Monday, May 23, 2022


Pennsylvania tries to land a regional hydrogen hub, a new study confirms college grads are twice as likely to get good jobs, and a U.S. military plane flies 35 tons of baby formula from Germany to Indianapolis.


Operation Fly Formula's first shipment arrives, worries of global food shortages grow, President Biden is concerned about a monkeypox outbreak, and a poll says Americans support the Title 42 border policy.


From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Researchers: Family Contact Vital for People in Jail or Prison


Monday, December 27, 2021   

As holiday celebrations continue, groups that study issues in prisons say families with a loved one who's incarcerated should make attempts to connect with them. They say even with barriers in states like Iowa, the visit has lasting impact.

The Prison Policy Initiative says 50 years of research has found that people held in state prisons who receive in-person visits are less likely to be reincarcerated after their release.

The Initiative's Communications Strategist Wanda Bertram said in recent years, prison and jail systems have added a variety of barriers making it tougher to connect in person, by phone or by mail. But she said that shouldn't deter families.

"We want higher rates of success when people leave prison and they're re-entering society," said Bertram. "You know, we want people who are mentally well."

Separately, Iowa researchers have found a connection between visitation and a person's tendency to obey rules inside a correctional facility.

Bertram noted that Iowa has been among the states with higher costs for a 15 minute call from jail. But the Initiative secured a victory this year when the Iowa Utilities Board agreed to cap the rates set by jail phone companies.

As for better outcomes, Bertram said it goes beyond reducing recidivism - the benefits can be seen in a variety of ways.

"People who are frequently in touch with family have better mental health outcomes," said Bertram. "It actually impacts their physical health, it impacts their improvement in school and educational programs."

As the nation sees another COVID surge, Bertram said she worries administrators around the country will go to greater lengths to block visits.

Iowa has yet to go back to restricting in-person visits at state facilities after resuming them over the summer. But Bertram said there's concern about the potential for a patchwork of restrictions at county-level jails.

get more stories like this via email
Around 17% of bachelor's degrees awarded to Black students nationwide come from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and research shows HBCUs boost economic mobility and generational wealth.(Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

One of North Carolina's oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities is finding new ways to help students stay enrolled and graduate. Recent …

Social Issues

A new survey finds 8 in 10 Kentucky parents say afterschool programs could help their child combat social and mental-health struggles by reducing unpr…


A technology that once existed only in science fiction soon could emerge as a viable solution to climate change. The city of Flagstaff has added …


Minnesota has more than 10,000 brownfield sites, which are abandoned or idled properties in need of contamination removal. State officials will soon …

Georgetown researchers found that Black American women are the most likely to have to turn to student loans for college, and hold the most student loan debt, compared with their peers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By age 35, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher are about twice as likely as workers with just a high school diploma to have a good job - one …


The mayor of Huntington, where more than 200 homes were recently damaged by severe flooding, said now is the state's "one chance" to prevent other …

Social Issues

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in North Dakota, prompting state officials to launch an online dashboard, where the public …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021