Proposed reforms to the Florida DOC include reducing harsh penalties on youth offenders. By Christopher Zoukis Following the launch of a new goal plan for the Florida Department of Corrections, big changes should be arriving in the beleaguered system, with several new pieces of legislation introduced and new budgetary items requested. All of the proposed
No one needs convincing that prison is probably a lonely place, filled with hostile guards and dangerous inmates. At least from the Hollywood point of view, the only comfort for most convicts is a letter from home or the occasional visit from family or friends. Sadly, though, a new study indicates that many prisoners do not even have the solace of visitors from outside, and that the average inmate receives only two visits during their entire length of incarceration.
Prisoner Visitation’s Connection to Recidivism
Consistent with previous research, a recent study published in the journal Crime and Delinquency indicates that Florida prisoners who regularly receive visitors do better during their stay behind bars and upon re-entry into the community than those who don’t receive frequent visits. “Visitation helps individuals maintain social ties during imprisonment, which, in turn, can improve inmate behavior and reduce recidivism,” the authors of the study wrote. “Not being visited can result in collateral consequences and inequality in punishment.”
Those Who Receive Few to No Visits
Necessarily implied by the study’s findings is that many prisoners receive no visitors at all. Those who are older, black, or have been incarcerated numerous time had the fewest visitors. White, Latino, younger, and newly incarcerated inmates received the most visits. Economic status and the length of a prisoner’s sentence did not factor into the likelihood of visitors.