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Case in point | A ‘Jailhouse Rock’ for 2013

If inmates are allowed to have children with their wives by IVF why can't they be allowed to have intercourse, asks Richard Easton

10 July 2013

Elvis Presley's 1957 hit 'Jailhouse Rock' contains, perhaps unexpectedly, pop's first lyrical evocation of love between prisoners: "Number forty-seven said to number three, / You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see; / I sure would be delighted with your company, / Come on and do the jailhouse rock with me".

And it is the sexual activities of number forty-seven's and number three's English brethren that the Howard League for Penal Reform will report on in 2014. To gather evidence for what might prove to be the Kinsey Reports for prisoners, the Howard League's Commission on Sex in Prisons last month invited readers of the prisoners' paper Inside Time to speak of their experiences of sex in the slammer. But what of sex between inmates and their sweethearts 'on the out'? Why does this country still refuse to permit conjugal visits? Should the carceral and the carnal now meet and should prisoners be free to have sex?

Carceral and carnal

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