Love Lockdown: Dating, Sex, and Marriage in America’s Prisons

Gallery. Jul. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9781501158414. $27. SOC SCI
Unlike prison romance fiction or florid memoirs such as Jodie Sinclair’s Love Behind Bars, Greenwood’s book is an empathetic, detached portrait of five prison couples. They include a veteran with PTSD who married a person convicted of attempted murder, an incarcerated trans woman in love with a bisexual fellow inmate, and a New York Times editor who married a man convicted of murder. The overarching themes of the book are pain and the need for connection. Each of the incarcerated people portrayed, as well as their mates, has experienced serious trauma. In attempting to paint a portrait of each couple and their circumstances, Greenwood interviewed both partners in the relationships, but didn’t interview others in their lives, like ex-spouses or children. In the process of reporting the book, Greenwood witnessed relationship struggles, visited support groups, and connected with academics studying the sociological effects on relationships when one or more family members is incarcerated. The book does an admirable job of showing that hope, like love, is a choice these partners make.
VERDICT This work by Greenwood (Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud) offers an engaging, informative, open-minded account of family dynamics that are often overlooked.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing