People in prison are often incarcerated far from their home communities, making visitation with family members difficult or impossible. Yet, studies show that in-person visitation can lead to improved behavior in custody and reduced risk of recidivism post-release. This study aims to explore a new visitation option for people incarcerated far from home: video visitation. The study will explore whether the availability of video visitation can improve the nature and frequency of an incarcerated person’s family contact and improve their behavior in prison. This study also examines the current landscape of video visitation in prisons nationwide and offers a detailed case study of implementation in the Washington State Department of Corrections, an early adopter. The study is funded by the National Institute of Justice.

Project Objectives

  • Vera will study whether video visitation can help improve and maintain family relationships for people incarcerated far from home. 

  • Vera’s report will provide valuable empirical evidence to inform policy debates about family contact, investments, and policies related to video visitation.