Exploring current trends in inmate online profiles
Cooley, Brooke N.
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The goal of the current study is to explore prison pen pal narratives in an effort to establish a basic understanding of their contents and prisoner motivation and create a framework for future research on the impact such socialization may have. If prisoner online profiles are mainly for friendship, and profile contents are consistent with the friendship ideals, it could be an indication that prisoners are craving socialization and a need for pure, non-sexual human connection. As there are many barriers to the visitation process many inmates have turned their attention to online prison pen pal websites in order to stay connected to the outside world and to create and maintain their social bonds, which is imperative to an inmate’s adjustment to the prison environment and their life once they are released. This study utilized thematic analysis in order to discover the current themes found on inmate profiles, a bivariate correlation to determine there are relationships between the themes found, and T-tests to assess the differences that existed between the three types of relationships (romantic, friendship, or both) based on the profile characteristics and the differences that exist between gender and the profile categories.