“Correspondence with a stranger can give them something to look forward to and help their morale.” Yet his site and those similar to it feature inmate profiles as inviting as any on Ok Cupid.Posing in spruced-up versions of their prison uniforms, prisoners use these sites to sell themselves to potential pen pals and describe the types of people they want to meet.The two continued to see one another after the woman was released, said Andrew Lo Tempio, Donalson’s attorney.
Arlen Bischke started a prisoner pen-pal site called in 1998 to help prisoners connect to the outside world.
“They become very lonely and often get cut off from their friends and family,” Biske told the Grio.
Leading sites boast “between 7,000 and 10,000 ads” featuring prisoners seeking to connect.
ABC News reports that there are over a dozen major prison dating sites.
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).
But does the sexy swag of a prisoner outweigh the risks of loving a violent offender?Rare sites like make it clear that some of its proceeds are donated to programs that benefit the prisoner and ex-con community.Bischke created as a pen-pal service to capitalize on this market, adding “and of course I want to make a profit like any other business.” His site now averages 3,000 visitors and 70,000 page views a day.According to ABC News, hundreds of women marry men in prison for violent crimes every year — and prisoner dating sites are a central means through which criminals find mates.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.He asked the judge to consider a term of eight months.