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Mississisppi is getting rid of conjugal visits

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Topic: Mississisppi is getting rid of conjugal visits
Posted By: Omni Harmony
Subject: Mississisppi is getting rid of conjugal visits
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:06pm
(Reuters) - Twice a month, high school math teacher Kelly Muscolino and her husband, an inmate serving 20 years for armed robbery, get to share one hour together away from the watchful eyes of guards at the Mississippi prison where he is locked up.

The couple's last visit alone might have been their last until Mike Muscolino is free. The Mississippi corrections department announced it will no longer allow conjugal visits as of February 1, ending a century-old program in the first U.S. state to sanction sex for prisoners.

Corrections commissioner Christopher Epps said a practice that began as a strategy to control inmates in the early 1900s would cease in Mississippi due to concerns about costs and the number of children possibly being conceived during the visits.

Those who believe prisoners do not deserve the privilege of such intimacy during their punishment welcomed the news. But inmates and their spouses are upset by a policy change they say will further strain their difficult marital circumstances.

"That's the only time when we get to see each other and we don't have somebody telling us that we're too close or that our hug lasted too long," said Kelly Muscolino, 35. "We need that bond."

Once a common practice in U.S. prisons, soon only California, New Mexico, Washington and New York state prisons will permit conjugal visits. Federal prisons do not allow them.

Epps, chief of Mississippi's prisons since 2002, has noted that conjugal visits encourage good inmate behavior and strengthen families. Studies also show that states with the visits have lower levels of sexual violence among prisoners.

But the commissioner said he could no longer justify the supervision and maintenance costs in light of his department's $22.4 million budget deficit.

A corrections spokeswoman could not say how much money will be saved. During the last fiscal year, only 155 inmates out of the more than 22,000 in Mississippi received conjugal visits.

Dozens of spouses and family members of inmates affected by the change have joined a new group, Mississippi Advocates for Prisoners, to try to convince Epps to reconsider. They will hold a rally on Friday near the Capitol building in Jackson.

The group faces steep odds. Even if they sway Epps, a Republican state lawmaker says he plans to file legislation to make conjugal visits illegal in Mississippi prisons.

Representative Richard Bennett, whose first attempt at outlawing the visits failed in 2012, said it makes sense to strip some rights for those who commit crimes.

"It's just like putting a kid in timeout," Bennett said. "Do you give them their favorite things?"

PROSTITUTES AND 'RED HOUSES'

Mississippi's current program is for well-behaved, married inmates in minimum custody levels, but the practice began far differently.

The Mississippi prison warden who established the country's first conjugal visits program limited it to black male inmates, in the belief that the chance for sex would help control their aggression and make them work harder in the cotton fields.

Prostitutes were brought in for prisoners without wives or girlfriends. The program opened to white men in the 1940s after buildings, known as "red houses" for their paint color, were built to make the sexual encounters seem more respectable.

Female prisoners did not become eligible for conjugal visits in Mississippi until 1972.

Last month, Epps announced his decision to discontinue all conjugal visits and inflamed proponents of the program when he waded into the debate over whether prisoners should have the chance to procreate while behind bars.

"Even though we provide contraception, we have no idea how many women are getting pregnant only for the child to be raised by one parent," he said in a statement.

One such woman, Glendia Mason, a 35-year-old criminal justice instructor, said the fact that she conceived a daughter and a son with her husband while he serves a lengthy sentence for aggravated assault is none of the commissioner's business.

"I have a good job," Mason said. "I take care of my children." Conjugal visits provide more than sex, inmates' spouses said. They offer a chance, she said, "to talk and comfort one another like any other husband and wife."



Replies:
Posted By: mizzsandra00
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:09pm
Whatever....wanna spend time together....stop breaking the law.


Posted By: Omni Harmony
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:10pm
I feel kind of bad for them.  Especially if this goes on

PROSTITUTES AND 'RED HOUSES'

Mississippi's current program is for well-behaved, married inmates in minimum custody levels, but the practice began far differently.

The Mississippi prison warden who established the country's first conjugal visits program limited it to black male inmates, in the belief that the chance for sex would help control their aggression and make them work harder in the cotton fields.

Prostitutes were brought in for prisoners without wives or girlfriends. The program opened to white men in the 1940s after buildings, known as "red houses" for their paint color, were built to make the sexual encounters seem more respectable.

So married folks must stay celibate, but single ones get hookers.  And are black inmates really more aggressive?  come on!


