New York 5/9/2012 11:28:58 AM
News / Law

Out With the Bar Scene, Enter Prison Pen Pal Websites Like

The Newest Way to Meet and Greet People Behind Bars.

Has the dating pool really gotten that shallow?  The days of the club and bar scene were over long ago.  The internet dating frenzy killed the meat markets and gave way to a whole new way of coming together with the opposite sex, or same sex if that’s your cup of tea. 

Today a new fad enters the public social scene., a website designed to connect inmates to people on the outside of their confining walls, has now gained ranks as a “dating” site for prisoners.  Though its intentions were to provide inmates and their families with a way to stay in touch, make new connections and find companionship.  Sometimes romances will spark from these new companionships.  Since all communication is done though the mail, relationships are created in the slowest fashion; friendship first and then a deeper bond grows. 

Why would anyone want to “date” a prisoner, or be friends with one for that matter?  Most who write to inmates say that they originally planned to write to someone who they felt needed a sounding board.  There are those who just like to root for the underdog and find it rewarding to share experiences and words of encouragement.    The inmates usually are in search of friends, but many make it clear from the beginning on their profile, that “romance” is what they seek.  It may seem like they are coming on a little strong, but these people are lonely and bored.  They will appreciate any interaction they can get.

 Many prisoners will choose to seek pen pals of both sexes and some will stick to just one gender.  Either way, getting a letter at mail call is better than sitting on a bunk with nothing.  With nothing to look forward to, inmates lose hope and become depressed which gives way to negative behaviors and acting out in an already brutal environment.  Though those who are incarcerated are serving a sentence for a crime they’ve committed, they are still people with the same needs as any of us.  The basic need for human interaction is crucial for their well being just as it is for any human being. provides inmates with a profile for a fee that the inmate pays through the mail, or the inmate will have a family member upload them directly to the user friendly website and pay for the service through PayPal.  Each profile can contain photos and brief bios or descriptions of the inmate.    Some will write poetry and some will provide the site with art they’ve created in hopes that their talent will attract attention.   They are required to list their release date, but does not require the inmates to list their crime, but they do however provide a link to Inmate locator so that the viewer can verify information about the inmate directly from the department of corrections.  That’s one of the perks of befriending an inmate.  You can check them out from afar, so that you feel comfortable with the person you are writing to.

Writing an inmate may not be your thing, but among the bad apples in the prison barrel are many normal, friendly, and entertaining potential friends. receives over 17,000 page views monthly, proving that there is market for the inmate companionship services.