Magazine article Corrections Forum

Critics Find Drawbacks to No-Contact Prison Visits

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Critics Find Drawbacks to No-Contact Prison Visits

Article excerpt

While advocates for inmate rights may argue that prohibiting physical contact between prisoners and their visitors will cripple rehabilitation efforts, Buck County, Penn., director of corrections Harris Gubernick says the new no-contact policy is an effective way to shut down one source of illegal contraband entering the prison. Denise Johnson, a California physician and founder of the Center for Children with Incarcerated Parents, which works nationwide to develop services for the families of inmates, says no-contact visitation undermines the prisoner's sense of identity and belonging and inhibits the effectiveness of the prison rehabilitation programs. The Pennsylvania state prison system currently allows physical contact for most of its 40,000 inmates according to corrections spokesperson, Lisa Aaron, and all 26 state prison facilities use state-of-the-art drug-detection technology including the controversial ion scanners, criticized for producing "false positive" results. …

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