their family, that they don't know and all of a sudden theyre.

They are alone out there and, as we'll see, we have statistics to back it up.

RECIDIVISM is, is a big problem in this really really helps. It's also a bonehead word. It is about Edward.

The thing is too is also it's not necessarily even just awkward for Hem, but there's there's expectations that are on them.

When they come back home, they have people that they're accountable to right which helps that transition, because you know - and you can imagine that the transition that period immediately after prison life into normal society, I'm not sure if it's weeks or months, maybe longer that is the the most difficult part of getting back into society, and so o have a family and a home to go to it that just changes things they make movies about it.

They do an bugs bunny cartoons.

So here's and we'll get s to some of these stories to in a second, but here's how it works, depending on where you are because it's different, every prison in every state has their own, and I think we should also point out that it's only state prisons, where it's even allowed at all, like if you're in federal prison.

There isn't anything like this from what I could find yeah, but they try to set it up.

I mean it depends on whether there's a like a shack in the back or a trailer. Sometimes I think they try to make them a little homier these days and what they're? Looking to do is sort of recreate some sense of normalcy over the one to four days that you're allowed to be with your family, this one in Connecticut, mcdouga Walker, Correctional Institution. I think it's the biggest prison in the New England area.

They have a full on like two bedroom apartment with a kitchen and they can bring in food and cook meals together and watching movies.

I think they have like stock dvds and stuff like that, but I think you are allowed to even bring in everything's heavily inspected, of course, but you are allowed to bring in food to cook like your favorite family meal, they're, not just like. Well, here's what you got from the prison, Pantry Yeah! That's what I saw as well - and I think more than just I think, that's part, partly in economical decision to short, because they also charge there's Tyou know it can be a nominal fee like in I think, New York, maybe or Washington. I think Washington, it's like ten dollars a visit or something like that.

But you know every penny counts in some of the the budget deficited prisons in the United States.

So they do kind of count those pennies but M r. More to the point, the point of bringing in outside food is to create that sense of normalcy for the family.

It's basically like a stacation on prison grounds is what I, what like ideally, is what I got from from the research I did yeah and if the prisoner's favorite dessert is fingernail file cake and that's what they're getting that can't be helped talk about it. A movie trope has that ever happened in the history of the world.

I don't know we got to find out now. Thoug, you just threw down the Gaunte like a prison, a fingernofile being snuck in a cake and that leading to an escape.

I think it's. I think it's probably never happened, we'll find outright. That reminds me, though, I've been wanting to do an episode on the three stooghes that may be a two parter okay and that's prepare for no women to listen, it's so great they're. So good man yeah, it's kind of a dudes thing, though maybe we'll change that with our episodes there should have been a counterpart yeah. You know, I wonder if there was I'm sure they tried that out at some point during the middle.

Well, I think the idea of a show with three women that are morons, that just kind of abuse each other physically was probably not very realistic or believable, not like the real studets and how realistic that was right.

Man, I seriously. I watch that sometimes still today and it's classic. Yes, it really is and for a good reason, it's it's Hilarious, but also just so well coreagraph and those dudes worked hard. No, no. I think we should totally do a an episode on that. I lot okay, so so, while while you've got this stacation going on with your family, with your children with your wife or your husband and you're having a good time, you're relaxing every four hours, depending on where you are there's, probably going to be a visit from a guard that says hey, I gotta search some stuff because it's important to point out like this is not it's not like this. This occurs on the prison grounds. It's part of prison, it's just a modified part of prison. So there's plenty of rules and restrictions that that are meant to keep security tight, prevent contraband from being transferred from you know the visitors to the inmate and to just kind of keep things on the up and up basically yeah like, for instance, you can't just walt in there like if you've got a new sexy pen pal and he said well, I want to get a visit from this person now you can't just walt in there as a first timer and pop in and have a conjugal visit or even a family visit. Whatever you want to call it, you have to have it, I mean it depends on where you are agein but like in New York. You have to have been at least a visitor standard visitor three other times in the previous twelve months.

