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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 5, 2021 01:37 PM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey
To: All House members
Subject: Inmate Visitation Rights
Individuals within the prison system often struggle with maintaining social support networks, seriously impacting their well-being and increasing the risk that they will commit another crime after being released.  However, visitation by family and friends can promote inmates’ social support, improving mental health and reducing the risk of recidivism.  Despite these benefits, under current law in Pennsylvania, inmates are not provided with the right to receive visitors, leaving this beneficial provision unprotected. 
For this reason, I will introduce legislation that would require all state prisons and county jails to provide inmates with a minimum of two in-person visits per week.  Each visit would be required to last for at least one hour and a minimum of three people would be allowed to attend each visit.   Furthermore, these new standards for visitation will not limit the use of video visitation which is provided in addition to the in-person visits.  This in-person visitation requirement would provide inmates with the social connection they need, improving the well-being of our incarcerated population and decreasing recidivism once individuals are released.   
It is my hope that you will support this essential legislation to ensure inmates’ right to social support is safeguarded, while also reducing recidivism. 

Introduced as HB2348