Christian Science Monitor reports that the online prisoner dating industry has grown from humble beginnings 1996 into a robust market today.Leading sites boast “between 7,000 and 10,000 ads” featuring prisoners seeking to connect.There are a number of options within Inmate Passions to help connect members, including the following: Inmate ‘Groups’ allow members to find others who share very specific interests / similarities.Inmate Forums allow members to post on topics of interest.Experts on the phenomenon believe that the emotional intensity of dating someone behind bars is actually extremely addictive.Others observe that law-abiding citizens seek anti-social lovers because they are unable to be truly intimate within a typical commitment. Then there is always the eternal appeal of the bad boy (or girl).“This is meet-an-inmate.com, not meet-a-girl-scout.com! People can get an image of what they think a person is like from a photo, description and a few letters,” Bischke warned.
Friends of participating inmates pay to update prisoners’ statuses and upload photos (and curiously people who are not inmates also join).
But does the sexy swag of a prisoner outweigh the risks of loving a violent offender?
Writer Julie Bindel of the British newspaper I once interviewed a woman who was waiting for a man to be released from a life sentence she had met via the prison pen pal service.
ABC News reports that there are over a dozen major prison dating sites.
Rare sites like make it clear that some of its proceeds are donated to programs that benefit the prisoner and ex-con community.
In her famous book, author Asha Bandele details the romantic courtship that led to her marriage to husband Zayd Rashid while he was serving a sentence of 20 years to life for murder.