“I’ve been incarcerated a long time. This is nothing,” Cooper said from the home in Raleigh, North Carolina, he shares with his wife, Sandy, and their 10-year-old daughter, Layla.
Yet freedom isn’t always easy.
Cooper, 53, struggles with technology and suffers from claustrophobia, which he said he developed on Rikers Island. He cannot get into elevators. Crossing the street is hard because passing cars upset him. He thinks often about men he knows who remain behind bars. And he has nightmares of being back there himself.