So you have to be someone, they know someone who is proven to be.

You know a real like connection in your life.

You have to undergo health screening, and this is everyone like kids. Anyone that's going to stay in this apartment, you're going to get health screened, obviously, for conjugal visits, you're going to get STD tested.

Like you mentioned, it depends on where you are lots of searches.

I don't know if I know California was every four hours, but I imagine they'd like to spring those on you as well yeah.

I would guess so tonight. Al Thou be back in four hours for the next one I could kind of see like guards.

Looking the other way ore going kind of easy on these things. Like I could d, it just seems from every account that I've read, it seems like an overbearing mean guard is not the kind of guard they would put on this detail.

It just doesn't seem like it fits this whole vibe because, like you said, t e, the the the people who are eligible for this are like the the model of the model inmates, like they've, really worked for this yeah, so only state prisons.

You are there currently only allowed in seven states down from its haday in the earlys of seventeen and you have to - or I guess it's they set it up so you're highly incentivized to do other jobs and other programs in order to get these conjugal visits. So right you have to like maybe do a you're involved in a school or a work base program, Somme kind of Reenchi program, and you got to show that you've done that and you've been successful in that.

Obviously the behavior, like you, can't have any tings on your or violations in your in your prison, stay at all, no, and certainly no recent ones like I get the impression that you could have in your past, but, like you know, you probably couldn't have in the last like month or six months or se, some Seid amount of time and, like you said it needs to be part of like this larger pattern of working toward being rehabilitated like being in a some sort of school or diploma program or some sort of work program, something that basically combined with these family visits, says I'm thinking about how I'm going to behave on the outside, and it's going to be good.

I'm going to wow you so that that these extended family visits are kind of meant to support that and encourage that kind of thing, too yeah and again, depending on the state in the prison.

What you're in there for is going to really matter, obviously, if you're convicted of a sex crime, domestic violence, any kind of violence against children, you're not even going to be eligible and the eligibility is really low.

In two thousand and thirteen - and this was the last year that they could in New Mexico - I think that they had conjucal visits.

Only two percent of state prison inmates qualified on Mississippi that same year. It was point, zero, zero, seven right, nine percent in New York, four percent in Washington. So the idea that you may be sold on TV by an angry politician that you know all of these prisoners are just in there having the time of their lives having sex is just false right, but it's just so easy to fall for because you people, don't you have to like look into this kind of stuff and who's going to do that.


So the weird thing is: Oh yeah, so forgot about us within assist by Julia laten. That's right, but the thing is is like those percentages in the fact that there's only whutd, you say: Seven States now left thanks. Oon left TAT allow anything at all wow and they're under they're, under fire as we'll see yeah, but the idea that the United States is kind of slowly getting rid of it's its extended family visit system.

As part of prison life, that's that's a that's weird as far as Westernstyle democracies are concerned, countries around the world, especially Western style democracies, but also other ones, allow for, if not extended, family visits at the very least conjugal visits. So there's there's. Actually you can it's easier to point out the Western democracies that don't allow it theright? Is that allow it?

The ones that stand out in particular are Japan, New Zealand and Ireland, and the UK Yeah r? They they absolutely don't. New Zealand doesn't because they view it as too much of a security risk, and it's a huge political, hot potato over there to even suggest that they should do it and then Japan, apparently their prison system, is just like in the dark ages, it's meant to penalize criminals.

They can sit there and think about what they did. Apparently, Japan is under fire constantly by human rights organizations for like using torture and stuff, like that in their hetings yeah they're like real backwards when it comes to prison for sure, but the IDEAIS that it's part of a liberal democracy to have this kind of program. As part of your prisons, at the very least just to to keep your prison population less violent, supposedly yeah countries around the world where theyare was about to say lacx, but that's not true, I'm sure it's still very structured and organized, but more permissive, India, you, they say it as a right and not a privilege, as a human being Saudi Arabia allows a conjugal visit per wife per month.

