Inmate Social Ties, Recidivism, and Continuing Questions About Prison Visitation

  • Joshua C. CochranEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


One response to the era of mass incarceration has been a resurgence of research aimed at understanding the wide range of experiences individuals have during incarceration and the implications of those experiences for prisoner re-entry. Prison visitation is one such experience that is especially interesting to scholars, practitioners and policymakers alike in part because of the potential promise of visitation to help inmates maintain or restore social ties and, in turn, to improve individuals’ transitions from prison life back to society. Studies to date have been particularly focused on recidivism and the extent to which those who are visited, or are visited more, are less likely to recidivate after release. However, looming questions exist that need to be addressed to move this body of research forward. In particular, important questions remain about the causal impacts of visitation, the mechanisms through which visitation operates to impact recidivism, factors that might moderate visitation effects, barriers to visitation and whether there are plausible alternatives to visitation.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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