11 Best Prison Dating Sites (2023)

The growing phenomenon of individuals seeking companionship and emotional support through online prison dating sites is a testament to the human need for connection and understanding, even in the most challenging circumstances.

These platforms provide a lifeline for incarcerated individuals, allowing them to interact with like-minded individuals who can empathize with their experiences and offer solace in times of isolation. Through the virtual realm, these relationships have the potential to bring comfort, hope, and a sense of belonging to those behind bars, fostering personal growth and facilitating reintegration into society upon release.

With over 2.3 million people incarcerated, the American Criminal Justice system encompasses not only state and federal prisons but also various facilities such as juvenile correctional centers, local and county jails, and immigration detention centers making it a staggering 22% of the world's prisoners in the US alone.

But, contrary to the perception of prison life as a complete cessation of one's existence, inmates are actually encouraged to engage in activities that promote personal growth. They are provided opportunities to pursue education, explore artistic endeavors, and even engage in online prison dating. By connecting with fellow inmates and individuals from the outside world, incarcerated men and women can experience significant benefits. These interactions occur within the boundaries of the law.

For those interested in exploring prison dating sites that go beyond mere hookups, several websites and inmate dating apps cater specifically to this niche. These platforms aim to foster positive transformations within prisoners and remind them that they are not alone.

Some users of these prison dating sites have successfully found pen pals, companionship, emotional support, and even love. Receiving letters from online companions also helps alleviate the loneliness that stems from the monotonous nature of prison life. Importantly, it is not only the prisoners who benefit from these relationships, as many individuals report feeling spiritually and emotionally empowered through their connections with inmate hookups.

Top Prison Dating Sites Reviews

Meet an Inmate

Meet an Inmate

Relationships: Prison dating, inmate penpal
Speciality: Connecting inmates since 1998*
Profiles: All singles, prisoners and civilians*

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Meet an Inmate is an exclusive online prison inmate search. It helps connect the prisoners with civilians via mail services. The site aims to bring a positive change in inmates’ lives. It is believed that prisoners who manage to maintain a positive relationship with the outside world are less likely to return to prison in the future.

It is one of the oldest prison dating sites, which was established in 1999. It is a trusted prison pen pals site that uses US postal service to send and receive emails. Inmates are required to pay a small fee to register on the site. However, it is absolutely free for people who wish to be free pen pals for inmates. They exclude convicted sex offenders to be part of their online dating sites.

The site claims to have more traffic than any other prison pen pal site. You can also place an ad for any of your loved ones who is experiencing jail term.

Love a Prisoner

Love a Prisoner

Relationships: Prison dating, inmate penpal
Speciality: 75% compatibility rate*
Profiles: All prisoners and civilians*

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Love a Prisoner claims to have a 75% compatibility rate which is much higher than any other online dating site. The site gives you numerous ways to search to meet an inmate online and become a jailhouse pen pals. You can browse by gender, ethnicity location, and prison.

It allows connecting inmates to the outside world. The site has listed various other activities and informative prison facts along with laws that you may fancy to know. You can go to the Prison Quotes section and read Prisoner Love Quotes by famous writers.

In case you encounter any problem, you can use the link to report. The site has also categorized its members into two groups VIP and Regular.

Write a Prisoner

Write a Prisoner

Relationships: Prison dating, inmate penpal
Speciality: Members can find counselors, employment, housing, legal information and more*
Profiles: All prisoners, inmates, and civilians*

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Write a Prisoner goes a few steps further from just finding prison pen pals. The site lets you look for mentors, legal aid, educational/employment opportunities, housing options after release, and much more. There are several other activities that an inmate can do on the site. Jail experience can teach you a lot. Many find poetry and artwork a great way to express their thoughts. If you have a creative side, then let the world see it. Post your creative works on the site for the world to see.

The site simply aims to encourage prisoners to develop a new skill and prepare themselves to live a good life once they are released.

Inmate Classified

Inmate Classified

Relationships: Inmate dating, prisoner penpal
Speciality: Serving since 1996*
Profiles: All prisoners, inmates, and civilians*

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Inmate Classified has been around since 1996, which caters to inmates who are seeking friendship and love outside the prison wall. Sympathizing with the inmate's situation, the site quotes, “While society at large has social media to thank for new friendships, relationships, insights and perspectives, prison inmates are doomed to total social exclusion, not only physical but psychological as well.”

