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How long do you think you could go without kissing your spouse or significant other? Do you think you would last a week or a month? How about ten years? I’ve never been a big fan of public displays of affection, but when it comes to prison visits, I make an exception, and so does the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Corrections in each state.
It’s time to talk about visitors and inmates showing affection, and I’m going to answer the question: can you kiss during prison visits?
In this blog post, I will cover the following topics:
When an inmate is in general population, they are usually allowed a certain number of contact visits each month, no matter if they are incarcerated in a federal or state prison. Most contact visits take place in a large room where the visitors and inmates can sit together at a table and enjoy snacks, play games, and talk.
However, when it comes to kisses and hugs, the rules are very clearㄧkeep it short, and it can only happen at the beginning and end of the visit.
When an inmate first comes into the visiting room, each visitor is allowed a brief hug and kissㄧwe’re talking maybe two seconds. The same protocol applies to the end of the visit. The only physical contact allowed during a visit is holding hands.
Why are the rules so strict? Well, it comes down to the passing of contraband. Visitors have been known to bring in drugs inside their mouth, and they can pass the drugs along to the inmate with a long kiss.
There have also been instances where people sneak drugs, tobacco, and cell phones into the visiting room and pass those items during a hug, leave them in the visitor bathroom, or in the vending machines where they can be found later.
I know this all sounds crazy, but people go to extremes to bring in contraband. An inmate can make a deal with another inmate who works in the visiting room and has the responsibility of cleaning the visitor bathroom and the area near the vending machines. They actually portrayed this exact scenario in an episode of Orange Is the New Black.
When an inmate is segregated from the general population or in a certain custody level, they are usually only allowed non-contact visits. In this scenario, an inmate and their visitors are separated by a glass partition, and they either talk through the partition or use a phone.
Non-contact visits are exactly what they sound like, so you aren’t allowed to touch the inmate at any point during the visit. This, of course, means no kissing.
For inmates who are incarcerated in a federal prison, the answer to the conjugal visit question is no. The same can be said for most of the state prisons, but there are exceptions. California, New York, and Washington are the only three states that have the option of a, “family visit,” which is where an inmate and their loved ones can visit for about 24 to 36 hours in an apartment.
During this type of visit, visitors can have sex with the inmate, and this is the only sex that is legal behind prison walls.
There are exceptions. Prisoners convicted of a sexual crime or a violent crime against a minor or a member of their family and those serving life sentences are usually denied conjugal visits.
One of the worst parts of being locked up is the lack of human contact. You are not allowed to touch another inmate, much less get intimate. Of course, that does happen even though it is against the rules. But, the brief touch of a family member or friend during a visit is so much better than secret prison sex, at least in my opinion.
Do you think inmates and visitors should be allowed conjugal visits? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: General Visiting Information https://www.bop.gov/inmates/visiting.jsp One Conjugal Visit https://www.lifeofthelaw.org/2014/12/one-conjugal-visit/
Natalie earned her Bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas, and has worked in television and radio during her career. When she was a 19-year-old sophomore at KU, she got her first on-air job as a sports reporter for a CBS-TV affiliate. In 2013, she was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the possession and production of marijuana. She was released in 2017. We've kept her last name off of our website so that she does not experience any professional hardship for her contributions.
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