Last Updated on February 23, 2023
Did you know that approximately 2.3 million men and women are held in the United States Criminal Justice System? Did you also know that American jails house roughly 22 percent of the world’s incarcerated population and have the highest rate of imprisoned individuals?
Those numbers might sound shocking – even sobering – but recent data reveals that they’re true! Those 2.3 million prisoners are housed in state and federal prisons, local and county jails, immigration detention centers, and juvenile correctional facilities all across the country.
In other words, there are a lot of people behind bars in this country. But just because you are a part of this population, that doesn’t mean life stops completely.
No matter the reason you landed in the slammer, you’re there to pay your penance for your criminal acts, and you have two options: you can either dwell, fall into a depression, and gain nothing, or you can take this as an opportunity to grow, improve yourself, and work on setting yourself up for a better life once your time in prison is over.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of ways that you can grow and advance yourself on a physical, mental, and spiritual level while you’re in jail.
You can read books and research, take up art, learn an instrument, and develop a relationship with the Creator. There’s something else that you can do while you’re imprisoned that you might not even realize: you can date! That’s right, thanks to the internet and advances in technology, you can do online dating.
Why Online Date As An Inmate?
In fact, online dating can offer a wealth of benefits for guys and gals who are incarcerated. It gives you a chance to meet and connect with others who are living in the outside world.
It not only allows you to stay connected with what is going on in the “real world,” it, more importantly, allows you to potentially develop a meaningful relationship that you will may, one day, have the opportunity to continue in person.
“It sounds too good to be true” and “Surely this isn’t legal” are two of the top things that are crossing your mind, right? We totally understand your hesitation and suspicion; however, rest assured, not only is it not too good to be true, but online dating, while you’re incarcerated, is also completely legal.
As a matter of fact, there are quite a few dating sites that have been specifically created for inmates, ex-convicts, and even individuals who are seeking a pen pal who is a prisoner.
It’s important to note that these sites in no way excuse illegal actions, and they surely do not exonerate criminal behavior; however, they do offer a safe place for those who are in the process of paying or who have already finished repaying their debts to society and making right their wrongs.
If you’re in jail, you have a history of incarceration, or you know someone who is serving or has served a sentence, dating sites for inmates are a great place to start fresh, providing you (or the person you know) with a chance to meet new people who won’t cast judgment on them for the things they did in the past.
As mentioned, there are a surprising number of dating sites for inmates, and after doing a lot of digging, we’ve narrowed down the options to what we think are the top 10. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and explore the top 10 dating sites for inmates.
Don’t have time to read the complete article? Check out our favorite picks below.
1st - Ashley Madison
2nd - Adult FriendFinder
3rd - Bang Locals
Best 10 Site To Date As An Inmate
1. Meet An Inmate: Best For Lonely Inmates
The title of this dating site explains why it’s the first one on our list. Meet an Inmate, which was founded in 1998, is a dating site that is exclusively for those who are imprisoned. The objective of the site is to link individuals who are incarcerated with civilians (those who are living in the “outside” world”) through mail services.
The creators of the site wanted to offer inmates something that would affect positive change for inmates, hence why they launched it. Research has shown that by maintaining a healthy, positive relationship with the outside world, those who are jailed for criminal acts are less likely to commit illegal behaviors and be imprisoned again in the future.
Launched more than 25 years ago, Meet an Inmate is a well-established and one of the oldest dating sites for prisoners. It also features thousands of user profiles, including photos, all in one convenient, easy-to-use database. There are search filters (state, lifers, and death row, for example) that you can use to sort through the database of users.
It connects inmates with pen pals via the United States Postal Service (USPS), allowing parties to send and receive mail. Inmates do have to pay a small fee to register, but for civilians who wish to become pen pals with prisoners, it’s free. Convicted sex offenders may not participate. Oh, another cool feature that Meets an Inmate offers is that in addition to allowing you to create a profile that highlights basic information about you, you also have the option to upload images if you would like.
- Tens of millions of active users
- You can upload photos
- It has a long-standing history
- Lots of positive reviews have been shared
- There are lots of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, so if that’s something that bugs you, be aware; however, it shouldn’t take away from the opportunity to connect with others and foster relationships.
2. Write a Prisoner: Best For Healthy Relationships
Write a Prisoner concentrates on correspondence and reintegration into society once inmates leave the prison system. Registered users can find pen pals on the site, as well as a slew of other people who can help them build a healthy and fulfilling future once they’ve finished serving their time; legal assistance professionals, mentors, and even opportunities to acquire an education, employment, and housing, for example.
