Advertisement

Prison Visitation as Accessible Engagement: Encounters, Bystanders, Performance, and Inattention

  • Dominique MoranEmail author
  • Tom Disney
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Abstract

It has long been recognised within communications and linguistic studies that human interactions cannot be reduced to merely exchanges between two participants. Beyond the dyadic model of communication (involving speaker and listener) are participation frameworks of different kinds, involving multiple actors in diverse contexts. Our focus in this chapter is on prison visitation, and rather than simply seeing it as an exchange between two or more people, we bring to it a concern for the diversified participatory roles which characterise this social interaction. In so doing, we extend extant scholarship of prisoners’ family contact which, although concerned with the visit as a significant aspect of that contact, rarely focuses in close detail on its specificities. We explore the dynamics of prison visits by deploying, for the first time in this field of scholarship, a reading of Goffman’s theorisations of the nature of social interaction. This approach enables us to identify factors which inhibit positive feelings of ‘closeness’ during visits and to make policy recommendations intended to enhance the experience of visitation for prisoners and visitors and the effectiveness of prison systems in enabling beneficial visitation.

References

  1. Arditti, Joyce A. 2003. “Locked Doors and Glass Walls: Family Visiting at a Local Jail.” Journal of Loss &Trauma 8(2): 115–138.Google Scholar
  2. Austin, James, and Patricia L. Hardyman. 2004. “The Risks and Needs of the Returning Prisoner Population.” Review of Policy Research 21(1): 13–29.Google Scholar
  3. Bales, William D., and Daniel P. Mears. 2008. “Inmate Social Ties and the Transition to Society: Does Visitation Reduce Recidivism?” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 45(3): 287–321.Google Scholar
  4. Berg, Mark T., and Beth M. Huebner. 2011. “Reentry and the Ties That Bind: An Examination of Social Ties, Employment, and Recidivism.” Justice Quarterly 28(2): 382–410.Google Scholar
  5. Clark, Valerie A., and Grant Duwe. 2017. “Distance Matters: Examining the Factors That Impact Prisoner Visitation in Minnesota.” Criminal Justice and Behavior 44(2): 184–204.Google Scholar
  6. Cochran, Joshua C., and Daniel P. Mears. 2013. “Social Isolation and Inmate Behaviour: A Conceptual Framework for Theorizing Prison Visitation and Guiding and Assessing Research.” Journal of Criminal Justice 41: 252–261.Google Scholar
  7. Comfort, Megan. 2008. Doing Time Together: Love and Family in the Shadow of the Prison. Chicago: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  8. Comfort, Megan, Olga Grinstead, Kathleen McCartney, Phillippe Bourgois, and Kelly Knight. 2005. “‘You Can’t Do Nothing in This Damn Place’: Sex and Intimacy Among Couples with an Incarcerated Male Partner.” The Journal of Sex Research 42(1): 3–12.Google Scholar
  9. Crawley, Elaine M. 2004. “Emotion and Performance: Prison Officers and the Presentation of Self in Prisons.” Punishment & Society 6(4): 411–427.Google Scholar
  10. Crewe, Ben, Jason Warr, Peter Bennett, and Alan Smith. 2014. “The Emotional Geography of Prison Life.” Theoretical Criminology 18(1): 56–74.Google Scholar
  11. Derkzen, Dena Marie, Renee Gobeil, and Justin Gileno. 2009. Visitation and Post-release Outcome Among Federally-Sentenced Offenders. Ottawa: Correctional Service of Canada.Google Scholar
  12. Duwe, Grant, and Byron R. Johnson. 2016. “The Effects of Prison Visits from Community Volunteers on Offender Recidivism.” The Prison Journal 96(2): 279–303.Google Scholar
  13. Faccio, Elena, and Norberto Costa. 2013. “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Prison Life: Reading Interactions in Prison from a Dramaturgic Point of View.” Global Crime 14(4): 386–403.Google Scholar
  14. Foster, Rebecca. 2017. “Exploring ‘Betwixt and Between’ in a Prison Visitors’ Centre and Beyond.” In Carceral Spatiality: Dialogues Between Geography and Criminology, edited by Dominique Moran and Anna K. Schliehe, 169–198. London: Palgrave. Google Scholar
  15. Glaser, Daniel. 1964. The Effectiveness of a Prison and Parole System. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.Google Scholar
