Doing Harder Time

Mississippi will stop conjugal prison visits on Feb. 1, ending a practice it is credited with introducing nearly a century ago. The state is one of five (along with California, New Mexico, New York and Washington) that allow the jailhouse trysts, in which some married inmates with a record of good behavior and a clean bill of health may spend private time with their spouse--usually in a trailer on prison grounds.

The practice began as an incentive for inmates at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, which the state operated as a for-profit plantation, but it came to be seen by some criminologists...

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