Prisoners in Italy could soon have a legal right to six to 24 hours of love making each month. The Italian parliament was scheduled to debate a "right to intimacy" bill Wednesday that would allow once-a-month conjugal visits from spouses, partners and acquaintances.
The Italian law, should it pass, would create "love rooms" for prisoners to spend time with their visitor without video or audio surveillance, according to the Local. Hearings for consideration of the bill will include testimony from inmates from a maximum security prison and their partners. They were expected to tell lawmakers about their experience having a relationship with another person when separated by bars.
A law of this sort would allow Italy to join much of the rest of Europe in that regard. Germany, Denmark and Spain all allow inmates to get together with loved ones every six to eight weeks. Those prisoners are given private rooms, condoms and bathing amenities.
Conjugal visits aren’t the norm everywhere. In the United States, extended visits are offered in only four states: California, Connecticut, New York and Washington, according to the Marshall Project. Federal prisons do not allow private visits. States have been slowly revoking the right. Last April, New Mexico suspended the privilege when it was discovered that a convicted killer had fathered four children as a result of the visits.
Conjugal visits tend to have security precautions in place, and some prisons will tell visitors if their spouse has tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease. Amenities vary, as well, from small cottages intended to imitate family homes to trailers to small apartments.
The visits aren’t necessarily all about sex. Some programs require that more than just a spouse be present, at least in the United States. In Connecticut, the inmate's child must also be present for an extended stay to be granted.