This paper presents an overview of the contemporary practice of conjugal and family visitation practices across Australia. Drawing on elite interviews with Members of Parliament, Ministers and lead prison reform advocates the current approaches are understood and contextualised. Responding to issues of public concern with prisoner benefits, the regime of visits is scrutinised. The visits are recognised within the elite interviews for their use in improving prisoner rehabilitation and thus reducing reoffending rates. They also help to lessen secondary victimisation of families and friends and have been noted for their ability to improve prison management. This research outlines and identifies the varied operation of visits within an Australian context. In particular, focus is place on the category of offenders visits are available to, how frequently visits occur and other practical and operational issues in order to ensure an effective and defensible visitation regime is utilised.
In October I completed my Honours year at Monash University. My Honours thesis looked at the policy and practice of conjugal visitation in Australia. I hope to study further, potentially expanding on my Honours research in the future.