Trinidad to allow sex in prison?

The nation of Trinidad has been troubled by the diminishing focus on family life.

This week, Justice Minister Herbert Volney came up with a solution. In order to encourage family life, conjugal visits should be allowed in the nations’ prisons, The Trinidad Express reports.

Based on the immediate feedback, the nation didn’t think it was such a hot idea.

The general consensus can be summed up along the following line: “They get free meals, accommodation and clothing. Add in sex and they'll treat the prison like it's vacation.”

One commenter thought that conjugal visits work only in more advanced countries, not in Trinidad, where prisoners sleep on floors. “Families have to shout at their loved ones who are incarcerated during visitation, it is pure chaos. Ten people in a cage shouting at their family ten feet away,” he wrote.

How does one have sex in under such circumstances?

Volney, however, appears to be shocked his nation thinks that conjugal visits automatically mean “sexual intercourse.” According to him, conjugal visits are primarily there with the idea “where a man can sit with his wife and chat with her.” Whether sexual intercourse will be allowed is going to be a matter of national dialog, he insists.

And, on the website of The Trinidad Express, that dialog is already beginning with a flurry of questions:

How much time will be allotted for prisoners to have sex?

Who would be allowed to provide the service? Wives only?

Where are the prisoners going to have sex?

How much privacy will they have? Will someone be watching the act to ensure that their partners don't pass on drugs, guns or any other contraband material during the exercise?

What about gay and lesbian prisoners? Will they be facilitated too?

What about contraception or AIDS testing?

For those prisoners who may have erectile dysfunction, will they be afforded assistance via Viagra?

Will the prison service facilitate freaky sex? Dominatrix, bondage, homosexual? (In Trinidad, apparently, homosexual partnerships aren’t just considered “freaky," they are also illegal).

And the baby mama of all questions: Will taxpayer money be used for this exercise?

All relevant questions and not unlike those asked by tax payers elsewhere, even in the “more advanced countries“ Trinidad is talking about here.

In the US, for example, only six states allow conjugal visits. Releasing sexual tension is said to improve prisoners’ sexual behavior (think: decrease rape).

On the flip side, many American prisons do not even allow masturbation, Slate reported last week. In North Carolina, Tennessee, or Kentucky, touching sexual parts of oneself (or others) in prison apparently isn’t permitted. In California, the rules are a bit more liberal: masturbation needs to “stop when noticed by staff.”

Which is true in almost any circumstance, if you think about it. All you have to do is talk to a flight attendant. 

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