Be a part of our Holding Hands campaign.

Dear friends and supporters,

Join our campaign to ask the Bureau of Prisons to allow people to hold hands during visits in federal prisons.

Research repeatedly illustrates the importance of human touch—whether between family
members, romantic partners, or friends—in emotional bonding, communication, trust, comfort,
and mental and physical health. 

Join Building Wings in asking the BOP to change its visiting regulations to provide for holding hands during visits in federal prisons.

Read the full petition below, then sign and share!

Find out more...

Sign our petition, which states:

Allow people to hold hands with loved ones during prison visits.

The Bureau of Prisons publicly states that "studies show that when inmates maintain relationships with friends and family, it greatly reduces the risk they will recidivate" and "with the inmate's eventual release, maintaining family ties will improve the likelihood of a successful reentry into the community, thus reducing the potential for recidivism."

Additionally, research repeatedly illustrates the importance of human touch—whether between family members, romantic partners, or friends—in emotional bonding, communication, trust, comfort, and mental and physical health.

However, the BOP's Program Statement 5267.08 that covers Visiting Regulations -- and states, "The Bureau of Prisons encourages visiting by family, friends, and community groups to maintain the morale of the inmate and to develop closer relationships between the inmate and family members or others in the community." -- does not provide of the allowance of hand holding during visits between prisoners and their loved ones.

We ask that the BOP change the Program Statement to allow for hand holding during visits in federal facilities. We propose that the text about physical contact during visits be revised to state:

"Staff shall permit limited physical contact, such as handshaking, embracing, kissing, and holding hands, between an inmate and a visitor, unless there is clear and convincing evidence that such contact would jeopardize the safety or security of the institution. Where contact visiting is provided, handshaking, embracing, and kissing are ordinarily permitted within the bounds of good taste and only at the beginning and at the end of the visit. Where contact visiting is provided, holding hands is permitted throughout the visit. The staff may limit physical contact to minimize opportunity for the introduction of contraband and to maintain the orderly operation of the visiting area."

Thank you for your attention to this important matter in the connections between prisoners and their loved ones.