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Prison Visitation and Recidivism

Title: Prison Visitation and Recidivism.
Name(s): Mears, Daniel P., author
Cochran, Joshua C., author
Siennick, Sonja E., author
Bales, William D., author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Date Issued: 2012-12-01
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Scholars and policymakers have called for greater attention to understanding the causes of and solutions to improved prisoner reentry outcomes, resulting in renewed attention to a factor—prison visitation—long believed to reduce recidivism. However, despite the theoretical arguments advanced on its behalf and increased calls for evidence-based policy, there remains little credible empirical research on whether a beneficial relationship between visitation and recidivism in fact exists. Against that backdrop, this study employs propensity score matching analyses to examine whether visitation of various types and in varying amounts, or “doses,” is in fact negatively associated with recidivism outcomes among a cohort of released prisoners. The analyses suggest that visitation has a small to modest effect in reducing recidivism of all types, especially property offending, and that the effects may be most pronounced for spouse or significant other visitation. We discuss the implications of the findings for research and policy.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1461944713 (IID), 10.1080/07418825.2011.583932 (DOI)
Publication Note: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Justice Quarterly in December 2012, available online:
Preferred Citation: Mears, Daniel P., Joshua C. Cochran, Sonja E. Siennick, and William D. Bales. 2012. “Prison Visitation and Recidivism.” Justice Quarterly 29(6):888-918.
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Justice Quarterly.
Issue: iss. 6, vol. 29

Choose the citation style.
Mears, D. P., Cochran, J. C., Siennick, S. E., & Bales, W. D. (2012). Prison Visitation and Recidivism. Justice Quarterly. Retrieved from