DEBATE: Should prisoners be accorded conjugal rights?

Prison is a very tough place to be and that is something that each one of us must hammer into our heads before we attempt to commit a crime.

No. Punishment should not come with perks


Prison is a very tough place to be and that is something that each one of us must hammer into our heads before we attempt to commit a crime. The debate today is about whether people that are being held in correctional facilities deserve the right to conjugal rights. I cannot believe that someone can actually even table such an issue. Please do not get me wrong. I am not blind to the fact that just because someone committed a crime, they cease being human beings. Absolutely not.

What I need people to understand though is that we should be accountable and we should understand that for each crime, there is punishment and punishment ceases to have meaning if it comes with perks.

Sending someone who has been convicted of a crime to a correctional facility is the government’s way of giving the convict the opportunity to take time off their usual lifestyle, reflect upon their actions and hopefully rehabilitate themselves back to straight forward law abiding citizens.

With this opportunity however, the convicted person is then denied the chance to leave his or her holding area till they are done serving their sentence but they are allowed to, for example, exercise every day and to receive visits from friends and family of course within the walls of the correctional facilities and obviously the confines of the law.

I do not understand why people argue that saying no to conjugal rights is tantamount to abusing someone’s rights. The law is depriving them of pleasures like free movement and sex, not food, water or a right to sleep.

Saying that they should be allowed to have sex with their spouses is almost like asking why they are being locked behind closed doors anyway.

Whoever invented prison knew that the best way to drive a point home for some people was to show them how important some freedoms that they take for granted are. The idea was for someone to understand that there are repercussions and it was meant to be a constant reminder that if you can’t do the time, then you shouldn’t do the crime.

No one is abusing anyone’s rights. What people tend to forget is that fundamental rights are not unconditional; they can be limited or restricted on grounds, for example, of the common good.

It’s about the family, not the convict


I think prison is a very depressing place. And even though the people behind bars are there for a reason, to be honest, conjugal visits are more of a right than a privilege.

A conjugal visit is an arranged meeting where a prisoner is allowed to spend some time in private with a legal spouse to engage in sexual activity, should they wish to. Allowing prisoners to have these visits is a way of maintaining the bond between a couple, as well as helping prisoners to adapt to life after prison.

This process is important because I believe these visits check the habitual relapse in crime and also allows relationships in an emotional break-down to be maintained throughout the prison sentence, and that keeps the family together. Not only is keeping the family bond the main reason here, it would also help to curb down on homosexuality tendencies and the spread of HIV/AIDS in prisoners.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that lack of conjugal visits is responsible for homosexuality; the jury is still out on this issue. The only way that prisoners get close to sex is through masturbation; otherwise some usually end up in homosexual relationships with those who are naturally inclined towards same sex encounters. And then there are those who on the outside would never consider having sex with men, but the need for intimacy drives them to compromise.

Female members of staff become objects of sexual fantasy. Women who work in prisons sometimes have illicit relationships with inmates. But disgrace and humiliation await any worker who gets caught, while the prisoner simply gets a transfer.

But, let’s look at people serving long sentences; by the time they are eligible to get out, they might be too old to father children. But a conjugal visit can be a step forward in the prison visit scheme for those who want a child but have to contend with the idea that they might never get one.

These dedicated couples who want nothing more than a family should be considered for conjugal visits. Also, prohibiting conjugal visits is like a punishment to the other spouse. Some are not even interested in sex, but just a moment alone with their loved one minus the handcuffs and glares from the guards.

Prisoners are already doing their time by being locked up. It’s not fair that they should be denied something so natural.



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