Being behind bars doesn't mean you can't find love. America has the world's highest incarceration rate in the world. Although the U.S. makes up just 4.4 percent of the world's population, it houses 22 percent of the entire planet's prisoners. That's a lot of people doing time.
Prisoners are making up for what they've done and learning from their mistakes. These prison dating sites are designed to help inmates start a new chapter and find love. Dating isn't easy, and it's especially complicated when you're in prison. But just because someone is incarcerated doesn't mean they don't need love, companionship and emotional support.
These websites will help you connect with someone new who can help you turn a new leaf.
Just Looking For A Hookup Instead?
If you're looking for something beyond a hookup, keep reading below for the best prison dating websites!
Top 10 Best Prison Dating Sites
Match.com is the world's most successful dating site. Founded in 1995, this website has connected thousands of couples around the world. Although Match doesn't offer any inmate-specific dating features, the website has a diverse population of potential partners. Filters allow you to view profiles of people in various locations from a wide range of ethnic and religious backgrounds. You can also filter profiles by lifestyle including how often someone drinks and smokes. The site is also LGBTQ+ friendly.
Match offers free trial accounts, but different membership packages unlock additional features. If you sign up for a six-month membership but don't meet someone special, the company will give you an additional six months free of charge. With 21 million members throughout 24 countries, Match is a great website if you're looking for diversity.
Meet an Inmate connects prisoners with civilians through a mail service. Receiving letters can certainly add a classic spark to a new romance, and users can pay a small fee to upload their photos and create an online profile. Your relationship can start slow, and writing letters to one another can help you establish an emotional connect with someone before you meet and begin a physical relationship.
Both male and female inmates can join the website, and you can write a short profile bio as well as include information such as your birthday, race and maximum release date. Meet an Inmate has been around since 1988, and it is among the most popular prison pen-pal organization in the country. Potential pen-pals are able to filter inmates by location and age. This is a good site for people who are looking for friends and maybe something more behind bars.
If you're dedicated to finding a relationship and meeting someone special, then Love a Prisoner has a more direct approach than Meet an Inmate. Users can purchase a VIP membership that unlocks additional filters, but all members have the ability to search for potential dates by age, location and prison.
Members who want to get closer with someone they're talking to have the ability to purchase and send gifts through the site.
Much of your time spent in prison is used to develop new skills that will help you live a good life once you're released. The Write a Prisoner program connects inmates with educational and professional mentors, counselors and new friends who can help them grow. Members can also post on the site's blog and forums to ask questions and get advice.
Write a Prisoner can include dating, but it's also an amazing resource for inmates to learn about housing, scholarships and even share their artwork.
Inmates who want to make friends that are not in the prison system can turn to Inmate Classified. This website, founded in 2002, is dedicated to matching prisoners with civilians. The site says, "There is no greater gift you can give to a stranger than a few words of encouragement when he or she needs it most.”
Many prisoners may start off as penpals but discover a special connection with someone they're talking to. The good thing about this program is that it encourages inmates to socialize and be friends frist; prison is isolating, even if you happen to get along well enough with your fellow inmates. Learning how to socialize and develop connections with people as a person, not a prisoner, can be a healing experience.
Prison Inmates welcomes everyone to join its site. There are no racial, sexual or religious exclusions, so LGBTQ+ prisoners will feel welcome and accepted. This can be a challenge on many dated prison dating sites or even in prison itself. There are over 3,000 inmates using the website, and users can search for potential partners by state.
There are also exclusive sections for lifers and inmates on death row.
People on the outside can send inmates gift cards, renew their memberships or even deposit money directly into their commissary account. Many inmates who face a life sentence or will never be released can find some comfort and companionship on Prison Inmates.
Inmate Mingle is free to join and helps its members make connections "from the inside out." You are able to look for new friends or specify you're interested in casual or serious dating. There is a birthday section on the homepage, which can allow you to easily strike up a conversation with someone celebrating a new year of life.
Some people may not feel comfortable giving their personal address to an inmate right away, so Inmate Mingle offers a service that will take care of mailing for just $0.01 per letter. There is also a mobile app, so frequent communication is easier for those on the outside with a smartphone.
Dating Prisoners is a free prison dating service that connects people with inmates in both the United States and Greece. After creating your free profile, you can immediately start browsing members, getting matches and sending "flirts."
The website explains how uplifting it can be for inmates to receive mail; life in prison is lonely, and pen pals can make a huge difference in a prisoner's life. Socializing with people on the outside, and possibly finding someone special to be with after their release, can be motivating and inspiring.
Since it first began running ads for inmates in 1999, Friends Beyond the Wall has posted more than 2,500 ads for prisoners in 46 states. Letters can be sent via email for free to help establish a connection right away. If you're looking to work with a site that understands that it's like behind bars, Friends Beyond the Wall is the one for you; the site is owned and operated by friends and family of prisoners.
The site is free to use and easy to navigate; members can search for inmates by gender, sexual orientation, state, age and birthday. For those who are facing long-term sentences and genuinely interested in long-term companionship, romantic or simply just as friends, Friends Beyond the Wall may be a good place to start.
For women who are incarcerated and people who would like to meet them, Women Behind Bars is a great solution. This website has been around since 1997 and encourages visitors to "become a ray of hope" in a female prisoner's life by writing a letter.
Free memberships allow users to browse profiles, upload photos and write a personal bio. Inmates can apply online or by mail. Joining Women Behind Bars can be a great way for women to connect with female pen pals or for them to meet someone new and start a relationship; potential pen pals sign up for an account, browse listings and must purchase access to the prisoner's mailing address before they can send their first letter.
Prison Dating Sites - Final Thoughts
Being behind bars doesn't mean you aren't deserving of a loving, happy relationship. This is one of the most transformative periods of your life, and dating someone on the outside can give you the opportunity to be known for who you are, not what you've done.
Using prison pen pal sites is the best way to put yourself out there and meet someone new. If you're on the outside and looking to connect with inmates, then these websites make it easier than ever to start a conversation and see where it takes you.
Almost all of the sites are free or have a small fee to use, so there's really nothing to lose.