You know what that means.

That means multiple wives equals multiple conjugal visits. That's right, Latin America.

They are pretty generous with them, Brazil.

The only requirement for visitors is good behavior.

Sometimes that can mean weekly. You don't have to be married.

They do allow sex workers in Brazil to come in Canada.

Not surprisingly, they allow three day family visits every two months for most inmates, where else Germany, they basically it was sort of like anyone - can get a congugal visit up until about ten years ago.

When - and this is of course, the kind of thing you're going to see all over the news yeah there was an inmate, a rapist and murderer who actually killed his girlfriend during a conjucal visit. So they'd said nine ruined it for everybody yeah, although I don't think that they got rid of it. I think they just changed the restrictions a little more yeah and that is a real outlier.

Obviously a terrible, sad, sad case yeah, but that is that is, I didn't see anything else or anything like that. It ever happened but see that's the thing that gets people right in the hat, the hypothalamis or something and all of a sudden they're like get rid of it, Bann it and kill a few prisoners while you're at it. For my satisfaction, because I need to calm down right, but it's so Russia, Spain, France, Turkey, Katar Costarika, Mexico, Demark, Australia and Israel all have a'll have programs that include a the very least conjugal visitsor, if not family visits and, like you said Brazil and most to South America, but the US is not not hanging in there very well we're just kind of slowly but surely getting rid of these things little by little and from what I can tell we keep talking about. You know a politician Pointin this out. All it takes is one determined politician, yeah and a couple of legislative sessions and they're probably going to get their wish, and that seems to be what's been happening around the United States yeah, it doesn't seem like there is enough people on the other side that really really want to fight to keep it going.

We've seen Juliusin an a couple of stories, one from vice and one from medium, where they talk to real prisoners, about the programs and this one woman, Benadette stalbots she spent.

I think she had two daughters in jail in prison and was able to eventually spend time with those girls and said You know these fon memories playing tag, cooking, Chili, having long emotional conversations into the night with their daughters that are now grown.

These thirty six hour visits were treasured and she said if it weren't for these trailer visits.

I wouldn't be the woman that I am today and that seems to be the resounding message any time you read. These stories is that this is what made the difference for me and doing my time, keeping saying and then doing the right thing when I got out yeah and if you I mean if you want to just kind of get touched in the heart by some of these, like read two point: Seven million kids have parents in prison they're losing their right to visit.

That's a headline for a nation magazine Article by Sylvia, a harvey whose father was in prison and s. She was the one I cited who said that some of her fondest childhood memories are of these extended family visits and she interviews some in profile. Some other families who are kind of trying to you know keep their family together, while the father or the mother is in prison, but are losing that because these extended visitations are being turned into just regular standard visitations. What most people think like the arrested development? No touching kind of visit like that's a stand as what's called the standard visit, and they are not nearly satisfying because I think there's one thing we haven't really pointed out like. Yes, it's important to have these family connections, but the way that these family connections are maintained is that in a standard visit where say it's like thirty minutes, maybe an hour in a room with a bunch of other families, an inmates, a bunch of corrections, officers like standing right over you you're not going to have the conversations that you would normally have not not anything, illegal or whatever, but just personal, deeply personal stuff and so to have one day or two days or three days together as a family.

Those conversations start to come up because in those standard visits you got like an hour.

You don't have time to bring up touchy stuff that could result in the hard feelings, because you know that there's not enough time to complete that cycle to smooth out the hard feelings right.

That's one of the great benefits of these extended family visitos. You can have these tough conversations. You can argue you can snip. You can discipline your kids, because you know you have enough time Tokind of work through it and process it and then strengthen those family bonds on the other side of it.

That's the vital importance of these kind of visits, and that's why they're so effective yeah - and I know our hearts are bleeding all over this episode.

