Behind this façade, sites with names like act as bridges that transform long-distance friends into lovers.
Arlen Bischke started a prisoner pen-pal site called in 1998 to help prisoners connect to the outside world.
“This is meet-an-inmate.com, not meet-a-girl-scout.com! People can get an image of what they think a person is like from a photo, description and a few letters,” Bischke warned.
Whereas women who experience domestic violence are openly encouraged to report it to the authorities, it has been argued that men who experience such violence often encounter pressure against reporting, with those that do facing social stigma regarding their perceived lack of machismo and other denigrations of their masculinity.
(Meet-an-inmate does not charge for this service.) even boasts a Facebook-like interface complete with status updates to make the selection process more appealing.
Friends of participating inmates pay to update prisoners’ statuses and upload photos (and curiously people who are not inmates also join).
He had killed two women in domestic violence situations.
My interviewee was desperate to marry him, and, although she knew of his crimes, was convinced she could change him.
“The odds of everything working out are slim,” Bischke said.