BLOOMBERG - July 21 - Sites like loveaprisoner.com, inmate-connection.com, and inmatepassions.com promote companionship between those living inside and those living outside prison walls. Recently some inmates have seen their access to such sites restricted or banned altogether, as states and the federal government spar over criminal justice reform. Officials in Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and Pennsylvania have restricted the access inmates have to pen-pal websites. Florida banned them altogether. Beyond helping inmates endure their sentences by letting them know someone on the outside is thinking of them, prison dating sites may be able to help reduce recidivism, says the University of Alberta's Churchill. He's surveying 2,500 inmates and pen pals in the U.S., and he says he's seen enough already to determine "it can have a positive benefit for those inside and out." The flip side, critics say, is that dating sites give criminals a chance to prey on the emotions and bank accounts of the naive.