Fine, but like I think you to you, would have to have a zero heart to go beyond prison is for punishment to prisonment is, should be punishment for your entire family right, that's a different thing. You know these are children that are suffering and that that may go down the wrong path, because, if not for stuff like this, like there are a lot of other people involved, that it would just help society as a whole.

If a little more empathy were involved, yeah - and I think really kind of that points out. One of the big arguments which I think we should take a break, then we'll talk about the arguments against. But one of the arguments against chuck is that you know people worry that there's going to be children born to automatic single parents because of the conjugal visits. It's like well, what about the kids whose parents are already in jail?

And if you follow that, you know ellipsis all the way to the end, the the response as well, those kids, those kids should have been born. Then if their parents are in jail. That's what they're kind of saying when they're saying one of the reasons to cancel these programs, because we don't want them, we don't want pregnancies to result all right. Well, let's take a break we'll talk about that rehabilitation and punishment, and then data in the lackup right after this all right. So you know we brought it up in the prisons episode. We brought it up in this episode. There are a couple of ways to look at prison and confinement, which is: Are we trying to rehabilitate these people and we Tryn to make society better as a whole?

Are we trying to just punish people and as hard as possible, and we really don't care if society is better as a whole right great synopsis, Chuck Which Sid Do you lie on?

Well, here's the big reveal so clearly on the side of extended family visits, but I'm it's not even like a like. Oh I really get your point. I get the other side's point or I can see both sides not even like that.

It seems to me and Laton goes to great lengths to kind of try to be diplomatic about it, but it's still just like you know. This is thust saysn't whole water at all.

The arguments against are basically just gut reactions. It's like the same thing is a lot of arson. Investigation is like well, you know this feels a lot to me like arson, put that person in prison for life and maybe on death row like that's the that's the same kind of correctional criminal justice instinct. That seems to be driving the cancellation of these, and I have a lot of problems with anything that deeply impacts families negatively based on instinct rather than data and science. I think you really need to go to the trouble of producing your argument against in these cases, rather than just canceling them out right with very little problems from the public yeah, because there's there's generally four arguments that are used against and to me each of them have a lot of holes in them: Cost Morality, security and punishment.

Cost you know they do charge people. Those cost are offset some, but there's no like, like you said, give me the data when you interview some of these people and some of these politicians that have said no. You know this. Is this costing us a fortune? We're like well all right. How much is it costing show us and then be like? Well, we don't really have a spreadsheet on that, but I'm sure it's a lot yeah, but it literally say things like that like well. You know it hits the budget, though so there's there's one thing you can pocalls in morality.

I mean I think that one falls apart immediately, because what is more moral than families being able to spend time with one another and strengthening a family bond or liset attempting to, but that's what I'm saying they use that public image of what a conjugal visit is and the idea that you know and it may any im Mak an just - have sex with anybody. They want during these visits and then they just don't explain, what's actually being canceled, they just call him conjugal visits and then that's that right, because STD transmission was one cided by who was it Mississippi? State rap, Richard Bennett, yeah and, like you know, where's the data, our stds being spread through conjugal visits?

They're, not because there is no data right, but it's something very grabby on the news to hear security is another argument, but you know show me that you can you can manage security like that's something you can actually control right. You know whether it's like, maybe not a camera in the bedroom, but you can have cameras in the apartment. You can really watch them. You can come in every two hours and inspect things.

You know you can actually control security and make it a secure environment yeah, and I also understand that the absence of evidence isn't proof, but I would guess that if anybody had been harmed hurt killed, maimed abuse during any of these one time. Once in the history of these things in the United States, we would know all about it and that would have been that that would have cancelled everything just like in Germany. Exactly it hasn't come up like the fact that we didn't run across it is is pretty significant to me. I'm surprised they didn't lay that on Germany, Sayi'm soming, I happened over there. Yeah look at happen. Erme look like it's all. Marchell's fault, New Mexico was a state that that also had sort of the same and the reasonings generally the same wherever you go, which was some kind of moral outrage.

