Conjugal visits are a touchy subject.


Some people believe that they are a way to maintain intimacy and keep marriages alive, even when a spouse is incarcerated.

Others believe that they are a way for prisoners to get around the rules and engage in criminal activity.

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So, what is the truth? Are conjugal visits allowed in Washington State?

Let's take a look:

There are a lot of misconceptions about conjugal visits so let's clear a few things up. First and foremost, conjugal visits are not a right, they are a privilege that is extended to certain prisoners in some states.

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Secondly, conjugal visits are not just for sex, they are an opportunity for married prisoners to spend time with their spouses in a relaxed setting and even children are allowed during conjugal visits.

Lastly, while you may be thinking that conjugal visits would be a great way to reduce prisoner anxiety and prevent infidelity, the research just doesn't support that claim.

What are Conjugal Visits?

Conjugal visits are overnight visits between an incarcerated person and their spouse. They typically last between 8 and 10 hours and take place in private quarters within the prison. In some cases, children may also be able to visit their parent who is incarcerated.

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Are Conjugal Visits Still Allowed In Washington State?

The United States Federal Bureau of Prisons does not allow conjugal visits for prisoners in federal custody according to

Washington is one of only four states that allow conjugal visits along with New York, California, and Connecticut at the state level of prisons.

One thing that has changed in Washington State, is conjugal visits have been relabeled as "family visits".

California calls it "contact visits" while New York calls it a "family reunion" program according to the website

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In the 1990s, 17 states had conjugal visits programs but they've dwindled to the four mentioned above.

Although conjugal visits have been a controversial topic throughout history, it seems clear that they are currently allowed in Washington State at the state prison level.

If you have questions about whether or not your spouse will be able to see you during their incarceration, you should contact the Department of Corrections directly for more information.

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