Arnold Hudson Sr. began working as a correctional officer at D.C. prison in 1997, just one year after marrying his wife, Diane.
Before that, he spent six years as a warden at the now closed Lorton prison. According to Hudson, providing security and advice to incarcerated men and women is a noble profession.
Hudson, 52, never worried that an inmate would harm him. If you show respect to the inmates, he says he has learned over the years, they will return it in kind. Still, Hudson’s eyes were always open for possible problems.
But that was the danger that Hudson couldn’t see that he thought he had brought home from prison. In March, he and his wife fell ill. Her cough became so severe that she was rushed to D.C. emergency room and tested positive for the new coronavirus. Diane Robin-Hudson was hospitalized for 10 days, a distressing time for Hudson, who was not allowed to visit and was unable to get updates from the harassed nurses over the phone.
A few days later, Hudson also tested positive for the coronavirus. Her last day of work was March 25, the day her wife went to the hospital. It was also the day the city announced its first detainee-positive coronavirus test.
“My work involves risks. I understood this and accepted it years ago. But my wife, my family, shouldn’t be in danger just because I went to work everyday to put food on the table, ”said Hudson, her voice breaking on the phone. “How to live with this? “