A Butler County Prison inmate can now legally get married while they are still in jail.
“There was a Pennsylvania court ruling that stated inmates have to have a right to be able to marry,” Warden Joe DeMore said in an interview Wednesday. “We had inmates requesting to get married and we did not have a policy in place.”
That all changed Tuesday, when the county prison board created and approved a guideline that allows inmates who meet a certain, specific criteria are permitted an up to 30-minute ceremony.
If the intended spouse is a victim or a witness on a case for an inmate, the marriage would not be allowed. If the inmate is being held in another jurisdiction, they wouldn’t be allowed. Other rules exist as well.
“The policy is pretty in depth,” DeMore said. “Each request will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.”
The inmate and intended spouse must pay for all costs. And the spouse must handle all outside paperwork- making it impossible for two inmates to marry each other.
Butler County Prison staff would serve as witnesses and there is no guarantee that the inmate and spouse would be allowed physical contact after the ceremony.