Survey of Jail Visitors About Visitation Policies

Judith E. Sturges, Aref M. al-Khattar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Little has been written about policies affecting the public who visit jails. As the number of jail inmates increases, many offenders’ families are affected. For the majority, their first contact with the criminal justice system might be by visiting an inmate in jail. This study measured the levels of visitors’ understanding and satisfaction with visitation policies at two county jails in a northeastern state. A total of 281 visitors from two county jails completed the surveys. Data from this study revealed that—to meet the needs of the visitors—attention should be given to methods of visiting, jail staff training, dissemination of visitation policies, and conditions of inmate incarceration. By addressing these issues, problems that visitors encounter while visiting inmates may be lessened, and their concerns about inmates may be decreased. These changes may lead to more amenable interactions between visitors and jail staff during visitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-496
Number of pages15
JournalThe Prison Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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