Prison relationships have hit the headlines lately thanks to the escape of two inmates in New York. By now, most of us know an emotionally involved prison employee helped with the escape. Not all prison relationships should be viewed in the same light. While numerous scams are perpetrated, there are many devoted, loving couples who find themselves in this situation. Not everyone is manipulated. Not every relationship is about money or power. Sometimes two people fall in love in very unusual circumstances. That’s what happened with Keith Giammanco and me.
I am college educated and a professional. I grew up in a military and law enforcement family in conservative southern Missouri. I am not a soft-on-crime, bleeding heart kind. Having a prison relationship was the last thing on my mind. I wouldn’t change where I am at, though. What Keith and I found is worth the daily struggles we go through.
I was teaching at a maximum security prison. Keith didn’t want to appear to be a creepy inmate whose interest was unwanted. I wasn’t emotionally in a place where I wanted a relationship with anyone. Anywhere. Still, we had never felt more comfortable around anyone else before. We were instantly a team.
I know several other women who have prison relationships. Some are the stereotypical prison groupie. They can be found on the prison support pages, and it doesn’t take long to figure out who is getting played and who is in it for the thrill of talking to a bad boy. Some, however, are in the relationship for keeps. Our loved ones made mistakes, but they are paying for those mistakes. We can love them for who they are beyond their failures. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do with everyone? Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
I will blog about a wide variety of prison topics, including the struggles of having a relationship separated by prison walls. Many people wonder what prison is like, and it is eye opening to know what the reality is. Thank you for joining me as I share my experience and my knowledge of the Missouri prison system.