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Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

Riding the Bus: Barriers to Prison Visitation and Family Management Strategies (Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Vol. 21 No. 1, February 2005 31-48)

  • Organization: Rutgers University
  • Author: Johanna Christian
  • Document Type: Report
  • Date Created: Tuesday, February 01, 2005
  • Submitted: Friday, January 05, 2007
  • Attachment(s): PDF

Geographic separation from family is one consequence of imprisonment. Depending on the state, prisons are often located in remote, rural areas that are far from the urban cores many prisoners come from. Although scholars frequently cite the distance of prison facilities from prisoners' families' residences, scant research has addressed whether this is in fact an impediment to visiting or how families who do visit manage this process. It is an exhausting, resource intensive process for a family member to make one visit at a prison. Understanding how families decide how much of their resources to devote to maintaining their relationship with the prisoner is important. Using data collected through ethnographic observation and interviews, this article explores family management of prison visiting as one of the collateral consequences of incarceration.

Keywords: prisoners; families; prison visiting; prisoner connections to family

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