Ideas for Your Incarcerated Valentine

Some people think Valentine’s Day is a fake holiday, nothing more than a commercial ploy to encourage buyers to spend money. Some find it silly, while others take the opportunity seriously, showering their loved one with gifts that express their commitment, appreciation and love. With your partner in prison, it is a way to express your love and kindness towards them. We have some thoughts for what to do for your Valentine in prison, and admittedly, this writer can get a bit sappy. That was your warning, so get ready for ideas for your incarcerated Valentine. 

Will You Be My Valentine?

It all starts with the question you must ask them. Whether you do it by phone, Skype, a lovely letter or through a card, you must inquire, Will you be my Valentine? The idea behind that question itself is special in your unique scenario, even in general. 

It says to your loved one in prison – I’d like a day dedicated towards my love for you – will you accept? You can even tell them that you take this seriously. It means a lot, especially under the circumstances of them being away. Yes, love is a 365-day-a-year sentiment, but you tell them that you want to make this particular day of your love a holiday, which is very sweet.

A Card or Creative Idea for a Prisoner

There are articles on gift-giving for the incarcerated, which will help guide you, but here we are being more specific towards Valentine’s Day. This is a chance for your creativity to really shine.

Unfortunately, many prisons have rules against inmates receiving store bought cards, but you can create something that your partner may enjoy even more. Country Living published some great ideas, many of which would be allowable in institutions (always check with the prison guidelines).

A couple of standout ideas are a hand-painted card (you can do it, they will love your picture good or bad). Paint a little vegetable on the front of a blank note card and add a quippy saying such as “You are Rooted in My Heart,” “Olive You,” and “I Love you From My Head Tomatoes.” 

Another creative idea for a child sending a gift to their incarcerated parent is a Fingerprint heart tree that would be quite touching and allows you to discuss why their parent is not there to hand the present to personally. 


Due to the pandemic, visitation is taking place over video. This could be a good thing. Make sure your visit scheduled closest to Valentine’s Day or, if you are lucky on Valentine’s Day, is an event. You can wear a Valentine’s themed sweatshirt or t-shirt (follow the prison dress code). 

You can have decorations displayed in the background or even throw confetti at the computer screen. If they have sent you a card or other gift, make sure that you proudly display that. These things are efforts, and no matter what your lot in life, effort makes for positive change. This is a chance for you to tell your loved ones why you wanted them to be your Valentine. Don’t let that opportunity pass by.


At home, many don’t care about Valentine’s Day but Valentine’s Day is significant in prison. Inmates may be showing a tough exterior, but an incarcerated person thinks about love a lot. It is challenging without their loved ones being close. Many will be putting time into what they send to you, so make sure you do the same.