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Bonny Albo

Do Inmates Deserve Love Too?

By January 15, 2010

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The front page of a newspaper loudly states, "Killer Looking For Love Online". Although the article is biased and quite sarcastic (as evidenced by the author's byline, "Inside Edge") it does point out an interesting topic for debate: do inmates deserve love too?

In the article in question, the author speaks of the violent, destructive crimes the inmate is convicted of: "a life sentence of first degree mass murder," where the inmate set a house on fire with five people inside, including three children, because he was convinced one of the residents had ratted him out to the police about another, unrelated stabbing. All pretty convincing information, for sure - information that isn't shared in the inmate's 250 word online dating profile that cost $79.95/year to create.

What changes the entire tone of the debate however is that the inmate used a dating site specifically geared towards inmates called PrisonPenPals.com. Most inmates have limited access to the internet, so dating sites geared towards convicted criminals usually accept applications by mail only for their online dating sites.

So the folks who are perusing these pen pal/dating sites for inmates are already aware the people on them have done something that society deems they shouldn't have. What many don't know however, is what they were convicted of. An exception to this rule is a site called Women Behind Bars, which I've highlighted in my list of Strange Love dating sites, where each inmate has whatever they were convicted for listed prominently.

My question to you therefore is this: if an inmate has signed up for a dating site that caters to their incarceration, is it ok? Does the fact that the site has already predetermined all users are behind bars make it clear enough, or should inmates be barred altogether from finding love online? Does what they've been convicted of matter, or should only certain types of inmates be allowed to seek love online?

Reference: Ethan Baron. (2010, January 15). Mass Murderer Seeks 'Upbeat' Penpal; He's Lonely: Nathan Fry Set Fire To A House, Killing 5 People. The Province, A.4.

January 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm
(1) Connie G. says:

As long as there have been inmates, there have been people who were attracted to them. As long as the sites clearly indicate that the person is incarcerated, I don’t see the problem with it. Will I be trolling there, looking for love? Nope. But finding a love interest/pen pal might even help an incarcerated person turn their life around.

January 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm
(2) Nessa says:

I guess as long as they’ve disclosed it all (I would hope their type of crime was included, but you said it wasn’t). Although this sounds like a horrid person – setting a house on fire when you know people are inside?

I fail to see the attraction in dating someone in jail, but hey, if someone knowingly wants that…*shrug* They can go date the crazy.

February 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm
(3) Porter says:

The way I see it, torture is a waste of energy, no matter how it’s done. If the laws of this world aren’t going to condone killing off those who have a life sentence (a topic of it’s own), then why not let them have as decent a life as they can? If the person who convicted the crime can no longer do the world harm, and we won’t “finish them off” for lack of a friendlier term, I see no reason to not allow them to enjoy themselves. Some people do horrible things on purpose, others will always regret what they’ve done, but people change, and a life is a long time to live, why waste energy making it a bad one, when simply letting go and using no effort can make a life better.

February 27, 2010 at 9:25 pm
(4) Bridget says:

I worked in a unit in Texas where they housed the death row inmates. There are no shortage of women who love these guys and these guys use these women. They sell each other love letters to send to women. They show each other the personal pictures the women send theml. The women think they are the only one and the men keep as many women as they can. It is sad. Everyone deserves love but these guys have shone there true colors.

May 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm
(5) frank says:

I agree with Bridget: convicts are manipulators. They want a girlfriend for one reason: to put money on their books, so they can buy treats at the prison canteen, or trade those treats for sex, drugs and gambling debts. I’ve never met a convict who was “honest” about his crime – usually because they’ve rationalized their bad behaviour, believing their own phony stories after years of repetition. So, do inmates “deserve” love”? No, they deserve punishment, something sorely lacking in most prisons.

June 10, 2010 at 5:03 am
(6) daily love horoscopes says:

Everybody without exception deserves love. It is, in my opinion, the lack of love in the world that contributes to people offending in the first place. People are sent to prision ‘as punishment’ and not ‘for punishment’. Unless we learn to love all we shall never become whole persons. That’s what I believe anyway.

July 28, 2010 at 11:06 am
(7) Fussy says:

Here is some food for thought. There are some guys who committed horrible crimes in their teens under the influence of some very potent drugs. NOT that this makes committing these crimes ok or is excusable by any means. What if there are some who genuinely regret their crime and taking the drugs. They are not the type of person who would ever have willingly put themselves in that position to begin with, but because it happened they are labeled for life now and this is the only thing people are willing to see is what happened in the past. My question is do we just write them off or do we give them a chance? Because of their past and what they have experienced they have an awesome testimony and some of these guys have the potiential to reach others and speak to them in a way the nobody else can. Maybe to help someone else stay out of trouble.

February 10, 2013 at 10:37 am
(8) Keenan says:

It’s nearly impossible to find educated people about this topic, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

September 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm
(9) Sara says:

JUst as people in the free world all different so are people in prison. Not all of them are heinous rapists, child molesters are murderers. Some are in prison for drug offenses. Some got into trouble when they were
young and wish they had not done the crime. At this point in history one of every hundred people in te US is either in prison, formerly incarcerated or on probation. That is a lot of people. Prison is becoming a common experience. I think we just have to use our best judgement just as we do when dealing with people in the freeworld.

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