So recently I started writing to a guy in prison – incarcerated in Florida. The idea came about because I am so intrigued by the prison system in the US. I guess the first time I watched Shawshank Redemption, Death race and even lighter movies like The Longest
Yard, I began to think more and more about the prison system and the truth behind the men and women behind bars.
Expanding my knowledge I began watching documentaries on the American Prison System. Louis Theroux Behind Bars is a documentary I have probably watched around 5 times – each time learning something knew about someone or thinking more in depth into an inmates life within a 5 minute interview.
Anyway, I was browsing twitter with the #Corrlinks (a email system used by inmates to communicate with family or loved ones) and I saw someone speak about Love In Handcuffs. I was a bit shocked so decided to look into it myself.
By the title of the website, i knew already what to expect, I was however optimistic so, typed it into my search bar. I was interested to see the sites content. I also couldn’t help thinking, maybe I’ll see the man I am writing to in prison, what if he put himself on that too? But I never saw anything to do with “my guy”.
“A WEBSITE THAT YOU CAN FIND LOVE, FRIENDSHIP OR A PEN-PAL IN HANDCUFFS”
It took me aback the website stated: “The ads placed on LIH websites are written solely by prisoners. We are simply the means by which the prisoner’s ad is posted. LIH accepts NO responsibility for the accuracy of any content found within these pages. It is the person using LIH sites responsibility to take safeguards when communicating with any prisoner that you write, visit, or personally physically meet.”
However I had to copy and paste the font onto a word document as it was barely readable with the swirly, i guess in some ways “romantic” font.
You are able to click on a link stating THE HOT ZONE!!! This is where I was greeted with about 20 photos of men, in their coloured overalls or shirt and shorts in the typical crouched, friendly(ish) pose.
I am all for writing to someone incarcerated. I do genuinely feel it can help both people. And yes, if it starts as a friendship and turns into something else fair enough.
But there is something quite strange about purposely looking for love with someone incarcerated. Friendship or curiosity into someone else life I completely understand. Initially searching for love with someone incarcerated however, does confuse me a little.
However, who am I to judge? Whenever I have mentioned to people about writing to an incarcerated man, some have found it interesting and others have called me weird.
A very good watch Taboo:Prison Love, shows a little insight into those who are in love with someone behind bars.