Understanding Differences in the Relationship Between Prison Visitation and Recidivism

The purpose of this project is to examine the effects of prison visitation on recidivism, and how this relationship varies by gender and across racial and ethnic groups. Male and female inmates, and prisoners from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, may have access to different levels and types of social support during imprisonment, and they may face unique social and structural disadvantages upon their release from prison. As such, the quality of visitation encounters and the function that visits serve may differ across groups. The current project examines these possibilities by combining quantitative and qualitative data on prisoners in Arizona. Quantitative data on over 15,000 prisoners released from the Arizona Department of Corrections between 2011 and 2013 will be used to establish broad patterns between visitation and recidivism. Qualitative data from interviews with 231 prisoners currently incarcerated will provide more detailed information on inmates’ experiences with visitation. In combination, the analyses will help determine who benefits from prison visitation and why.


Arizona State University Principal Investigator: Kevin Wright, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Sam Houston State University Co-Principal Investigator: Melinda Tasca, College of Criminal Justice

Florida State University Co-Principal Investigator: Jillian Turanovic, College of Criminology & Criminal Justice

Dates: 2015-2017

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation

Funding Amount: $168,946

For more information, please contact Jillian Turanovic