Lucian and Tertullian provide vivid accounts of Christians’ visits to prisoners in antiquity.
Lucian’s description of Peregrinus of Parium (Parion) probably doesn’t describe the early Christian heretic Marcion of Sinope.
Smearing yourself with mud, masturbating, getting flogged, insulting the emperor, & committing suicide were attention-seeking tactics in ancient Greece.
A imprisoned debtor’s spouse and children often lived with him in prison. Debtor-prisoners also lived just outside the prison walls in the “bounds.”
Neither court cases nor the prisoner re-entry literature focuses on the broad public value of prisoners’ communication with persons not in prison.
Penal Congresses probably did less to change penal ideas than to disseminate penal ideas to officials who sought to acquire them from among the leading, competing models.