Statistics show that more than 2.3 million people in the US are incarcerated. They might live in a federal prison, state prison, or a local jail.
But going to jail doesn’t mean your life is over. There are even dating websites that cater specifically to inmates, ex-convicts, and people interested in meeting them. These sites are a great place for former criminals to safely start over and find people who aren’t going to judge them.
We’ve taken a look at some of the top prison dating sites. These are our main recommendations.
eHarmony is among the oldest and most popular dating sites available. They’re most famous for their compatibility matching system. When you sign up, you’ll fill out a questionnaire about your background, what you’re looking for, and what you’re interested in. Then the website will generate hand-picked matches.
These matches are based on your preferences. If you’re looking for ex-convicts or people who won’t judge you for being an ex-con, the personality matching system is a great place to start.
A lot of dating apps require you to browse profiles and determine compatibility yourself. But eHarmony takes care of that for you. The most time-consuming part is signing up. Once you’ve done that, you’ll receive daily matches without needing to lift a finger.
A free membership will allow you to look at the profiles of compatible matches. To communicate with them, you’ll have to purchase a paid membership. These monthly subscriptions give you access to a variety of site features, including a basic search.
Unlike some websites, you will not have full access to the entire member database. But that also allows your matches to stay personal and clutter-free. You don’t have to worry about filtering spam messages or struggling to decide whether to respond to people.
Because the compatibility system is so in-depth, the site works best for people seeking serious commitments. You can also find those looking for more casual relationships as well.
- This site has one of the largest dating pools of ex-convicts in the world.
- The 70-question profile questionnaire helps match you with people who share your values and your goals.
- The monthly fee for a membership isn’t particularly high, even if you get the most feature-heavy subscription.
- It might be hard to find people if you’re currently incarcerated, or to find incarcerated people if that’s what you’re looking for.
#2. Elite Singles
Elite Singles is a website designed for highly-educated and career professionals who want to settle down. The majority of the userbase is over the age of 30, so it’s a great choice for older people. If you’re an educated ex-convict or interested in meeting an educated convict, this is a good place to start.
Like eHarmony, this website boasts a robust matching system. When you sign up, you’ll fill out a personality test that’s been created by psychologists. At the end, you’ll be shown a personality profile that tells you everything you need to know about yourself. The website will provide you with daily matches.
There are millions of members on Elite Singles, so you’re likely to find people who share your interests. You’re also more likely to find matches if you’re open about what you’re looking for. If you’re an ex-con, be open about your background as well.
For those who are getting back into the dating game after a while alone, you might enjoy the Elite Singles Magazine. This online magazine features relationship advice, ideas for online dating, and other vital information that can help you with your online dating quest.
The interface is one of the easiest to use. It’s very clean and streamlined, without a lot of visual clutter taking up space. You don’t need a background in tech to be able to navigate it.
Also available is an advanced search feature that makes it much easier to find people based on their location, age, background, and lifestyle. That’s a great way for you to narrow down your matches and find the ones that are perfect for you.
- The personality test helps to match you with people that you’re compatible with.
- The site is perfect for career professionals who want to settle down.
- There are multiple ways to communicate with people, especially with a premium membership.
- Some people might have an attitude about you having been to prison. But you can avoid most of this by being open and honest from the get-go.
#3. Meet an Inmate
Meet an Inmate has been in business since 1998. It’s a good option if you want to write to someone in prison, even if you aren’t looking for a relationship out of it. The goal of the site is to connect inmates to pen pals. You can write to inmates completely free of charge. Inmates themselves pay a fee for their site listing.
Instead of sending emails, you’ll handwrite letters and send them through the US Postal Service. This is often a more effective way of communicating with people who are incarcerated. They may not have access to email, dating sites, or the internet. If they do, it might be heavily supervised.
The core of the website’s success comes from word-of-mouth. Inmates spread the word to other inmates about their success with the system. Since the site’s revenue comes from incarcerated people, you don’t have to worry about fees or subscriptions if you’re outside.
When you go to the Meet an Inmate website, you can view profiles of both female and male inmates. You can also use the search feature to look for people based on age.
Each profile has a photo of the incarcerated person. It has a short write-up that tells you about the person. They will talk about their values, where they’re from, and what they’re looking for in a pen pal.
Then each profile has statistics, which tell you important information about the person. You’ll be able to look at their height, education level, and date of birth. They’ll state their earliest and latest possible release date. They’ll also say whether they want letters from men, women, or both.
Some people might be looking for platonic letters from both men and women without being bisexual. The letter preferences don’t coincide with sexuality.
The profile will let you know whether the person can send and receive emails. It will tell you what activities the person enjoys in prison, what they did for work prior to prison, and anything else they want to offer.
- Prisoners can pay to be listed on the site, but sending letters to them is completely free.
- You can browse the profiles of men and women, which lets you view writeups about their personalities and dreams.
- The company has been connecting inmates with pen pals since 1998, and they have an excellent customer service reputation.
- Since letters are sent through the US Post Office, this isn’t the best choice for people who want electronic communication only.
