As you would expect, WE tv’s prison romance reality series Love After Lockup has featured numerous incarcerated cast members who have had rough lives, and that is certainly the case for Season 2’s Brittany Santiago. The 28-year-old convicted felon has spent seven of her ten adult years behind bars — and that came after spending numerous nights as a teen on the streets or in strangers’ homes.
Brittany mentioned on the show that her parents were alcoholics, and that she ran away from home when she was 12. She got pregnant when she was 15; while pregnant, Brittany spent some nights in Sunset Park in Las Vegas.
Two years later, Brittany was pregnant again. This time, CPS got involved, and the children from both pregnancies were taken away and placed for adoption. After losing her children, Brittany’s drug use increased. She eventually found herself caught up in a home invasion that led to her first felony arrest at the age of 18.
Less than three weeks after completing a five-year prison sentence, Brittany shared a post on Facebook about how losing her two children still haunted her:
Last night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned but my restless mind wouldn’t give in. I wonder who tucked my children in their beds? I wonder if they’re happy? I wonder when I’ll see them again? Everywhere I go I see mothers with their young children. Some don’t know just how lucky they are. A woman sees me staring. I smile and keep walking. It’s interesting when you think about it. You can be standing right next to someone that’s screaming inside but you’ll never know one’s turmoil unless they tell you. I was imagining that woman was me. Her little girl was my daughter running down the aisle with a doll in her hand. That woman probably didn’t give me a passing thought. Last night I couldn’t sleep. Nights like that are not rare but I’m realizing my days wont be much different. I smile at a young child and carry on with my day. I am strong. To overcome is my only option. I will not settle for less!
Brittany has the names Cynthia and William tattooed on her forearms, but I could not find confirmation anywhere that those are the names of her children placed for adoption. I’m also not sure exactly when Brittany got the tattoos. She already had them VERY soon after her release from prison in late 2013, but I couldn’t find any photos of her arms prior to that online.
Here is a photo of the tattoos from the show:
One month after her October 2013 release, Brittany completed a post-incarceration job placement and leadership program. She was also preparing for her first college classes, to begin in January of 2014. “I’ve been home exactly one month now and everything is going great!” Brittany wrote that November. “I feel like I’ve already accomplished so much and this is really just the beginning. I see the world with new eyes, it’s almost hard to explain. I appreciate what others bypass. I thank god for my second chance and will live everyday to the fullest. Anything less than that I’m cheating myself!”
By the end of 2014, Brittany welcomed her son Giovanni. In 2016 she was arrested and back behind bars. When she was released earlier this year, Marcelino and WE tv cameras were waiting!
Brittany and Marcelino had a formal wedding in August, but they didn’t officially get married until December 27. It’s still unclear why they had to wait to make it official. There is a Las Vegas baby registry set up in their names with a due date of December 31, but it is still unknown if Brittany is expecting — or has already given birth to — another baby. (All the information on the registry is included in the link to the wedding info above.)
You can follow Marcelino and Brittany’s journey with new episodes of Love After Lockup airing Friday nights at 9/8c on WE tv.
Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm. You can contact Asa via Twitter, Facebook, or email at starcasmtips(at)yahoo.com