In addition to helping inmates find pen pals and helpful resources, Write a Prisoner also features a blog and a forum. Members can use these tools to ask and answer questions, share their thoughts and ideas, and even post things that they have created, such as artwork or poetry.
Since its launch in 2000, Write a Prisoner has successfully fostered companionships, legal aid, education, and even romantic relationships for thousands of people.
It’s definitely worth noting that all of the information that is entered into the Write a Prisoner database (email addresses being the only exception) remains completely private and totally secure.
Additionally, any and all contact info that is provided is verified prior to providing anyone with access to that information, which further helps to protect and secure both you and your privacy.
- The user interface is simple and intuitive
- The site is easy to use
- Your info is kept secure and totally private
- There’s a large database of active users
- There are so many users that often, the site slows down when too many users are active at one time
3. Love a Prisoner: Best Inmates Dating Site
Claiming to have a compatibility rate of 75 percent (a lot higher than most dating sites), Love a Prisoner provides inmates with the opportunity to look for and meet civilians and offers those who are on the outside world the chance to connect with individuals who are behind bars. You can browse the site for users based on their sex, location, ethnicity, and even the facility they are imprisoned in.
Those who connect on Love a Prisoner can become pen pals and send one another letters, or they can even purchase gifts for one another.
Additionally, this site provides a wealth of information about the US criminal justice system, such as laws that pertain to imprisonment, stats, and self-help tips and ideas. Love a Prisoner features a very simple design and layout, and it is very easy to use. Even those who are relatively illiterate when it comes to technology should have no problem using this site.
- There are filters available, which give you the ability to narrow down your search results to your selected preferences
- It’s completely free to communicate with users on this site
- The interface is simple and visually appealing
- The site is so easy to use
It’s more of a pen pal site for inmates rather than a dating site; however, there is always a chance that you will be able to find someone you can develop a romantic relationship with.
4. Inmate Mingle: Best For Committed Relationship
The slogan of Inmate Mingle is “making connections from the inside out,” and it’s one of the most widely used dating sites for prisoners. The site connects inmates and civilians, facilitating friendships, as well as casual dating opportunities, and even committed relationships.
Once you sign up, you can browse through a large collection of profiles and correspond with those who pique your interests. There are more than 60 million registered profiles of users who are jailed in federal prisons, and each day, millions of new profiles are added. With so many users, it’s easy to see why Inmate Mingle promises to connect you with people who share your beliefs, values, and interests.
If sharing your address makes you uncomfortable, Inmate Mingle will handle your mail for a small fee of 1 cent per letter. A tip for those interested in using this site: A simple way to spark a conversation with someone is by heading to the site’s homepage and browsing through the birthday section; if anyone catches your attention, send them a birthday greeting.
- A long-standing history
- More than 60 million registered profiles in federal prisons throughout the United States
- Millions of new profiles are registered every day
- There’s an app that allows for convenient use
- Unlike a lot of sites that claim to be dating sites for inmates but are actually more like pen pal sites, Inmate Mingle is more of a dating website
The website is littered with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, which some users might find irksome
5. Inmate Classified: Best To Establish Relationship
Next up on our list of the best dating sites for inmates is Inmate Classified. This site was established back in 1996, making it one of the longest-running dating sites for the incarcerated.
The site says it focuses on helping inmates establish relationships “outside prison walls.” After you’ve registered an account with this pen pal website, you can attract attention and increase your chances of making connections by landing yourself on the website’s “Featured Profiles” section, which is located on the homepage.
Inmate Classified offers the opportunity to connect with and get to know those who are living in the outside world via written correspondence and online communication. Many users have reported that the relationships that Inmate Classified helped to facilitate made a big difference in their lives.
6. Friends Beyond The Wall: Best To Find Friends
Next up is Friends Beyond the Wall. The site was founded in 1999 and claims that “prison is a lonely world without a friend” (we couldn’t agree more, and we’re sure you agree, too). To that effect, new inmate advertisements are posted on Friends Beyond the Wall every week. Since its launch, more than 2,500 ads from inmates across 46 states have been published on the site.
From creating a profile and entering your personal details to searching for potential matches, using this website is easy. There is a membership fee that will give you access to a bunch of perks, such as premium content, which many find to be beneficial; however, the headlining feature of Friends Beyond Walls is its simplicity.
While chat rooms are the only additional feature, you can view the current locations of inmates who are registered with the site. Members of Friends Beyond the Wall receive inmate addresses for free, and the first letter can be sent through email. The site offers neat features; for example, there’s a search filter that makes finding pen pals easier, and there’s an option to send gifts, too.
In regard to security, the site provides a high degree of anonymity, which means that your data remains safe and protected. We feel it’s worth pointing out that this dating site for inmates is owned and operated by the family, friends, and acquaintances of those who are behind bars.
