Should prisoners get more freedom for this?
Teresa Jo Burchfield, the wife of a GOP lawyer who has served under three presidents, was caught doing the deed with an inmate Fauquier County, Virginia jail. The pair were spotted trading physical favors for “workout pills” in the backseat of her car. She was charged with willfully delivering unauthorized articles to a confined prisoner.
This little incident opened up a larger conversation about what inmates are allowed to do to get pleasure, and whether or not our laws about romance in prison are archaic. Do you think that more physical intimacy could lead to less people in prison for shorter periods of time?
For the most part, intimate contact between prisoners, between prisoners and staff, and between prisoners and their visitors is not allowed. But studies done on s*xual relations in prison since the early 1900s prove that it happens all the time.
In this day and age, you’d think that more prisons would just accept that fact and work with it, yet most facilities choose to ignore what’s really going on.
A 1965 study conducted by researchers Ward and Kassebaum concluded that “between 30% and 75% of the inmates had s*xual affairs while in prison.” Half of those affairs are homosexual.
A 1976 survey by researcher named Propper revealed that people engaged in this illegal activity for “game playing, economic manipulation, loneliness, the need for companionship, and genuine affection.”
By 2014, researchers told The Daily Telegraph that romantic relationships between women in prison were “commonplace.”
Male inmates are far more likely to be coerced into s*x or raped than female inmates, but consensual relationships are also rampant. The lines between these different types of relationships can get blurry.
Daniel Genis spent ten years in prison for armed robbery and wrote the article “The Gentleman’s Guide to Prison S*x” upon his release. He explained how s*xual slavery relationships get started in male institutions. “Most often, this kid has no money and likes to get high; there are many such people in prison, and they tend to burn their bridges early and totally. And so the older man, who has usually already served major time, feeds the kid, and gets him a little something to smoke or snort. Now the kid has become a ‘fish,’ he wrote.
“They start working out together, then showering together, then there is a massage, and finally, the kid is asked to ‘help’ the older guy out.”