Conjugal visits are meant to preserve family relationships and make inmate rehabilitation more successful. These visits can be used for more than just sexual activity; visits can include family bonding activities and may involve the inmate's spouse, children or other relatives. For this reason conjugal visits are also called extended family visits. The visits are held on prison grounds in a room somewhat like an apartment that may have one or more bedrooms, be fully furnished and have cooking supplies. The visits can be anywhere from 1 hour to 48 hours long depending on the state correctional department's program.
Although the Florida Department of Corrections prison facilities do not offer conjugal visits to their inmates, a study conducted at Florida International University from 2004 to 2006 indicates that conjugal visits may result in fewer sexual assaults and rapes in prison. The study showed that prisons offering conjugal visits had four times fewer incidents of sexual violence than those prisons that did not offer conjugal visits.
However, the study did not influence the U.S. Department of Corrections stance on extended family visits, as Florida never started an extended family visit program. The states of Mississippi and New Mexico ended their conjugal programs in 2014 for budget reasons. Both concluded that conjugal visits were not producing significant positive outcomes in their facilities.Learn more about Crime