I left my friends in prison in a pandemic. Here’s what it’s like for them

I receive phone calls from distraught friends inside, complaining of unbearable heat, uncontrollable outbreaks and paltry diets

When I first met my friend Melissa in prison, she impressed me with her ability to endure crisis with a mere shrug and dispassionate roll of the eyes. She doesn’t rattle easily, so the trembling in her voice during recent phone calls alarmed me.

“I’m scared,” she said about the mounting Covid-19 crisis in Texas prisons. This was the first time I heard Melissa say she feared anything.

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