Casey Hodge stepped from the prison van, trembling under the weight of her thick handcuffs and leg shackles. The slight 25-year-old was led with a group of other women into a small room and ordered to strip naked.
“Show me your pink,” said a female corrections officer, instructing her to squat and cough so that they could peer between her legs and certify that she wasn’t concealing anything.
Hodge, who has been legally blind since she was 16, then was told to remove her glass eye. “They wanted to make sure I wasn’t hiding anything in my socket,’’ she remembers. So she pulled it out with her fingers. The officers nearly fell off their chairs, she said, mocking her like children and pretending to vomit.
“I felt like I was a kid, being bullied all over again,” said Hodge, who had never been in trouble with the law before her arrest on drug trafficking charges in 2012.
Hodge once dreamed of growing up to be a photographer. Now she was inmate No. 155778, sentenced to three years to be served at Lowell Correctional Institution, a state prison that houses the five women on Florida’s Death Row — and has the distinction of being the largest women’s prison in the United States.