Prison Radio
Izell Robinson

This is inmate number 210006, Minnesota inmate Izell Robinson, an innocent man confined within the quadrilaterals of systemic injustice, fighting to be heard and fighting for justice. But in order to do that, I need you, the listeners to hear me and act.

Today I wanted to present a piece in honor of this month being the month Valentine’s Day happen, and most people consider it a month of love. This is an actual social research, what I like to call as esticle, a combination of essay/article that I actually researched and wrote myself, and it’s titled “Married or Dating While Confined: Inmates Need Love Too.”

Author Dean Ornish said the need for love and intimacy is a fundamental human right, as primal as the need for food, water, and air. I would go fervor and say that it is a necessary fundamental human right that is essential to the mental health and life of a person.

I am a man who is handsome, strong, and intelligent. Yes. I’m a triple threat for dating. I’m a good spiritual, respectful, and loyal man that’s looking for pure friendship and love. I would like to invite someone to share something healthy, meaningful, and different with me. I say “different” because with all these good qualities about me, I am unfortunately confined.

Yet, I still see value and opportunity in developing a connection with someone special. And I can only hope that that someone special is nonjudgmental and will take a chance to get to know me for me in spite of my circumstance of confined. I have a past, but it is a past that I have moved on from and haven’t let define me as I work to positively reform me.

Should my past or others’ past mistakes bar or prohibit us in a similar situation from having the right to have opportunity to establish and experience love, that is the question. I think not, and so should you. Therefore, who is the perfect candidate to marry or date an inmate?

This question could be regarded as controversial because most people are very judgmental and often lack compassion for inmates. People’s minds seem to race with panic and at times the most negative thoughts when they’re hearing the word “inmate.” Likewise. It is safe to say that most inmates would probably have felt negative about marrying or dating an inmate themselves or supporting someone in their family marrying or dating an inmate.

Yet, that’s only a result of being influenced by societal propaganda and media perceptions, pinning many people’s views of inmates as con artists, mentally ill, violent, and unempathetic people. Society has influenced many people from youth to formulate a negative view or caution of inmates which in turn coerces many people to support the disenfranchisement of inmates’ most basic human rights.

Specifically of concern is the right to marry, date, and be physically intimate while incarcerated. The U.S. Constitution would declare these rights as being the pursuit of happiness and practice of religious freedoms, so why is so many people in the free society and institutional policies against inmates forming healthy, loving, and caring relationships from behind bars, especially given the fact which people looking for pure friendship and love are starting to realize that most inmates are not bad people.

As evidenced by the popularity of prison marriages, along with online prisoner pen pal and dating sites, and the rise of prison dating TV shows. Good citizens, people who never encounter and criminalization or confinement themselves, are finding a benefit in marrying or dating. These good citizens are part of a moderate trend that firmly believes inmates are just as much human as non-inmates and that inmates need love too.

So this has been part one, the introduction of my piece, “Married or Dating While Confined: Inmates Need Love Too.” I hope you enjoyed it. The rest will be coming soon. Thank you.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.