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Utah prison drops ‘English-only’ rule during visits to inmates
Corrections » Changes relax the rules regulating visits to Utah inmates.

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"The need for support for inmates is so great and visiting is an important component," she said. "Being able to have friends and family on more than one list just helps to provide more support to the inmates from the community."

Her relative had to constantly add and drop unmarried female cousins and friends from his visitor list to comply with the old rules, which Prince said was a laborious process and perpetuated a stereotype about interactions between inmates and unmarried women. The rule kept her own mother, who is not biologically related to Prince’s incarcerated relative, from visiting before she passed away; it also kept an 84-year-old friend who wanted to visit off the list.

At a glance

Rules at state prisons run gamut

» New York State allows up to six hour visits, 365 days a year, in its maximum security units

» North Carolina allows only one visit per week for up to two hours in maximum security

» California does not limit the number of approved visitors an inmate may place on his or her list

» Pennsylvania allows inmates to have 40 people on a visitation list

» South Dakota allows only two visitors plus immediate family

» Tennessee requires visitors to wait one year between being removed from one inmate’s list and added to that of another

» Utah requires all visitors to reapply every year for approval

» Oklahoma prohibits married inmates from receiving visits from friends of the opposite gender

» New Hampshire prohibits all toys from visiting rooms

Source: Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty State Survey by Chesa Boudin, Trevor Stutz and Aaron Littman of Yale Law School, November 2012, available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2171412

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"There are plenty of single females who have no interest in romance. They just have a cousin or nephew or friend from high school and want to visit," she said.


Twitter: @Brooke4Trib

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