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Dear Friends,

I hope this written communication finds you in the best of health and spirit. Please take the time to read this letter. In doing so, it proves you have respect and empathy for my condition. It declares you to be peaceful. 

My condition as a prisoner in the year 2020 amidst a global pandemic is the result of my own karma. A malefactor I may have been to land in this stockade. Please believe a reform has occurred in my heart. A dipsomaniac I have been. Under oath and numen, I swear that liqueur is no longer my goombah. 

A sitting duck am I in my keep-hold. Disease has killed my peers. Never have I been more frightened. COVID-19 wanders the penitentiary halls at all hours. At the darkest hours I’m locked in my cell at the mercy of my malady. 

I beg you, my friends. Have empathy for the prisoner locked in a cell while at the mercy of his or her guards. Write them a letter. It may be the very last time you get to tell them something of solace. 

Harold Sanford Carter III
Huntingdon Prison

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Harold Sanford Carter III is a musician and activist whose poetry has been published in the Journal of Progressive Health and Human Services as well as the American Prison Writing Archive. He was formerly incarcerated in Pennsylvania.