#4. Love a Prisoner
Inmates don’t often have regular access to internet. What internet access they do have tends to be monitored. Love a Prisoner is a website that matches people to prisoners through a pen pal system.
Statistics show that the site has a 75 percent success rating when choosing matches. It also helps to prevent inmates from re-offending after they’re released, since they have someone supportive to lean on.
There isn’t a live chat or video function, which is to be expected. However, you can send emails to prisoners. Whether a prisoner can access email will depend on where they’re incarcerated.
Signing up for the site is easy. You don’t need to go through any long personality quizzes or compatibility tests. The site uses an algorithm to suggest suitable profiles, but you might need to look through several before finding one that matches your interests.
You won’t be able to see who has looked at your profile. However, you can block people from contacting you further. If you find yourself experiencing harassment or unwanted messages, this is a very helpful feature.
- You can send emails to prisoners who have access to email.
- The site has a 75 percent rate of success with compatibility matching.
- Prisoners have lower rates of re-offending after release, thanks to the support system from their Love a Prisoner matches.
- The matches might not be as in-depth and compatible as some websites, since there isn’t a specific personality test.
#5. Write a Prisoner
Write a Prisoner is a website that focuses on giving inmates people to correspond with. It also helps inmates reintegrate into society as they’re getting ready for release. In addition to finding pen pals, members can look for educational materials, housing, counselors, employment, legal information, and scholarships.
It’s even possible for prisoners to find artwork like poetry. The website has been around since the year 2000. It has a forum and blog that allows members to share their thoughts and answer questions. That means that you get access not just to a one-on-one pen pal, but also to an entire community.
This website does more for inmates than many other resources do. The company works with advocates who provide educational, legal, and employment tools. Prisoners who use these services are more likely to find a job and be able to integrate back into society.
The site isn’t specifically geared toward dating. But it is one of the best ways that you can get in contact with prisoners and change their lives. And the friendships you build might blossom into something more down the road.
- The site allows prisoners to access counseling, education, employment, legal, and housing resources.
- You can write to a prisoner by searching inmate profiles to become a pen pal.
- The site has been around since 2000 and has a forum with a huge support community of both convicts and ex-convicts.
- The site isn’t built specifically for dating, so it’s not the best option if you want something explicitly romantic or sexual.
#6. Inmate Classified
Inmate Classified is a website that was first launched in 1996, making it one of the oldest inmate correspondence sites on the web. It is designed to facilitate communication between inmates and potential friends outside of prison.
After registering, you can be placed in the Featured Profiles area to be highlighted. The website states that encouragement is one of the best gifts you can give to people. The goal is to foster a sense of community in people who might otherwise feel ostracized.
Each profile has a picture of the inmate. When you click on the profile, you’ll be able to see other photos that were uploaded. The profile then has a writeup from the inmate with information about their life, family, friends, goals, dreams, and hopes.
These profiles will also tell you what the prisoners are looking for. If they’re seeking a romantic relationship, this is where you’d find out. Many are up-front and honest if they aren’t seeking relationships.
The profile will tell you about the person’s interests, such as what music they like or what they enjoy reading. It may tell you about what they want to do when they’re released as well.
- The site has been connecting inmates to pen pals since 1996.
- Prisoners can write detailed profiles that tell you about their interests.
- You can look at the Featured Profiles to see who is looking for some extra attention.
- It’s hard to narrow down the search options, so you might have to browse several profiles before finding one that interests you.
Whether you’re currently incarcerated, starting over after a period of incarceration, or looking to meet people who have been incarcerated, there’s a dating website for you.
One of the best approaches is to use a site that has a compatibility matching system. eHarmony and Elite Singles both have some of the most comprehensive compatibility tests on the market. They handpick your daily matches, so you don’t have to do any of the hard work yourself.
If you want to write to people who are currently incarcerated, Meet an Inmate is a good choice. You can browse profiles of incarcerated people and send them letters for free. If you’re currently incarcerated, you can pay a fee to have your profile listed on the site.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are some tips for dating a prisoner?
Dating a prisoner can be a difficult endeavor. Your contact with them will be limited to letters, phone calls, emails, and occasional in-person visits. You won’t be able to invite them to the same social functions that you would for a non-incarcerated partner.
But there are plenty of wonderful people in prison. The US has the largest prison population in the world. Many offenders haven’t done anything violent, and many also use their time in the system to turn their lives around.
One of the best tips is to communicate a lot. If your partner has internet access, you can send emails. They probably won’t have a cell phone, so you won’t be able to text. You can also handwrite letters to be delivered to them.
Another good tip is that after you’ve begun visiting, you should plan a surprise visit. You can learn a lot about your partner based on how they react to being surprised with a visit.
Don’t be afraid to bring your close friends with you on a visit. You’ll probably only be able to bring one person at a time. If you’re serious about your partner, you’ll want to introduce them to the important people in your life. And letting your important people meet them will help reduce the awkwardness and judgment.
It’s also a good idea for both of you to talk about your goals and dreams. What do you want from your future? What will your ideal life look like once your partner is out of prison? The more you plan, the more you’ll have to look forward to. This can also help make their transition back to non-prison life much easier.