Chicago Sun-Times

HEARTS CLUB

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In­mates in Illi­nois pris­ons are al­lowed to hold hands with vis­i­tors and even kiss them, but sex is out of the ques­tion, of­fi­cials say. Con­ju­gal vis­its are banned by the Illi­nois Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions and in the fed­eral prison sys­tem, but they’re per­mit­ted in six states: Cal­i­for­nia, Con­necti­cut, Mis­sis­sippi, New Mex­ico, New York and Wash­ing­ton. And in 2007, Cal­i­for­nia be­gan al­low­ing same-sex con­ju­gal vis­its. In Illi­nois, in­mate-vis­i­tor hand­hold­ing is done across a ta­ble, said Jan­uari Smith, a spokes­woman for the state prison sys­tem. “We like for them to give kisses at the beginning or end of the visit,” Smith said. “We don’t want peo­ple mak­ing out in the vis­it­ing room.”

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