A Conjugal Visit With The Inmate Essay

A Conjugal Visit With The Inmate Essay

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A conjugal visit for an inmate allows for family members to have an extended private visit with the inmate. Many times this visit is just the legal spouse of the inmate and the couple may engage in sexual activity if they so choose. All information in this paper will focus on the idea of conjugal visitation with a legal spouse for the purpose of sexual activity between the inmate and the spouse while confined to a penal institution within the United States. Inmates have gotten creative in their petitions to the courts; while they are persistent in claiming violations of their First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, the inmates have not been successful in obtaining the opinion of the courts that favor their position.
Due to the fact that a conjugal visit is essentially a contact visit one would be justified in reckoning that it is liable to Supreme Court ruling in Toussaint v. McCarthy. While Toussaint was not a case on conjugal visits directly, it was, a case concerning contact visitations. In the aforementioned case the Supreme Court found that inmates have no protected constitutional right to contact visits; therefore it would be logical that inmates have no constitutional right to conjugal visits by default. However, inmates are crafty and have brought up the issue of conjugal visits under many other pretenses to the courts, albeit unsuccessfully to this point (1986).
The eighth amendment violation is one many inmates bring before the courts. Tarlton v. Clark is a case in which the courts refused to rehear the case regarding the inmates alleged right to a conjugal visit. The courts held in Tarlton that the conjugal visits fail to reach a level which would be a constitutional right. Seeing this has not deterred inmates f...


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...efined in section 1997 of this title, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest” (Protection of religious exercise of institutionalized persons, 42 U.S. Code § 2000cc–1).
The case of Thomas v. Corbett, which is still in the courts places the burden on the institution to prove that under RLUIPA denying the conjugal visit meets the criteria mentioned above. The challenge is coming from an inmate who is of the Muslim faith claiming that by denying a conjugal visit with his spouse is violating his constitutional rights under the First Amendment, more specifically the free exercise clause which is what RLUIPA pertains to (2014).

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