In New Mexico, a Department of Corrections spokesperson named Alex Tomlin said not only will the decision to cease conjugal visits stop the possibility of problems stemming from pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, but also save the state about $120,000 per year in expenses.
Tomlin clarified that two years of research was carried out to determine the likelihood an inmate would be incarcerated again after being released if he or she had the advantage of overnight visits from a partner. After the data was studied, researchers came to the conclusion that there was no impact on the rate of re-incarceration.
When the results of that study are combined with the risk of the possible issues discussed above, it makes sense why states like New Mexico have decided to do away with the practice. However, supporters of conjugal visits for prisoners say the rewards help positively influence the behavior of inmates, while also strengthening familial ties.
Conjugal prison visits do not occur in federal facilities. After New Mexico phases them out, they’ll only be permitted for prisoners in New York, California, Connecticut and Washington state.