Given the importance of family helping offenders reintegrate into communities, this study examined the impact of in-prison contact with family members and the possible influence visits had on post-release family relationships. The authors interviewed 233 male prisoners in Chicago before and after their release to analyze the quality of their relationships with family members. The study further examined the frequency and types of in-prison contact and its correlation to post-release family support. The authors found that in-prison contact with family members improved the level of support post-release, especially when children were involved.
Despite the separation and strains caused by incarceration, the authors found that the quality of family relationships and level of family support were relatively consistent over time.