Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live a life behind bars? TV shows and movies make it seem like it’s nothing but sitting in a cell, going to the cafeteria for meals and then some outdoor time an hour a day. Other programs glamorize it, making it seem like living the prison life is much, much easier than other shows portray it to be. In reality, these are human beings who have been put away for whatever reason, and NO, it does not automatically mean they are terrible people. Sure, they had to have committed a crime to land themselves there, but oftentimes, prisoners and convicts are normal people who simply made a mistake and regret it every day during their sentence.
Prisoners are real people, not actors or celebrities. They are mothers and fathers, artists and intellectuals, and above all, they are human. Living life behind bars can get extremely lonely, especially if you are confined between the prison walls for years at a time. One thing that prisoners can look forward to is their occasional letters they receive in the mail from a pen pal!
A lot of prisoners’ families simply push their incarcerated loved one out of their heads, leaving them high and dry with no one to interact with in the outside world. You can certainly brighten a prisoner’s day by sending them a letter or interacting with them through one of these best prison dating websites we will get to in just a bit!
13 Best Prison Dating Sites For Free
Check out our top picks below:
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As one of the largest prison pen pal sites there is, Meet-an-Inmate gives you tons of available inmates who have posted personal ads in search of communication. It does not specify that this is a “dating” site, but more of a pen pal website for prisoners; regardless, you can discuss or pursue whatever you choose, so that is why it can be considered a dating website.
- You have a larger user base of prisoners in search of interaction
- You can scroll through inmate photos and briefly read about them when choosing a pen pal
- Not technically considered a “dating” site, but more of a site where you can connect with an inmate
This site is basically the same concept as the one above, but it has more specific search filters. You can find the prisoner you are wanting to connect with and start writing today!
- You can narrow your searches as specifically as possible
- Still more of a pen pal site than a dating site, but anything can happen!
You can choose between contacting your prisoner pen pal through email or snail mail. You might even get to know them well enough to go and physically visit them!
- This site is a little more interactive, with poems and artwork and VIP members
- More males than females
This site believes that the cruel and unusual punishment that prisoners receive should be abolished and prisoners should be shown more compassion and understanding. They have several inmate profiles looking for pen pals so they don’t have to endure the isolation that prison causes them to go through.
- The most compassionate and understanding site
- Not a very large user base; primarily male
With over 1,000 inmate profiles to choose from, you can use this site to connect with someone doing time on the inside. This mobile friendly site is frequently updated, and it even gives you the option to upload your own prisoner profile for a loved one!
- Largest user base out of all the sites
- Mobile friendly
- None could be found
Although the site has a few grammatical errors and isn’t the fanciest one around, the premise is understood that this is an actual prisoner dating website. You can browse all the single inmates and if someone catches your eye, you can send them a letter or an email to start your connection today!
- They have an app you can download for a more convenient experience
- More on the dating website side than just a pen pal site
- The site looks a little bit rough in regards to spelling and grammar, but functions normally
The site claims it’s the best prisoner dating site available, but we will let you decide for yourself! You can enter your location and find prisoners more local to you, or you can go another route and randomize your location to find a prisoner further away.
- You can narrow down to your specific location
- More of a dating site than just a pen pal site
- Site is not very detailed, has very few features, and does not seem very mobile friendly
Here, you can either find a new friend behind bars, or maybe even meet your soulmate! At Friends Beyond the Wall, you’ll be able to connect and interact with a wide variety of different available prisoners.
- Wide array of different prisoners
- Mostly for “friendship” connections, but establishing a romantic relationship isn’t unheard of
Since most of the other sites a predominantly male, this site provides a platform specifically for female inmates. When you visit Women Behind Bars, you are presented with tons of available ladies who want that connection and interaction they’ve been lacking their entire sentence.
- Provides you with specifically female inmates, rather than any males
- You definitely won’t find any male inmates on this website
This dating site is for either formerly or currently incarcerated individuals, so they can all connect with one another with a type of common ground. While this one is geared a little more towards inmates interacting with one another, people on the outside world are welcome to join as well!
- More of a dating website
- For those who are formerly or currently in prison
- The website can be used by anyone, but it seems as though it’s more for those who have been incarcerated to connect with one another
Much like Women Behind Bars, this all-female dating website gives you tons of options to choose from. These women have either been in jail once in their lives or are currently in jail. You can browse through available candidates and decide who you want to begin your connection with!
- Dating website with only women listed
- No men available on the site to be contacted
Yes, you can use Match to connect with someone who is currently on the inside, or used to be locked up! Match is almost completely customizable when it comes to searches, so you can narrow down your search to former or current inmates.
- Match has THE largest dating user base in the world
- Used internationally
- Not all inmates will have access to Match, but rules vary from prison to prison
Believe it or not, a lot of prisoners (both current and former) use Facebook to connect with those on the outside world. Although Facebook is not specifically a dating website, tons of people use it as a dating platform because you can search for people based on their area, school they went to, etc. Facebook is used quite often to make new connections between people every day!
- Huge user base
- Most everyone uses Facebook
- Again, Facebook may not be easily accessed by someone who is currently doing time. The rules vary by prison.
FAQ about Inmate Dating
Q: What’s the point of writing someone you likely won’t ever get to meet in person?
A: Like I’ve previously stated above, these people are real live humans with emotions and rational thoughts. They deserve to have the opportunity to connect with someone on the outside so they can get a sense of normalcy, and maybe even make a lifelong friend in the process. You’ll make their day when they receive their anticipated letter in the mail from you; it will make them forget they’re locked up for a brief period of time!
Q: What do I say in my letter or message?
A: In your first letter or message, you could just tell them your name, your hobbies and interests, and maybe why you’ve decided to write them in the first place. You don’t have to go on for paragraphs to get your point across; try to establish some common ground and maybe some shared interests within your first few interactions. It can seem intimidating at first, but it will seem so natural once you’ve engaged in conversation with them!
Need to Knows: Warnings & Benefits
With any type of dating, you’ll want to be cautious, but when it comes to dating a current inmate, you will want to take a few extra precautions. These definitely are normal people, but you have no idea what they’ve gone through or witnessed. They could ultimately be a victim, or the main perpetrator in a crime, so you need to tread lightly on certain subjects with them. Maybe steer clear of trying to “prove” that they’re innocent, or justify what they did, and things of that nature. Just keep conversation normal and not out of the ordinary for safety purposes.
However, the benefit of writing back and forth and even potentially developing a relationship with someone who is incarcerated can outweigh the risks greatly. For one, you will have a fun little hobby and someone to talk to if you’re lonely, and you’ll also be helping a prisoner with their loneliness as well! It can be hard to live a life behind bars, so occasional or frequent contact with the outside world can make all the difference for them.
Just know that although you are talking to a person, they are in prison for a reason. People may judge you and say negative things, but you ultimately make your own decisions, and if you do decide to begin a relationship with an inmate, then good on you!
How to Avoid Scams
When interacting with a prisoner, you may come into contact with someone who only wants to contact someone on the outside in order to get them to send money, do favors, etc. Not everyone is like this, but if you are asked almost upfront for any type of money or gift, you’re better off cutting contact with that person. Most prisoners really only want a pen pal in order to stay connected with the outside world, but others have different plans in mind. Don’t ever give out your phone number or any close personal information, although you do have to provide a return address if you send letters back and forth. It’s best to get a PO box so you don’t have to give your correct address.
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