Recently, we heard from an elderly inmate, and this is her letter about fellow aging women in prison.

“I hadn’t been back to Cruz unit in over 3 years. Cruz is where they store most of the aging population in medium custody. Women in their 60s and 70s all know each other because no one else will look out for us….but us!

I had spent most of that 3 years in Carlos and Maria units, so it was a real shock to come back to Cruz again. I didn’t recognize most of my buddies. They all used canes or wheelchairs, their hair had turned white, or they were in IPC, SNU, or the hospital. A stunning number of them had cancer.

At 72 I felt like the last one standing. Indeed, I had just finished my morning jog. What had happened while I had been away? Is the water or food causing cancer? Or is it the horrible medical care?

That will never be investigated, so we’ll never know. “