Legal basis for practice principle 2

Courts and international conventions do not explicitly cite the presence of, or opportunity to develop, personal relationships as a necessary component of human dignity. However, family life is considered a core value in several international texts. For instance, respect for family life is defined as a basic human right in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and both the European Commission on Human Rights and the ECHR have long recognized the need for its protection.The European Commission has explained that "it is an essential part of a prisoner's right to respect for family life that prison authorities assist him in maintaining effective contact with his close family members. It is also an essential part of both private life and the rehabilitation of prisoners that their contact with the outside world be maintained as far as practicable order to facilitate their reintegration in society on release. . . . " See X v. United Kingdom, no. 9054/80, Commission decision of October 8, 1982, DR 30, p. 113, For a similar ruling in the ECHR, see Messina v. Italy, (No. 2) 2000-X, 63-82, 74, § 61,  Specific to prisons, Rules 58 and 59 of the Nelson Mandela Rules state that (1) “Prisoners shall be allowed, under necessary supervision, to communicate with their family and friends at regular intervals” and (2) “Prisoners should be allocated, to the extent possible, to prisons close to their homes or their places of social rehabilitation."The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, Rule 59, This sentiment is echoed in the proposed Dignity Act, a Senate bill that, if enacted, would mandate that if an incarcerated person has children, he or she must be placed as close to the children as possible. S. 1524, 115th Congress (2017-2018),  The European Commission on Human Rights has interpreted this right broadly, declaring that it means “the right to establish and develop relationships with other human beings, especially in the emotional field for the development and fulfillment of one’s own personality.”See X v. Iceland, Commission Application no. 6825/74, European Commission of Human Rights Vol 5, 86-87,  Many advocates support the view that family life and personal relationships contribute to the individuality aspect of human dignity: “Who one is and where one comes from are defining elements of individuality and for most people family life is an important element of this.”Andrew Coyle, Humanity in Prison: Questions of Definition and Audit (London: International Centre for Prison Studies, 2003), 39.

To the extent that positive interactions between people and the development of social relationships are a defining aspect of living in modern society, both the European Prison Rules and the Nelson Mandela Rules advocate for minimizing the differences between prison and outside life—sometimes known as the “normalization” principle—in order to mitigate the negative effects of incarceration and increase chances for successful rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.Nelson Mandela Rules, Rule 5: “The prison regime should seek to minimize any differences between prison life and life at liberty that tend to lessen the responsibility of the prisoners or the respect due to their dignity as human beings.” U.N. General Assembly, United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules): resolution / adopted by the General Assembly, January 8, 2016, A/RES/70/175. European Prison Rules, Rule 5: “Life in prison shall approximate as closely as possible the positive aspects of life in the community.” Council of Europe: Committee of Ministers, Recommendation Rec(2006)2 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on the European Prison Rules (January 11, 2006).  Consistent with this principle, German corrections officials, for example, routinely award people in prison short-term or extended home leave to visit with family or search for work or housing, recognizing that strong family and community connections foster successful reentry outcomes.Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has affirmed the importance of prison leave to the principles of resocialization and reintegration. See Frieder Dünkel and Dieter Rossner, “Germany,” in Imprisonment Today and Tomorrow: Perspectives on Prisoners’ Rights and Prison Conditions, edited by Dirk van Zyl Smit and Frieder Dünkel (New York: Springer, 2001), 288-350, 330-31. Also see Dirk van Zyl Smit and Sonja Snacken, Principles of European Prison Law and Policy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 78.  Though the practice is not common, some facilities in the United States have extended family visitation policies that allow children and immediate family members longer visits, which may last overnight in special facilities designated for this purpose. These programs vary in terms of which family members are allowed to visit, for how long, and where they stay. Some facilities offer such visits through agency programming or in partnership with local community or faith-based organizations.Seven jurisdictions allow for overnight family visits (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Nebraska, New York, South Dakota, and Washington); three are limited to women and their children (Colorado, Nebraska, and South Dakota), while the rest include conjugal visits (private time between an incarcerated person and his or her spouse or domestic partner). See Chesa Boudin, Trevor Stutz, and Aaron Littman, “Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty-State Survey,” Yale Law & Policy Review 32, no. 1 (2013), 149-89, 175, For example, the Family Reunion Program, which has operated in New York State for decades, allows eligible parents (those with lower security designations who are not assigned to a special housing unit and have not demonstrated a pattern of disruptive behavior) to receive extended visits from immediate family members in on-site, private mobile homes. Another example is a program for incarcerated mothers and their preadolescent children at Minnesota Correctional Facility–Shakopee. The program offers one overnight weekend visit each month for children under 11. These visits are highly structured and situated within the Anthony Parenting Program, which requires mothers to attend parenting classes. See Lindsey Cramer, Margaret Goff, Bryce Peterson, and Heather Sandstrom, Parent-Child Visiting Practices in Prisons and Jails: A Synthesis of Research and Practice (Washington, DC: Urban Institute, 2017),