Once you get registered, the site lets you view featured profiles and chose to interact with them via letters. Prisoners pay the site for placing their profiles on the site. There is no cost for viewing or sending messages to your prison pen pals.

Inmate Mingle

Inmate Mingle

Relationships: Inmate dating, prisoner penpal
Speciality: Provides mailing service if someone doesn't want to share personal address to an inmate*
Profiles: All inmates and civilians*

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Inmate Mingle encourages you to explore more than friendship outside the prison walls. The process on the site is simple. You can either write to your preferred inmate and wait for the response or you can mail them if they have access to the internet.

You can also use their mobile app, so, you can get alerts about the latest members. If you are not comfortable with sharing your address, the site provides an additional service of taking care of your mails on a chargeable basis of $0.01/ letter.

Dating Prisoners

Dating Prisoners

Relationships: Prison dating, penpal
Speciality: Free membership*
Profiles: All inmates and civilians*

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Dating Prisoners is again a free prison dating site for people who wish to connect for inmate hookup. Creating a profile is simple and requires only a few steps. As soon as you are logged in, you can browse through their entire list of members' profiles.

You can send and receive matches and flirts. The site lets you socialize with people outside within the limits of the law. Who knows you manage to create a relationship that you could continue after coming out of jail?

Prison Inmates

Prison Inmates

Relationships: Prison dating, penpal
Speciality: Most trusted prison pen pal service in the USA*
Profiles: All prisoners and civilians*

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The site is open to all and does not discriminate its members based on ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation. If you are seeking a gay prison pen pal, this could be a great site to start with. There are over 3,000 members on the site currently. You can browse them based on their location and different jails.

They even have a separate section for an inmate with life sentences and on death row. If you wish to extend some comfort and companionship to people who are counting days before the inevitable, then this is the place for it.

The site allows people from outside to send gifts cards to their inmate friends, renew their membership, and deposit money to their commissary account.

Friends Beyond The Wall

Friends Beyond The Wall

Relationships: Inmate dating, prisoner penpal
Speciality: Operated by friends and family members of incarcerated people*
Profiles: All prisoners and civilians*

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Friends Beyond The Wall is a beautiful initiative by friends and family of inmates. Started in 1999, the site has come a long way in creating an emotional support system for inmates locked up in different jails across the US.

The first letter can be sent via email to expedite your communication with the inmate of your choice. You will find a new member joining the site every week. The site is easy to navigate, and you can search for inmates by gender, sexual orientation, age, and even birthday.

Women Behind Bars

Women Behind Bars

Relationships: Female inmate dating, penpal
Speciality: Incarcerated women, civilians*

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Women Behind Bars is one of the kind initiatives to meet female inmates online. It was founded in 1999 and aims to make a difference by bringing a ray of hope in the life of female prisoners. The site is free to join and allows its users to browse profiles, upload pictures, and write a few lines about themselves.

The people who wish to connect to female pen pals must create an account, browse the listing and purchase access to the prisoner’s mailing address. The site provides a unique opportunity for women to write to their female inmate pen pals, or for men to date female inmates.


eHarmony Dating Site

Relationships: Long term, serious and deep relationships
Profile: All singles*
Gender ratio: 51% male and 49% female*
User Base: 4.2 million visits/month*
Popularity: Over 9 million active users worldwide*
User Rating:  4.8/5.0*

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eHarmony is one of the most trusted online dating sites for people of all ages, locations, and ethnicity. Although it's not an exclusive inmate dating website, you can find a lot of prisoners and civilians who are interested in connecting with prisoners.

eHarmony claims to be the #1 trusted online dating website and app in the world. This is the best site if you are looking for long-term, meaningful relationships. The site welcomes everyone, including gays and lesbians. Click below to get started with a Free Trial and connect immediately with thousands of like-minded individuals.

