By Elizabeth Ford
May 17, 2017
I can hear the shouting before I've even cleared the gate. Disorganized
obscenities and threats mix with stern warnings. There's fear in everyone's
voice. A patient with mental illness, scared and yelling, is resisting the
orders of the correction officers to leave his cell. The exchanges become
more heated and tense. The risk of violence rises.
"Hey," I say, looking at the patient through the cell door and placing my
palm on the scratched Plexiglas window. He keeps yelling and pacing. I keep
quiet. Within a minute, he only paces.