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Prisoners Have No Absolute Right to Visits

The United State Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that a convicted prisoner has no absolute right to visitation. According to the court, family visits are a privilege that is subject to the discretion of the prison authorities, so long as the visiting policy conforms to legitimate penological objectives. The judgment against an Alabama prisoner, who was denied a visit with his family, was affirmed on the trial court's findings of fact. See: Evans v. Johnson, 808 F.2d 1427 (11th Cir. 1987).

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Related legal case

Evans v. Johnson

Evans v. Johnson, 808 F.2d 1427 (11th Cir. 02/02/1987)

[1] U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

[2] No. 86-7017

[3] 808 F.2d 1427, 1987

[4] February 02, 1987


[6] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

[7] Leslie Evans, for Appellant.

[8] Hon. Charles A. Graddick, Attorney General, for Appellee.

[9] Roney, Chief Judge, Hill and Kravitch, Circuit Judges.

[10] Author: Per Curiam

[11] Leslie Evans filed this 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 civil rights complaint against his prison warden, alleging his constitutional rights were violated when prison officials would not allow his family to visit him on June 26, 1984. Based on the applicable law and the facts found by the district court, set forth in the magistrate's report after an evidentiary hearing, which findings are not clearly erroneous, judgment was properly entered against plaintiff.

[12] A convicted prisoner has no absolute constitutional right to visitation, such privilege being subject to the discretion of prison authorities, provided the visitation policies of the prison meet legitimate penological objectives. Lynott v. Henderson, 610 F.2d 340, 342 (5th Cir. 1980); McCray v. Sullivan, 509 F.2d 1332, 1334 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 859, 96 S. Ct. 114, 46 L. Ed. 2d 86 (1975).

[13] The facts in this case clearly meet that standard.