Surveys: ‘They think we’re a menace to society’

These are answers to an Inside-Outside Alliance interview or survey. All of them will live on our survey page. We do not offer these surveys as an academic exercise or as social research. They are the words of prisoners at Durham jail prisoners and they offer a perspective that is lacking from most conversations about what our problems are and how to get out of our collective mess.


How long have you been inside? Going on 9 months

How many court appearances have you had?

How many times have you talked to your lawyer? 

What is the situation regarding your charge? (Awaiting sentencing, awaiting trial, awaiting appearance, etc.?)
Awaiting sentencing

Have you been ever been ‘disciplined’ in your time at DCDC, either individually or as part of a group? Tell about it.



What in your opinion are the biggest problems with the DCDC?
The lockbacks

If you could express one largest grievance, what would it be? To not be out all ‘day’

Does anyone visit you at DCDC? What are their biggest problems with the DCDC? Yes, no contact visit

We have heard many complaints about medical services at the jail. What is your opinion of health services? They don’t give people their medication.

We have heard numerous complaints about food. What is your opinion about the nutritional value and taste of the food? The food is awful, uncooked potatoes, mold on the burgers.

What is your opinion of library / educational services to prisoners at the jail? No good book. They don’t give people education.

What do you think of the c.o.’s? Some act like they run this jail.

How do you get along with other prisoners? I get along with some. But they be putting gang members in the pod with other rival gangs.

How do jail staff affect your ability to get along with fellow prisoners? Does not really affect my ability.

What, if any, are some of the good experiences you have had at DCDC? None.

Have you ever made a complaint or filed a grievance with jail authorities? If so, what happened? No

Have you ever started a petition or signed a petition regarding things happening at DCDC? No

Some DCDC prisoners have suggested the idea of a prisoners council that would participate in making decisions about things at the jail. What do you think of such an idea? I totally agree

How could it work? What would it look like? That I don’t know.

What circumstances on the outside led to you being locked up? How common do you think those kind of circumstances are? The gangs led me to being locked up.

What have you noticed about being inside (who is here? Why are they here?) People getting locked up for petty charges, such as biting a girl on the lip.

In your opinion is there a relationship between race and incarceration? What is it? Everybody chills with whoever they want.

What does social class or economics have to do with getting locked up? I don’t know.

What do you think is the point of jail? Prison? The justice system? What do you think people on the outside think about people who are locked up? They think we’re a menace to society.

What do you think are the possibilities for living in a different kind of world, and how do we get there? I don’t know.

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