Two months later, a judge learned of Monica’s relapse. She was sent to prison for violating probation from an earlier meth conviction.
Her time locked up was dark, but it forced her to stay clean. At night, she would lie awake, worrying about her cyst, imagining the cancer spreading. She asked to see a doctor, she says, but was never allowed. (The Texas Department of Criminal Justice would not comment, saying only that it provides all prisoners “comprehensive health care.”)
Now, she’s ready to start her life over. She has been out of prison three weeks, living at a Dallas shelter. She receives free health care in the parking lot, on a Parkland Memorial Hospital bus. It feels like a regular doctor’s office, with a sterile smell and fluorescent lighting. It’s just much smaller.