In this case there was Michael Guzman who was a prisoner in New Mexico that he was actually a convicted murderer. So I'm really surprised yeah same here that that he was even allowed. I'm not sure how that happened, but he conceived for children with different women, different wives in conjugal visit, so he was getting married to different women in prison and having kids and that was sort of like the poster child in New Mexico, for why they shouldn't do stuff like that right exactly so that one guy is basically the one thing that American extended family visitation can hang its had on for anybody who's looking to get rid of those things, but then the other part of the moral thing - and I said it earlier - The idea that it's up to Department of Corrections, officials or state representatives to decide whether a family of an incarcerated person, whether these parents want to have another kid or not.

It has nothing to do with them.

It's not up to these prison officials to decide that kind of family planning and its smacks of eugenics and racism.

To think that they that that's at something they talk about publicly it's something they cite that you know we don't want people having.

You know, kids, even though they're married, because the the mom's is going to be a single parent. Wor, the DAD's going to be a single parent, and it's just not something we're interested in that one really gets. My gets, my goat yeah, the the thing that gets. My goat is just the lack of data, and this got reaction thing.

The Department of Corrections in New Mexico said they didn't see an upside and they told local media that, after two years of research, we found that it did not affect recidivism rates and they said Oh well, can I see the details of the study and they said well, it was is not so much a study. The literal quote was we looked at individual inmates.

There was no study, Oh well, where's t e the report on it. Then a this is well. We don't have one right.

I basically just went through a couple of files before I came out here, you're a local paper, I'm blown away that you aske any follow up questions whatsoever, I think, is what he was saying.

But here's the thing is one side of this argument is not studied.

There are no reports, there's very little research in data.

The other side has a lot of data actually, and we know that I think it was I'm trying to find who did the study that found? Yeal, yeah yea did study and there was a sixty seven percent decrease in residivism with programs like this installed. Sixty seven percent yeah, the human, the Minnesota Department of Corrections also did a study that basically back that up to, and the thing is, is if you talk to prison officials typically and like the ones who actually work in the prisons and Criminali, just like people who actually have degrees in studying this kind of stuff, they say no. This is actually a really good program and it does have an impact on residativism, because, while we're still compiling data on extended family visits as it stands, we do know that the family is an a really important factor in this transition to from prison to society, and so anything that could strengthen that bond is a plus.

The other thing we didn't really talk about was the cost people point to the cost and cost savings and stuff, I think New Mexico before they shut theirs down.

It was a hundred and twenty thousand dollars a year for this program.

Washington state spends eighty six thousand dollars a year and both of those prison systems charged families to have these visitations, so the idea that they don't work and that they're expensive and that there's a moral component to him, there's basically no argument against and then there's data in favor of the argument for these things, and yet they seem to be going the way of disco in the United States. Sadly yeah, not only I mean you can just talk about regular visits. There was a study in two thousand and eleven that found that inmates who got just regular standard visits. These are not conjugal. These are not extended or overnight. Family visits just visiting people in person, while in prison, were thirteen percent less likely to return to prison than inmate who received no visits Yep, so they also very surprisingly, too and controversially, there was a study that found that prisons in sterecorrectional systems in states that never had any family visitation programs had four times more inmade on inmate sexual assault, H N than prisons. That dont, which apparently really flies in the face of common wisdom or common consensus on what the purpose of sexual assault in prison, is that everybody thinks it's power based they're like actually, there might be a sexual aspect to it as well. That had been overlooked to this point.

Yeah like sexual desires not being met and you're right that that is contrary to everything we've ever heard about sexual assaltin prison. I think yeah and while it's kind of rich to point to anecdotal data after just I know just escembering annecdotal data, there is a lot of sentiment, including among Washington, states, department of Corrections. They ave a brochure for their family visitation.

