Prisoners’ rights have been the centre of controversy for many years, with last month’s announcement they were to be allowed phones in cells causing much debate.
With the standards of prisons and prisoners’ human rights, such as voting, being violated, the issue of conjugal visits has also come up on the radar.
As it stands, UK prisoners are not allowed the visits, but US prisoners are, so we went out to the streets of Wimbledon and asked the public if they thought conjugal visits should be allowed?
Should prisoners be entitled to conjugal visits?
56% – Yes 44% – No
We found in Wimbledon that people felt prisoners should be entitled to conjugal visits, however, it was dependant on the crime.
For example, white collar crimes, such as fraud and laundering, would entitle prisoners to conjugal visits.
But prisoners who had committed a crime of a sexual nature should not receive this type of visit, because people viewed it as a luxury.
A BASIC NECESSITY: Mohammed Messai believes conjugal visits should be allowed
Mohammed Messai, 27, explained his younger brother had been previously incarcerated, and that sex was a basic human necessity.
He explained sex could be used as a tool to control the inmates and a way to maintain human interaction with the outside world.
He added: “You’re only with men and your testosterone levels go through the roof.”
Ultimately Mr Messai was an advocate for conjugal visits for all prisoners, maintaining the view it was a human need.
Whereas Carmen Douglas, 70, took a sarcastic approach to the question and said: “Conjugal visits? Are you kidding? They might as will be at home then!”
ARE YOU KIDDING?: Carmen Douglas was against the idea
She felt prison was a form of punishment and allowing prisoners to have sexual encounters would defeat the purpose and they wouldn’t be there if they had not done something wrong, so they should deal with the consequences.
Robert Mason, 73, said: “Just give them porn.”
He followed the majority in believing it depended on the crime committed, whether visits should be allowed.
GIVE THEM PORN: Robert Mason thought it depended on the crime committed
However, he thought there was a possibility of the facility being abused by drug smuggling or unmonitored conversations.
It remains to be seen whether the UK will follow in the US’s footsteps in facilitating prisoners’ in having a sex life.