‘Changes need to be made’

Hi,— …as far as the jail goes it’s still the same, nothing changed…I don’t have much to say but changes need to be made in this place (FOOD). No shit, it’s sad. (Also) Need that last lock back. We are locked up already. Then lock us back some more? That’s crazy. People need that last hour and 45, there’s no way u can sleep that much. Well, anyway, something needs to be done. Until next time, stay blessed and keep doing what you are doing. Thank you. Keep hope alive.

-Big

Durham detainees dump Aramark

Here comes word (Herald-Sun, News and Observer) that the county commissioners have approved a new contract for inmate meal preparation and food service at the Durham jail. With so many writings and drawings at amplifyvoices addressing food, we would be remiss to not acknowledge this news.

Some may think this decision was made in the halls of government. And the choice of which company (ABL Management) certainly was, especially as the decision casts the sheriff’s office, the county commissioners and the health department in a positive light for suddenly seeming to care about nutrition and food palatability, cleanliness, and inmate training (as vaguely presented ). But this decision, that removes Aramark as the food service provider at the Durham County Detention Facility after 20 consecutive years, was made by the many, many detainees who have filed grievances, refused food as individuals and in groups, and bravely spoken their piece about the inadequacies of the food they are served while confined at the jail. A dubious victory, perhaps, in terms of ‘improvement,’ but a victory nonetheless. It should open our eyes to our power inside and outside the jail walls, at the same time as it reminds those cops and pols who seek to brandish their human rights credentials that they stand on shaky ground.

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

A Trip to the Dentist

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

What did you say, Dawn! This is true, me and another inmate we waited 6 weeks, both with the same problem. We both had teeth to break off at the gum line. Medical of course blames it on the dentist! The nurse told us both the same thing. The dentist chooses who goes first. So we decided we would ask them. Why so long? They said that they were willing to work more than 4 hours a week, but that’s all the jail would allow. I think those dentists do a very good job. At somewheres around  people a week is all they have time to do. Then they need to start transporting those who are in bad pain, 2 Tylenol in morning and evening is the max we will get for up to 1.5 months or until the dentist has seen you. I had an infection for those 6 weeks, and they still didn’t take me to the dentist. They cut my medication off, though! Had to go back down to medical to have it re-upped. Then I finally went within a week. Who’s really to blame?! And I’m damn sure I’m not by myself!! Help correct this!!

‘At times it feels like we are in a hole…’

8-14-16

Dear –

My name is —. I’m currently at Wake Correctional in Raleigh. I’m writing you in response to the article that was in last week’s newspaper. I want to begin by saying thank you to you and the whole Inside-Outside Alliance and to all the organizations and people that are involved with the protest and rallies that you all are doing. And I believe that I speak for the majority of the inmates in prison, if not all, when I say that what you’re doing is so very great. At times it feels like we are in a hole with no way of getting out. With very little contact or help from the world. But it’s groups like yours that give us all a little more hope in life. I want to share a little of my story with you and I’m completely ok with you sharing it with people if you’d like. Since 1999 I’ve been in and out of prison 5 times. And in and out of jail I’m not exactly sure how many times. All because of being on drugs. I was a drug addict of all drugs really. Some more than others. But drug addict none the less. Each prison sentence I was given got longer and longer. I’ve been in since October 2011 now. And I have about 57 more months left before I go home. Each time I’ve been to prison is because of stealing to support my drug habit. Every time I got locked up in jail I would ask for help. To be send to a rehab. I was pretty much accepted to TROSA once. But the judge wouldn’t allow me to go get help. The only treatment I’ve had was a 90 day AND90 program at Burgaw prison in 2006. That program is a joke. A waste of taxpayers’ money. Nobody can begin to get clean in 90 days. Not even in a year. It takes time and help. But the system feels like they are doing something major by having that program. Anyway for the first time in a very long time, I decided to get clean in 2011. And I’ve been clean since. From drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. And I work hard to stay that way. Since the first prison sentence I ever done until now, the wages that are paid to prisoners for jobs are still the same. Very, very little money. And the prices of everything in the canteen have more than tripled on most things, from food to hygiene. The prices for medical have went up. And they charge us taxes on the gift money that our families send us. And I believe that gift money is supposed to be tax free. And on top of that, since we have to pay taxes on items from the canteen we should be allowed to have our families file for those taxes on their income taxes. But we’re not able to. If we get a write up then we are charged $10.00 And they write us up for simple things a lot. Like not having our shirt tails tucked in. For having an extra pair of socks or boxers or pants. We get wrote up for feeding the wild geese and deer. What kind of write up is that? They treat our families like criminal when they come to visit us. And the list goes on and on. There is no reason worth this type of treatment. They put us in the hole for simple things. And for 15 to 100 days depending on the write ups. The federal prisons have ipads for inmates to email their families. And they pay inmates for the work they do. The prison system don’t have any type of real resources to help inmates when they are released. We have to have a way to get to the DMV to get an I.D. And we have to have an I.D. to get a place to stay, cash checks and other things. You are right, prison is a modern day slavery. And the prison is a bad place for people with drug problems. They lock us up off the street from being drug addicts. And with no help to get clean, they throw us in a prison which is full of drugs, that are possibly brought in by the guards or administration…And when we use drugs we fail drug tests, and when we fail drug tests we are written up for failing a drug test, and then put in the hole for a minimum of 30 days. These are just a few of the many problems in prison. One more problem is that there are a lot of prisons like Pender, Sampson, Harnett, etc., that don’t have A/C. And it gets 100 degrees or more in the dorms. The prison won’t put in A/C because we are inmates. But the animal rights activist will have a national standoof/protest if an animal shelter don’t have A/C. So if a dog or a cat has to have A/C then why don’t a human being have that right? Anyway, these are just some things that maybe you’d like to know. And I do hope that you’ll keep up the protests and help that you are giving us. It is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for all that you do. Be safe and take care!

Sincerely,

E.G.L.