That basically says an isolated inmate is a dangerous inmate, so that one of the sentiments that kind of was carried along for family visitation and visitation in generals. This idea that it it keeps prisoners in line in the prison which improves security in the prison as well. Yeah see our episode on, or was that in the prison's episode that we did one on IC or solitary, we did one on solitaire. We did an. We did a prisons, one to yeah, I mean that's.

We got a nice little robust and we're popular in prisons too. So yeah we help prisoners, learn to read, sometimes yeah, so they might be listening to this right now. Yes, special shout out to all the prisoners. Listening to this stay up.

If someone is listening to this with a family during their family visit.

Oh my gosh. I would really like to hear about that. I think that's some tshirts right there, yeah yeah at the very least so yeah. Let us know and we'll send you some tshirts, because that's a that is one heck of a specific lisson.

Well, like you said, this is definitely going away, though, in a big way in the US down to seven states. Now I mean prison visits. I don't know if they're really trying to get rid of them.

COVID has given them a big opportunity to do that, because more and more prison visit policies or programs have revolved around.

Like you know, zoom meetings and virtual meetings and stuff like that and with covid that's a I could see it being used to be like do we really want to bring like there's a lot of cost associated with just regular visits? You know right. We could just set up a computer room and have them going there and have little zoom meetings with their family yeah, which I mean is better than nothing but sor. If these extended family visits are t the gold standard and then standard visits are the hohum standard virtual visits, I mean yeah, I mean I've done zoom hangouts before and they get old really fast.

They do. But I tell you what of course my heart is bleeding on this one, but like do those like every day yeah. I wonder, though, if there's just as many restrictions around those too, because I think you have to you know, demonstrate that you're in good standing in your prison too yeah, probably so so that's it!

Next time you hear somebody trying to cancel family extended family visitation in your state. Maybe you don't just say: Yeah serves them right s like think about it, maybe vote against it. If you want to this episode, Touchd you like an angel touch by an Agel one, you got anything else. Nothing!

Well, since I said touchd by an angel of course.

As usual, that means it's time for listener. Maga call this one short and sweet FAC Doyd from a movie crusher, I'm pretty sure Aaron Mazelle is a movie Cresher, Josh and Chuck Good Morning.

Just listen to the episode on Francis Perkins, I'm guessing you guys, Haave seen the movie dirty dancing!

Well, Aaron! If you listen to our shorty on the disappearing, Lig disappearing lake, you know Ye have well there's a part where Johnny asked baby. What her real name is - and I don't remember this in the movie - but she said her response was Francis after the first woman in the cabinet, so baby in the movie dirty dancing was named after Francis Berkins right, pretty cool amazing. Nobody puts Frances in the cabinet.

Well, so putdy did oh wait. Yeah it didn't work so hat's, one of the best. That's seriously aron. That's one of the best facts: I've ever heard in my entire life, pretty GUC movie, movie, Trivia, Ever Yeah and very very much on the down, though I think I bet most people who are dirty dancing. Heads did not catch that line and now thamand. No, you have to know both of those Ya ye didn't, there's, probably a very small.

Now it might just be Aaron Moiselle Yeah.

That's too Aaron Moselle, listen to males in like a week or two she's got Ta get some sort of trophy for that. Did I read another one from her yeah. She was the one who wrote in with the SYIVK.

Oh really yeah. That's she may not be a movie crusher than maybe I'm just remembering from that.

She probably is. I mean, there's a lot of crossover right all right.

Well, if you want to let us know something so astounding that you get put on listener mail twice in like a week.

We want to hear it. We're really ready for those kind of emails, go ahead and send them off to stuff podcast.

I heart radio COM stuff, Yo should know: is production of ihart radios, housestuff works for or podcast fo, my heart, radio, Vausit, the IHAT radio, a apple podcast, O whereever. You listen to your favorite, shows

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