In most states in the US, yes someone can get married in jail or prison.
It is not uncommon for them to need permission from the warden.
In some places, before marriage can take place, the couple needs to prove there will be no dangers resulting from the union.
Who is this post for?
This post is for anyone in love with a man or a woman who is incarcerated. It can be temporary incarceration or a permanent one.
It should be noted that same-sex unions are also possible in some prisons.
It is also feasible that two people from the same prison fall in love with each other and eventually get married there, although it depends on the particular prison.
What should your first steps be?
Contact the warden of the prison to find out if there are any restrictions.
Restrictions can either be involving the institution itself or your intended spouse.
You will also need to be informed of the proper procedures for nuptials in that prison.
Do NOT expect anything glamorous!
Remember, your intended spouse is in a corrections facility. Therefore, do not expect to have a traditional ceremony surrounded by loved ones and friends.
Can the ceremony still be beautiful?
It can in the emotional sense, but it cannot be visually beautiful. It is unlikely that the bride will be wearing a lovely wedding dress, for example, or the venue will be decorated with flowers.
You can choose beautiful words to say to each other and let your love for each other flow. In that respect, it can still be beautiful.
Can an inmate wear a wedding ring?
Usually, yes. However, it must be a very plain ring. It cannot have a stone or any kind of engraving.
In reality, a wedding ring is one of only two types of jewelry permitted to be worn by an inmate.
Will we always be entitled to have conjugal visits?
Contrary to what you see on television, conjugal visits are very rare. Even if it is your first few hours as a couple, do not expect to be granted this privilege.
The marriage will be legal, but the two partners are not typically permitted to spend private time together.
More clarification on conjugal visits
Some people mistakenly think they will be allowed to consummate their marriage. They have watched too many movies.
As of early this year, only three or four states in the entire country still permit conjugal visits. Other states that used to allow it no longer do.
It is not clear what has led to this turnaround. However, it must be considered when contemplating a legal union with a prisoner.
Your spouse may never be allowed out
No matter what the length of the prison sentence is, never think there will be a time when he or she is permitted to leave before the end of their sentence.
If it is a special anniversary, the birth of a child, or the death of a loved one, it doesn’t matter. He or she cannot leave the facility.
Is it possible for a law-abiding citizen to fall in love with an inmate?
Believe it or not, this does happen. Not only that, but it is more common than you may think. Many times a person will start out being pen pals with an inmate.
It graduates to approved visitation periods. Then the two fall in love and stay that way. Love can conquer all, including being separated by prison walls.
Does this happen with people who are serving a life sentence?
Yes. Sometimes they are married prior to the sentence being handed down. Other times, the above-mentioned scenario occurs.
Either way, the intended spouse on the outside must realize that the inmate may never get released prematurely.
As we stated earlier, conjugal visits are rare and becoming more so as time goes on.
About the right to marry
Many years ago, a ruling by the United States Supreme Court deemed marriage a fundamental right.
They went on to rule that, just because someone is in prison, does not mean this right is taken away.
Both parties need to realize all the difficulties they may encounter with one of them being incarcerated.
Can inmates marry each other in prison?
What happens when two inmates fall in love with each other while in the same prison? Can they get married?
The answers to those questions depend on the prison and the warden. Some places permit this, while others do not allow it.
If they are in a prison that does not allow this, the couple may choose to keep their love affair secret.
What can happen if two inmates are caught being intimate with each other?
Both inmates can be charged with criminal misconduct activity and possibly receive time within solitary confinement, aka the box.
Prison officials who are especially harsh may find ways to permanently separate these two inmates. Again though, it depends on the prison itself and on the warden.
What is an inmate marriage packet?
It is a compilation of forms given to the couple by the authorities of the inmate’s prison.
Both of you will be required to fill these out and submit them to the proper officials. As of the writing of this post in mid-May of 2022, only specific prisons mandate this.
Reasons NOT to marry your partner who is an inmate
These can include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- If he or she only wants money from you
- If you suspect they are using you as part of an escape plan
- When there is no possible way of them transferring to a facility that is closer to you
- If he or she disrespects you whenever you visit
- If they are on death row with execution coming up soon
- If it is only because you are expecting his child
Do people marry serial killers?
Although it is unusual, it has happened.
A perfectly sane ordinary citizen may choose to only see the good qualities, despite their partner’s violent past.
This citizen feels the serial killer is entitled to have love in his life. Whether or not they actually get married is up to the prison’s administration.
Beware of love scams or any other forms of scam from the prisoner
Sometimes, the prisoner will pretend to love someone on the outside only in an effort to use them. If they get caught doing something illegal, so be it!
They are already in prison. For you, you may wind up joining them in a separate facility.
They may also use you for money. If you love them, you will always put money on their prison books, right?
Be careful of scams. Especially if you have never met them before they went to prison.
How to ensure you remain permitted to visit your spouse in prison
- Never try to smuggle in anything considered contraband or illegal in any way
- Never be rude to the prison officials
- Avoid passionately kissing him or her
- Avoid lude behavior or touching inappropriate places on his or her body
- If you are permitted to hug your spouse, be careful of how you go about it
- Be careful of what you say when you are visiting them
- Dress modestly rather than provocatively
- If necessary, find out the dress code for that prison and adhere to it
Can a marriage to a prisoner work?
Yes, it can. There are scores of people who believe everybody is entitled to be loved and cared about. It is just as likely to last as a conventional marriage.
If you love someone who is in prison, and they want to marry you, go for it!