Volunteers organized a van trip for families of inmates incarcerated at Red Onion State Prison and Wallens Ridge State Prison, which are located near the border of Kentucky and Virginia, in Wise County, VA. The supermax prisons are approximately 31 miles apart. Most of the people making the trip are from Virginia urban centers: Washington D.C., Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Richmond and Roanoke.
Incarcerated men and women often do not serve their time alone. The impact of their incarceration reverberates back to the communities from which they wereremoved. Most inmates are incarcerated more than 100 miles from their homes.
The barriers to visiting an incarcerated loved one can be high. According to a study published in Crime and Delinquency, written by Joshua Cochran, Daniel Mears, and William Bales, the average inmate only received 2.1 visits over the course of their entire sentence.
The combination of distance, lack of transportation, missed days of work, and organizing childcare can be too much for some people to overcome. For inmates, not receiving visits while incarcerated can have “collateral consequences” that damages social ties to family and community.