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Relationships: Casual dating, friendship, romance, long-term relationship
Profile: All singles*
Gender ratio: 45% male and 55% female*
User Base: 37 million visits/month*
Popularity: Over 10 million premium members worldwide*
User Rating:  4.9/5.0*

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Match is the undoubted king of online dating. It has the largest user base and spread across 50 countries. The site attracts people from all walks of life. Irrespective of your race, ethnicity, body type, sexual orientation, or background you can be confident that you will surely receive more than one like-minded person on the site.

Though the site doesn’t provide any special inmate dating services, yet the diverse population on the site is a positive sign. It can be a great platform for ex-convicts to look forward to dating fellow ex-convicts or other open-minded people.
The site has always been LGBTQ friendly and had openly embraced everybody without any biases. The site offers free trials; however, a nominal membership fee can unlock a wide range of features. Read Match.com Full Review.

Bottom Line

These sites may not be aesthetically appealing like your regular mainstream dating sites, but they’re some of the best prison dating sites to look for an ex-convict, an inmate, or just trying to provide a sense of relief to a lifer.

However, caution is advised when engaging with anyone on such sites. Prioritizing your safety and exercising sound judgment is essential. Avoid putting yourself in vulnerable situations and remain vigilant throughout your interactions. Remember, thoughtful consideration and discretion are paramount when navigating these unique connections.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a guy in prison really love you?

Of course, a guy in prison can still love you. You need to understand that imprisonment and maintaining a relationship are not mutually exclusive. The taboo associated with people living in prison needs to curb down.

Obviously, it doesn’t mean that he should be completely forgiven for what he has done, but taking away his basic human emotion to fall in love and maintain a lovely relationship shouldn’t be taken away from him.

That being said, we need to address the elephant in the room by saying that these relationships can be extremely difficult to maintain. This is not only due to the physical proximity but also the heavy restrictions that a person in prison lives under.

There are countless examples of people serving their prison terms and maintaining their relationship with their spouses and partners back home. It can be challenging but certainly not impossible.

How do you know if an inmate loves you?

With a certain sense of maturity, you develop instincts to figure out the feelings of someone towards you. Of course, in the context of a prison, things get complicated to a different degree due to the extenuating circumstances involved. But nonetheless, it is not rocket science and can be asserted with careful assertion.

The first order of rules here is to be patient and give value to time. You should neither give in to the feelings of a person who is serving prison time nor should you disregard it right away. Neither end of the spectrum is healthy.

Try to listen and understand what it is about you that makes him or her love you. Is it just the loneliness of the prison or is he or she genuinely interested in the person that you are? Make sure to have in-depth conversations regarding what inspires his or her feelings for you.

In addition to that, you need to find the feasibility of the relationship, in case you are interested in him or her as well. This includes trying to map a plan for your future when he or she completes his or her prison time.

At the end of the day, you need to remember that when people are serving prison time, they are at one of their most vulnerable stages. So, feelings for someone can naturally draw in. This is nothing out of ordinary.

How to make an inmate fall in love with you?

First and foremost, it should be known that love is not a business deal. You can’t force or apply analytical or strategical chops to make someone else fall in love with you. It has to be generated naturally.

This is why the fact that two people who love each other is so special because as common as it may sound, but it’s a rarity to find someone who loves you back in the same vein of thought as you love them.

Now, when it comes to inmates in a prison, there is an added complex layer of solitude. When people are left in a vulnerable situation like that of a prison, where they are surrounded by strangers who mostly exhibit hostile behavior, things can get extremely discouraging and gloomy.

If you genuinely develop feelings for someone who is serving prison time, you need to practice patience and remember that the road to achieving love will be difficult than with someone free on the outside world.

You need to spend time with the person and be a place of solace for them. Most inmates often develop pessimistic attitudes and hope is a rare commodity in prison. So, try and be the light of hope for them. That being said, don’t make false promises to them and be a fictitious ray of hope because that will not end well for either of you.

It doesn’t mean that you need to counsel him or her, but just being a good listener is enough. If he or she is shy, then you need to let the train of conversation going. However, you also need to get comfortable with the idea of silence around him or her.

If someone can be comfortably silent around you and not have to constantly verbally talk to you to let you know of his or her feelings, it means he or she feels secure with you. So that is a good sign.

Engage in positive conversations and try to align your common likes and dislikes and nurture your relationship. If he or she feels valued by you, it is very likely that he or she would develop feelings for you. But, if not, don’t be discouraged. You can’t force love.