  16. Goffman, Erving. 1959. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  17. Goffman, Erving. 1963. Behavior in Public Places. New York: Glencoe.Google Scholar
  18. Goffman, Erving. 1966. Involvement: Behavior in Public Places. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  19. Goffman, Erving. 1967. Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-face Interaction. Oxford, UK: Aldine.Google Scholar
  20. Goffman, Erving. 1971. Relations in Public: Microstudies of the Public Order. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  21. Holt, Norman, and Donald Miller. 1972. “Explorations in Inmate-Family Relationships.” Research Report #4. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Corrections.Google Scholar
  22. Hutton, Marie. 2016. “Visiting Time: A Tale of Two Prisons.” Probation Journal 63(3): 347–361.Google Scholar
  23. Jewkes, Yvonne. 2005. “Men Behind Bars ‘Doing’ Masculinity as an Adaptation to Imprisonment.” Men and Masculinities 8(1): 44–63.Google Scholar
  24. Lanier Jr., C.S. 1991. “Dimensions of Father-Child Interaction in a New York State Prison Population.” Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 16(3–4): 27–42.Google Scholar
  25. Liu, Siyu, Justin T. Pickett, and Thomas Baker. 2016. “Inside the Black Box: Prison Visitation, the Costs of Offending, and Inmate Social Capital.” Criminal Justice Policy Review 27(8): 766–790.Google Scholar
  26. Mears, Daniel P., Joshua C. Cochran, Sonja E. Sienneck, and William D. Bales. 2012. “Prison Visitation and Recidivism.” Justice Quarterly 29(6): 888–918.Google Scholar
  27. Mitchell, Meghan M., Kallee Spooner, Di Jia, and Yan Zhang. 2016. “The Effect of Prison Visitation on Re-entry Success: A Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Criminal Justice 47: 74–83.Google Scholar
  28. Moran, Dominique. 2013a. “Carceral Geography and the Spatialities of Prison Visiting: Visitation, Recidivism and Hyperincarceration.” Environment and Planning: D 31(1): 174–190.Google Scholar
  29. Moran, Dominique. 2013b. “Between Outside and Inside? Prison Visiting Rooms as Liminal Carceral Spaces.” GeoJournal 78(2): 339–351.Google Scholar
  30. Moran, Dominique, and Tom Disney. 2017. “‘It’s a Horrible, Horrible Feeling’: Ghosting and the Layered Geographies of Absent–Presence in the Prison Visiting Room.” Social and Cultural Geography.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2017.1373303.Google Scholar
  31. Moran, Dominique, Marie A. Hutton, Louise Dixon, and Tom Disney. 2017. “‘Daddy Is a Difficult Word for Me to Hear’: Carceral Geographies of Parenting and the Prison Visiting Room as a Contested Space of Situated Fathering.” Children’s Geographies 15(1): 107–121.Google Scholar
  32. Murray, Joseph, and David P. Farrington. 2008. “The Effects of Parental Imprisonment on Children.” Crime and Justice 37(1): 133–206.Google Scholar
  33. Ohlin, Lloyd E. 1954. The Stability and Validity of Parole Experience Tables. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  34. Ritzer, Goerge. 1992. Sociological Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  35. Rodriguez, Nancy. 2016. “Bridging the Gap Between Research and Praxtice: The Role of Science in Addressing the Effects of Incarceration on Family Life.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 665(1): 231–240.Google Scholar
  36. Siennick, Sonja E., Daniel P. Mears, and William D. Bales. 2013. “Here and Gone: Anticipation and Separation Effects of Prison Visits on Inmate Infractions.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 50(3): 417–444. Google Scholar
  37. Sturges, Judith E. 2002. “Visitation at County Jails: Potential Policy Implications.” Criminal Justice Policy Review 13(1): 32–45.Google Scholar
  38. Tasca, Melinda, Philip Mulvey, and Nancy Rodriguez. 2016. “Families Coming Together in Prison: An Examination of Visitation Encounters.” Punishment and Society 18(4): 459–478.Google Scholar
  39. T’Jonck, Pieter. 2005. “Intimitiet, intimadatie.” Etcetera 98: 51–59.Google Scholar
  40. Turanovic, Jillian J., and Melinda Tasca. 2017. “Inmates’ Experiences with Prison Visitation.” Justice Quarterly.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07418825.2017.1385826. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Department of Social Work, Education & Community WellbeingUniversity of NorthumbriaNewcastle upon TyneUK

Personalised recommendations