Two snow moments

Two moments from the recent snowstorms:

I was coming into work at the jail as the storm got bad. Rather than the usual crowd of visitors waiting in the lobby, there was only one young man. Wow, I thought, he must really be desperate for this visit to come here in such terrible weather.

As I went in through the sally port, an officer was bringing out a young woman. Inmates who have completed their sentences are released in the morning, so an afternoon release meant she was a detainee who had just gotten bailed out. I realized why the young man had come.

The steel door slid open. The woman flew out through the metal detector and into the arms of the waiting man.


Later that night, I was in the infirmary watching a man walking from a medical appointment back across the yard to his unit. All inmates must be given access to fresh air, which mostly means a “rec deck”—a semi-enclosed porch with a basketball hoop. Walking across the yard is the only time most of them are under the open sky. (I had one client who signed up for a class in another building just so he could walk there and back every day.)

The man crossed the yard as slowly as possible without actually stopping, stretching his arms wide to the storm, face up to the swirling snow.



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