Releases From a Local Jail: The Impact of Visitation on Recidivism

AuthorWilliam M. Casey,William D. Bales,Jennifer E. Copp
Published date01 June 2021
Date01 June 2021
Subject MatterArticles
Criminal Justice Policy Review
2021, Vol. 32(4) 427 –441
© The Author(s) 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/0887403420919480
Releases From a Local Jail:
The Impact of Visitation on
William M. Casey1, Jennifer E. Copp1,
and William D. Bales1
There is a large body of research that examines the impact of visitation on the likelihood
of recidivism among released state prisoners. That research reveals that receiving any
visits, and a greater number of visits, reduces the likelihood of recidivism. However,
whether the recidivism-reducing effect of visitation operates within the jail setting
remains unclear. Using data from a Florida jail, the current investigation examines
the association between visitation and recidivism among a cohort of releases (N =
6,565). Analyses also consider the extent to which the frequency of visits impacts
the likelihood of recidivism. Findings from a series of logistic regression models
reveal that inmates who received visits were no less likely to recidivate than their
counterparts. Yet, among inmates who were visited, those receiving more frequent
visits were less likely to recidivate. This departs from existing visitation research and
underscores the importance of directing research attention to local jails.
jails, visitation, recidivism, reentry
Researchers have long established that the deprivations that characterize prison life
have consequences for inmates (Sykes, 1958). One of the most salient deprivations
includes the loss of liberty, which may dissolve and/or strain inmates’ intimate and
family relationships (Adams, 1992; Harman et al., 2007; Petersilia, 2003; Siennick
et al., 2014). This weakening of social ties has potential implications for inmates’
1Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
Corresponding Author:
William M. Casey, Florida State University, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Eppes Hall, 112
South Copeland Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1273, USA.
919480CJPXXX10.1177/0887403420919480Criminal Justice Policy ReviewCasey et al.

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