Melissa Ann Horn’s name appeared over and over in court records and jail blotters in the rural Virginia county where she was born, and where she was arrested for crimes related to her struggles with meth and money.
When she died April 14 of coronavirus she contracted in a state prison for women, Virginia officials wouldn’t even say her name.
Women are the less visible victims of COVID-19 behind bars—as they are so often overlooked in a criminal justice system that was not designed for them. Though only a small number have died—at least 13 reported as of Wednesday—their stories illuminate the unique problems women face in prison. They also reflect the all-too-common ways they get there in the first place: drug addiction and violence involving the men in their lives. Continue reading >>>