It has to happen naturally and if he or she regards you as a valuable friend, then you need to assess whether you want to continue that or it will be extremely difficult to be around him or her by being just a friend. Put your own mental health at priority.

How do you make a prisoner feel loved?

Spending quality time is the key to making someone feel loved. However, in the restrained environment of a prison, choices are extremely limited. But as they say, “where there is a will, there is a way.” You need to make the most out of the situation available to you.

Supposedly, your partner is serving prison time, then you need to ensure that you make the visits count as much as possible. Try and make sure you never miss your visit. This is because, for your partner, this might be the only time they could contact with the outside world on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis. So, don’t miss them.

During the visits, try to listen to them and their experiences. Based on what he or she likes, give them a glimpse of the outside world through your words. Some people might get upset with too much talk of the outside since it makes them miss the outside world even more.

There are others who prefer to talk more of the outside world. Find your niche and flow the conversation to that degree. If possible, try to visit them on their birthdays or other anniversaries by making a special permit.

And most importantly, make sure to remind them that they are valued and you are waiting for them in the outside world.

Can you kiss during prison visits?

This varies heavily from country to country, state to state, and prison to prison. But for the most part, you would be allowed to give a brief hug and kiss not lasting more than two seconds at the start of your visit and also at the end of the visit.

This is mainly due to the fact that authorities fear passing of contraband or other similar items during close physical contact. It is unfortunate but it is the way it is. So, make sure that those two embracing moments in the beginning and the end of the session is worth it.

What do I write to prisoners?

Simply put, write your heart out each time you decide to write a letter to them. Don’t be afraid to make the letter long and detailed because, unlike the outside world, prisoners have a lot of free time to themselves where they have nothing else to do.

Add to the fact that they miss the outside world, they would appreciate a long, detailed letter very much. That being said, if long letters are not your style, don’t fill it up with gibberish just for the sake of it. Be genuine and heartfelt with your approach.

While writing about important health updates of the prisoner’s loved ones is essential alongside other educational or career achievements of their loved ones, make sure to let loose by not being afraid to be silly. Even a description of how you drenched yourself from the rain while commuting can bring joy to the person serving a prison term.

Therefore, be yourself and make sure you mean each and every word that you write to your loved one who is serving at the prison because those words can be their sneak peek to the outside world and can bring joy, happiness, and peace to them.

Do prisoners have access to the Internet?

This has been a subject of controversy across the world for a while now. For obvious reasons, contact with the outside world is prohibited inside a prison. But many human rights activists are fighting for the right of the prisoners to freedom to the internet under supervision.

Few correctional systems in North America allow prisoners to use the internet under supervision, which seems pretty fair. Now, whether this can be used for having access to online dating websites or not depends on the discretion of the respective prison.

Are there any free inmate dating sites?

All the inmate dating websites mentioned above allow free registration. Anyone can create an account on these sites for free. Moreover, exclusive prison dating sites are free for inmates who are still in prison. MeetAnInmate and DatingPrisoners are completely free dating sites for singles on both sides of bars, where all communication features are free.

Is there any dating site for ex-convicts?

The US has the highest incarceration rate. Many convicts leave jail every year hoping to start a new life. However, they struggle a lot even after completely turning around their lives. From jobs to finding an apartment; all seems like an arduous task. Finding love also comes with lots of hurdles. Prominent dating sites like Match, eHarmony, and Tinder do not allow ex-felons to join the site. Thankfully, few dating sites serve exclusively for ex-convicts. The sites are open to all, and whoever has an open mind to date inmates can join the sites. You can choose any from the above list based on the features they have and your budget.

Can you date someone in jail?

Traditional dating can’t be possible with inmates. However, there are several ways to connect with someone in prison. Various sites and dating services let you be pen pals with inmates. You can also share your number through a letter and pick it up when your pen pal calls you from prison. Once you feel you want to meet them, you can pay a visit. Some prisons also allow conjugal visits.

How can you meet female inmates?

If you want to meet female inmates, you can try online dating services that connect inmates to singles outside jail through letters. The inmates share their details and pictures through snail mail, and these websites list them. You can register on the site and show your interest; the site then sends your message to the inmate.

