How I Befriended a Prisoner on Suicide Watch

How I Befriended a Prisoner on Suicide Watch

The Marshall Project |
August 9, 2018

I looked into her eyes and told her, “Promise me you won’t hurt yourself again.”

The day I saved Dana, I broke my streak. In all my years as a correctional officer, I had never gotten into an altercation with an inmate.

Dana was barely 22 years old when she was sent to Bedford Hills, the maximum-security New York women’s prison where I worked. She looked particularly small that night as she walked back to her cell. Several inmates began heckling her from behind. I didn't think anything of it.

Then they jumped her.

I’ve always taken the younger ones under my wing. To be a kid who is in for selling drugs or theft, among all these adults who’ve murdered, is just not easy. It’s not right, either. I would tell them to stay out of trouble, and remind them that the time was not necessarily lost, and that they could finish school inside. Do your year or two and start a new life on the outside, I would tell them.

Credit by- The Marshall Project

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