If you thought relationships were tough in the free world, you didn’t want to know what it was like in prison. Incarceration can take a huge toll on your relationships – not only with your spouse, girlfriend and boyfriend, but also with family and friends.
When you’re behind bars, your life is essentially suspended, but the outside world continues without you. All of your communications with loved ones are monitored, so there is zero privacy or true intimacy when you’re locked up. Also, it’s extremely difficult to really connect with someone.
That’s not to say you can’t develop friendships or romances with other prisoners, or maintain relationships with those on the outside, but when you’re inside a prison, a whole new set of problems arise.
I was single when I was imprisoned, and I never had a girlfriend during my detention. However, I am one of the few. Most of the women had a spouse or significant other at home, or were in a romantic relationship with another prisoner.
There are also inmates who have sex with people outside the prison, which raises the question: Is it possible to get married in prison?
In this blog post, I will discuss:
- Can prison inmates get married?
- Why would anyone marry a prisoner?
- What Happens If You Get Married in Prison?
Can prison inmates get married?
according to looking for the law, In the 1987 case Turner v Safley“The High Court ruled that a provision prohibiting prisoners from marrying without the permission of the warden violated their fundamental right to marry. After that case, prisons allowed prisoners to marry – even Charles Manson was able to get a marriage license“
Same-sex marriage is now legal in every state, and inmates held in the same facility can marry each other, but they must go through a process and meet certain requirements.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has the following policies regarding inmates held in federal prisons:
“The warden shall grant a prisoner’s request to marry unless there are legal restrictions on the marriage or the proposed marriage constitutes a threat to the safety or good order of the institution or to the protection of the public.
The warden may approve the use of institutional facilities for inmate marriage ceremonies. The warden may not approve a marriage ceremony in an institution if the ceremony poses a threat to the security or good order of the institution. “
Prisoners held in different facilities cannot marry because neither prison will host weddings. Instead, they will have to wait until at least one of them is released.
In state facilities, the rules do vary from prison to prison. In general, however, they are similar to the rules set by the balance of payments.
Why would anyone marry a prisoner?
You can’t help who you fall in love with, but it seems odd that someone living in the free world would want to marry a prisoner. It’s very frustrating because the divorce rate is staggeringly high — close to 85 percent — and the situation is very difficult.
People who are incarcerated cannot contribute to marriage the way people in the free world can. They can’t make money, pick up the kids from school, help pay the bills, or take you out on dates.
I honestly can’t answer why anyone would marry a prisoner, but it happens. However, it only benefits the incarcerated because they have someone they can send money to and correspond with. However, for those on the outside, there is effectively zero benefit.
In the free world, someone who marries a prisoner is essentially single, but married at the same time. Because of the forced separation, you live alone and the incarcerated spouse cannot contribute anything to the relationship.
Some thought they had found love with someone who was incarcerated, and they went through the tedious process of legalizing the relationship.
What Happens If You Get Married in Prison?
To have a wedding in prison, people in the free world have to work with the prison’s family visitation coordinator. Once permission has been received from the Warden to marry an inmate, this person is the primary contact for arranging the wedding.
The prisoners and their future spouses must then choose an officiant. This is usually the prison chaplain, but it doesn’t have to be. The prison can provide a list of approved priests from which you can choose.
The wedding must also have a witness, which will be an outsider from the prisoner’s approved visitor list. There is also the option to use prisoners working in the visiting room as witnesses.
Like weddings in the free world, prisoners and their fiancés must have a marriage license, which must be obtained by someone who is not incarcerated.
For marriage, each prison has its own rules. So it’s best to talk to a priest or warden to find out their specific rules.
Prisoners and their spouses are usually allowed a brief visitation and kiss after the wedding, before they have to part ways. Contrary to popular belief, conjugal visits are extremely rare, even if prisoners are just tying the knot.
After the ceremony, the marriage is legal, but the spouses do not have any special visitation privileges or letters. The prisoner went back and locked up, and the spouse had to go home alone.
Why do you think some people marry prisoners? Let us know in the comments below.