The owners of inmate ad sites, she says, should be taking a step back and asking: "Are we setting these people up to be victims in the future?
"Other victim advocates agree, saying the ads are disrespectful to those who've suffered at these inmates' hands. Not everyone," - the US prison population was 2.1 million last year; more than 95 percent will be released - "but some of the people in there are gonna come out and be loving mothers and daughters or fathers and sons - and maybe husbands and wives.
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Maybe it was only a matter of time before the two paired off.
Their love story begins with the birth of the Internet: In 1996, as far as anyone can reconstruct, a handful of rudimentary prison-penpal sites started out with a few ads apiece.
Guys behind bars have a lot of time on their hands: to write long letters, to compose love poetry, to perform a lot of the gallant, romantic rituals that modern courtship has largely lost. It's a rollercoaster ride."And they're not the only ones to whom prison looks romantic.
Inmate penpals aren't after casual sex, and they're less likely to judge a woman only by her looks. Will he be able to call tonight, or will there be a lockdown? Picture your own teenager's untied sneakers and baggy pants. Sure, prison culture's teen appeal stems in part from the fact that it's an obvious taboo, says Northeastern University criminology and sociology professor Jack Levin.
Others, like relationship adviser Gilda Carle, point out that far more women than men are involved with inmates.
It's the "bad boy syndrome," she says: women attracted to not-so-nice guys out of rebellion, or low self-esteem.That doesn't surprise Jennifer Drake, a 17-year Maryland Department of Corrections veteran."Because if you can befriend Charlie Manson," she says, "if you can say, 'I'm Charlie Manson's girlfriend' - how many women can say that?Don't people without criminal convictions have a hard enough time getting dates?What would tempt a free woman or man to seek out and correspond with - and, as corrections officers say regularly happens, go on to date and even marry - an inmate? Many psychologists say commitment-phobes pursue such matches.When someone who they know is capable of hurting others doesn't hurt them, she says, it "proves" they're special.