If you like the pen pal, you can choose to share your number and have a talk. If they allow you can also choose to meet them personally, on visitors’ day. Life behind bars is tough. Several prisoners strive hard to turn their life around while still living in jail. Your encouraging words can help these female inmates to prepare for life after jail. WomenBehindBars is an exclusive dating site for female inmates.

How to find prison pen pals?

WriteAPisoner, InmateClassified, WomenBehindBars, etc., are some of the most effective pen pal websites where you can connect with genuine people. The prisoners do not have much contact with the outside world. They would love to read and get a sneak peek into the changing world outside. Be genuine and make your letters heartfelt, rather than filling them up with irrelevant details. Your words can bring joy and happiness into their dull world.

Which dating sites ban convicted felons?

Premium dating sites like Match.com, EliteSingles, and Tinder do not allow convicted felons to create an account. Thankfully, many other dating sites are working exclusively for inmates and ex-convicts, which provide them a second chance at love.

Are these prison dating sites free to use?

Yes, many prison dating sites offer free registration and basic features to connect with inmates. However, some may require incarcerated individuals to pay a small fee to be part of the platform. In contrast, free pen pals from the outside world usually don't have to pay anything to communicate with inmates.

Do prisoners have access to the Internet?

This has been a subject of controversy across the world for a while now. For obvious reasons, contact with the outside world is prohibited inside a prison. But many human rights activists are fighting for the right of the prisoners to freedom to the internet under supervision.

Few correctional systems in North America allow prisoners to use the internet under supervision, which seems pretty fair. Now, whether this can be used for having access to online dating websites or not depends on the discretion of the respective prison.

Can prisoners find more than just romantic relationships on these sites?

Absolutely. Besides romantic connections, prison dating sites offer opportunities for inmates to seek pen pals, mentors, legal aid, educational or employment opportunities, and housing options for post-release life. Inmates can also express their creativity through poetry and artwork on some platforms.

Do dating sites ban convicted felons?

While it is true that popular dating sites like Match, eHarmony, and Tinder do not allow convicted felons to join, there are fortunately other online dating sites specifically catering to ex-convicts. These sites provide a platform for individuals with an open mind to date inmates and offer them a second chance at love.

It's important to note that these sites are open to all, regardless of their criminal history, and they provide an opportunity for ex-convicts to connect with like-minded individuals either local or even incarcerated. When considering the right dating sites for you, you can explore the options mentioned earlier and choose one based on the features they offer and your budget.

How can inmates contact their lover?  

Inmates have limited means to contact people outside of prison due to restrictions and security measures. However, there are a few methods through which inmates can communicate with each other or individuals on the outside:

  1. Postal Mail: Inmates can send and receive letters through the traditional mail system. They can write letters to other inmates or individuals outside of prison. This method allows for a more personal and tangible form of communication, but it can be slower compared to other methods.
  2. Phone Calls: In some cases, inmates may have access to phones within the prison facility. They can make outgoing calls to approved numbers, including family members, friends, or legal representatives. These calls are often monitored and have time limitations.
  3. Email Systems: Some correctional facilities have implemented email systems that allow inmates to send and receive electronic messages. These systems are often monitored and have restrictions on the content that can be exchanged.
  4. Video Visitation: With advancements in technology, video visitation has become more common in prisons. Inmates can have virtual face-to-face conversations with their loved ones through video calls. These calls are typically scheduled and supervised by the prison authorities.

It's important to note that the availability of these communication methods can vary from one correctional facility to another and may depend on factors such as the inmate's behavior, security level, and facility regulations.

Can you kiss during conjugal visit?

Conjugal visits, also known as family visits or extended family visits, are a privilege granted to some inmates in certain prisons to spend time with their immediate family members, including spouses or domestic partners, in a private setting for an extended period.

Whether or not kissing is allowed during conjugal visits depends on the specific rules and regulations of the correctional facility where the conjugal visit is taking place.

Typically, conjugal visits are closely supervised by prison staff, and there are usually guidelines in place to ensure the safety and security of both the inmates and visitors. These guidelines may include rules about appropriate behavior, limitations on physical contact, and other restrictions to maintain a secure environment.