Posted By: Omni Harmony
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:12pm
Originally posted by mizzsandra00 mizzsandra00 wrote:

Whatever....wanna spend time together....stop breaking the law.
but everyone needs intimacy.  What about the innocent that are locked up?  What about the ones that are serving way too long a sentence for a petty charge?

Its hardCry  My brothas already have it so rough, why kick him when he's down?>


Posted By: Yardgirl
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:14pm
Originally posted by Omni Harmony Omni Harmony wrote:

 And are black inmates really more aggressive?  come on!

If they're treated worse than other inmates, I could see why.


Posted By: blaquefoxx
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:18pm
Ah yes, I remember the long van rides with my mom upstate to see my dad for the weekend back in the day.


Posted By: BrownQtee
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:20pm
I was against conjugal visits until I realized they were only permitted for non-violent, well behaved prisoners under minimal security restrictions. They should keep it around, even if only for married inmates.


Posted By: JoliePoufiasse
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:21pm
They might as well put all the prisoners in front of a firing squad and be done with it. You don't get more dehumanized than this, they're making sure to break their spirits and reduce them to mere animals.


Posted By: Eden.
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:29pm
treating em like slaves foreal wtf


Posted By: Eden.
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:32pm
almost every weird law in the us is rooted in racism/slavery

crackers are hilarious

those white inmates back in the day musta been as hell when they brought in the women. claiming any drop of black blood they could to get a visit.


Posted By: hauteshellbi
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 3:51pm

Ah let them have their visits its not hurting anyone



Posted By: jonesable
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 4:06pm
Originally posted by mizzsandra00 mizzsandra00 wrote:

Whatever....wanna spend time together....stop breaking the law.
 
sigh...
Prison violence will likely sky rocket.
 
Good behavior, education,and visits are good for these people.Imma need the US to think a little differently. We obvio ain't doing something right.


Posted By: Senior Detective
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 4:07pm
Originally posted by BrownQtee BrownQtee wrote:

I was against conjugal visits until I realized they were only permitted for non-violent, well behaved prisoners under minimal security restrictions. They should keep it around, even if only for married inmates.
if this is the case then I am for it. I don't want any molesters or rapists getting that privilege


Posted By: thewonderfulwa
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 4:10pm
It will just be more sexual acts between COs and inmates.


Posted By: carolina cutie
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 4:24pm
Originally posted by thewonderfulwa thewonderfulwa wrote:

It will just be more sexual acts between COs and inmates.
And personal favors. Word to fmr Mississippi Gov Barbour and his inmates aka 'Barbour's boys' who were convicted murderers who worked on his property and got full pardons.Thumbs Down


Posted By: FarraFace
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 4:31pm
Quote Epps, chief of Mississippi's prisons since 2002, has noted that conjugal visits encourage good inmate behavior and strengthen families. Studies also show that states with the visits have lower levels of sexual violence among prisoners.

But the commissioner said he could no longer justify the supervision and maintenance costs in light of his department's $22.4 million budget deficit.

A corrections spokeswoman could not say how much money will be saved. During the last fiscal year, only 155 inmates out of the more than 22,000 in Mississippi received conjugal visits.

Within the next 5 years he's gonna be indicted for embezzling.




Posted By: 305bgirl
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 5:03pm
I remember reading studies showing that the more contact inmates have from loved ones/people on the outside, the more likely they are to make a smooth transition back into society/not return to prison. They want these people to go crazy on the inside, get out, and then get themselves right back in because they are so disconnected from the real world. It's all about the money at the end of the day. They can care less about these people making it back into society. They want them to re-offend. 

They should leave it in place for well behaved inmates. Let them get that nut, they may not wild out as much. 


Posted By: OrriannaRose
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 5:08pm
Originally posted by carolina cutie carolina cutie wrote:

Originally posted by thewonderfulwa thewonderfulwa wrote:

It will just be more sexual acts between COs and inmates.
And personal favors. Word to fmr Mississippi Gov Barbour and his inmates aka 'Barbour's boys' who were convicted murderers who worked on his property and got full pardons.Thumbs Down



Posted By: Senior Detective
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 6:10pm
This sh*t is so corrupt. They continue to keep their foot on black ppls neck


Posted By: ms_wonderland
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 6:18pm
getting sex twice per month is like plenty of married couples...pretty good gig.  I wonder who will advocate for them?  Saving money is what sings to ppl so I don't see the masses being upset enough to really care one way or the other.  Most ppl don't ever expect to be in a situation where it will matter in their lives.


Posted By: coconess
Date Posted: Jan 16 2014 at 6:21pm
i dont agree with this. 

but its mississippi..... so meh. 
id write a letter or think about protesting or something if it was a better state 



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