The Benefits And Challenges Of Visitation Practices In Correctional Settings: Will Video Visitation Assist Incarcerated Fathers And Their Children?
McLeod, Branden A. Bonsu, Janaé.
Published: October 2018
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 93 , p. 30-35
Customer Service Department 6277 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, FL 32887-4800
Tel: +1 (877) 839-7126
Fax: +1 (407) 363-1354
Increased incarceration over the last thirty years has dismantled family structures, leaving many low-income African-American fathers physically separated from their children. Jails, in particular, serve as the gateway to imprisonment, holding one-third of the adult incarcerated population, and have grown nearly as rapidly as the state prison population. As the gateway to imprisonment, jails can serve a crucial role in facilitating or impeding communication among fathers and their children if facilities' visitation policies and practices are family-focused. In this article, we find that early and frequent visitation benefits incarcerated fathers (e.g. fathers' role identity, reduced misconduct, and positive reentry outcomes) and their children (e.g. maintain familial structure, family reunification, and reduced trauma from separation). We discuss that visitation policies vary across facility types and within states. Additionally, we find that family-focused visitation practices are diminishing and that a new form of visitation through video technology has emerged, which is often less-regulated in jails. Finally, we conclude with existing and proposed policy implications at the local, state, and federal levels. (Author abstract)
parental visits; visitation; parent child relationships; incarcerated fathers; communication techniques; information technology; African Americans; family reunification; policy formation