“Practically every waking moment, I’m thinking about this case or that case,” McCloskey says. “And while I like to think I’m serving God, I have drifted away from my roots. My prayer life is almost nonexistent.” Talking to the inmates and their loved ones simultaneously sucks him dry and gives him strength. “You’re always dealing with their pain and suffering,” he says. “You’re always in the pit either of suffering or of the lies that put them there — misbehavior by authorities, corruption.”

Retirement is not an option. On a secular level, McCloskey lacks a pension. On a spiritual level, McCloskey knows he must follow the path that began in that New Jersey prison. Then there is the harsh daily reality that so many innocent people in prison await his attention.