- Owned and operated by the family members, friends, and acquaintances of prisoners
- Keeps personal data secure
- You can view inmates’ current locations
- The site has been credited with lots of success stories
- Prisoners from different locations – as well as different types of prisoners – can be found on this site
- Friends Beyond Walls does appear to be used primarily for establishing friendships, but some users have reported that the site helped to facilitate romantic relationships
7. Dating Prisoners: Best For Romantic Relationship
The name of this online dating site for inmates – Dating Prisoners – says it all, as the site does exactly what the name advertises: helps to connect and facilitate romantic relationships between men and women who are behind bars.
Creating a profile on Dating Prisoners is completely free. You can upload several photographs of yourself and update your personal info, too. You can also see what other members of the Dating Prisoners community are online at the same time you are.
With the free membership, you can browse through the database of users via your selected preferences. The free membership also provides you with potential matches of fellow inmates whom you may be interested in connecting with and starting a relationship.
The site uses advanced algorithms to assess your personal info and compare it to the personal info of other users to generate matches. This online dating site for inmates has offices located in both the United States, as well as Greece. There’s a mobile version that works very similarly to other popular dating apps.
Additionally, a lot of users have reported that they have had great success with Dating Prisoners, with many stating that the site has helped them connect with and establish meaningful relationships with like-minded people.
- It’s easy to use
- There’s a mobile-friendly version
- Creating a profile, browsing users, receiving messages, and flirting can all be done free-of-charge
- You can see who is online at the same time you are
- A lot of success stories have been reported
- Like other sites featured on this list, there are a lot of spelling errors and grammatical mistakes
8. Women Behind Bars: Best Online Dating Website
As the name suggests, Women Behind Bars is an online dating website that was made specifically for women who are, well, behind bars – and for those who are living in the outside world who want to meet them. Users can connect, share correspondence, and even spark romantic relationships. The site was founded in 1997, making it one of the longest-running online dating sites of all time.
Creating a membership on Women Behind Bars is free and easy. Once you’ve created a membership and answered a few basic questions about yourself, you can upload photos of yourself to your profile and browse through the long list of registered users. As the site says, “you can make a difference and become a ray of hope” by just penning a letter to someone who is in a hard place in life, and we couldn’t agree more.
- Creating a membership is free and easy
- Most of the profile info is automatically pre-filled for you, further adding to the ease of use
- Founded in 1997, it has a long-standing history
- The site is mostly geared toward pen pals; however, romantic relationships have happened
- It’s women only; no male inmates here
9. Ashley Madison: Best For Long Term Relationship
If you aren’t looking for a long-term relationship but rather a hookup, Ashley Madison is an option to consider. This only dating site was established in 2002. Currently, there are more than 60 million users, making it one of the biggest online dating sites.
This is the site where people go when they want to blow off some steam with a quick hookup, so if that’s what you’re looking for, it might be the right option for you. We feel that it is important to point out that a lot of the users are married and are seeking extramarital affairs, so if that is something that concerns you, do be aware.
Signing up with and creating an account with Ashley Madison is quick and easy. On your profile, you can add your sex, your ethnicity, and your date of birth. If you’d like, you can add a few pictures, too. A lot of spam and inactive accounts have been reported on Ashley Madison, so do be aware of that if you plan on using the site.
- A large user base
- A long-standing history
- Easy to use
- You can keep your profile anonymous
- It’s primarily for hookups and extramarital affairs
- There are a lot of spam and bot accounts, as well as inactive users
10. Adult Friend Finder: Best Dating App For Inmates
Rounding out our list of the best dating apps for inmates is Adult Friend Finder. Like Ashley Madison, this site is geared toward those looking for casual relationships and wanting to blow off some steam with a hookup. There are a lot of profiles on the site, and many of them are active. However, there are a lot of bots, spam, and scam accounts, too.
Adult Friend Finder guarantees to protect your privacy, and creating an account is as easy as using the site. A lot of the users on this site are “open-minded”; there are a lot of people who are into kink, swinging, and polyamory, so do be advised.
We also feel that it’s important to point out that in 2015, there was a big security breach. While Adult Friend Finder says that the issue has been fixed, it’s still something to be aware of, as it could potentially happen again in the future.
- Large user base
- Easy to use
- Guarantees to protect privacy
- Primarily for extramarital affairs
- There was a big security breach in 2015
Just because you’re serving time, that doesn’t mean your dating life has to go on hold. Thanks to technology and the online dating sites listed here, connecting with people in the outside world and potentially starting a relationship is possible. Just imagine all that you’ll have to look forward to when your sentence is over if you find a match on one of these sites.