Locked in a dark room, at least six inmates at Lorton Correctional Complex never see the light of day. They don’t have lawyers, either. But they do receive occasional visits from family: They’re the animals—two gerbils, two rabbits, and two birds—that, along with a few dozen cats, constitute what remains of Lorton’s People, Animals, and Love (PAL) program. Lorton is one of the few prisons in the country that allow prisoners to have pets on site. “We’re always looking for alternatives to decrease the tension inside,” explains D.C. Department of Corrections spokesperson Darryl J. Madden. When the facility closes for good next year, its approximately 2,500 inmates will move to federal prisons across the country. Alas, their pets won’t be allowed to make the trip with them. Northern Virginia’s chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has placed most of Lorton’s felines, but other animals are still looking for new cells, er, homes. —Annys Shin