Frozen by the day


To my readers: I’m writing you from my freezer. That’s right! I said, freezer. The room I’m in is just like a freezer. There’s no heat in the Durham Co. Jail. They keep you locked down 17 hours a day. In this freezer they call a room, I have to put on everything I own. Just to sleep at night. I’m 51 years old. And they will not give me two blankets just to stay warm. One day, someone will die in one of these rooms. By freezing to death. It’s part of the plea system from the courthouse. As well as how they feed you. You know they feed us syrup and dry bread for breakfast. Every Monday morning.

We need help in this jail. Or some of us are going to die here. Durham has the highest conviction rate. Because no one wants to die in jail. And it will happen. If no one tries to help us. The ADA, and public defenders office are working together. To keep you here. Look how long you have to wait to get to court. I’m 7 months in my self. I only have one charge. And it’s not so bad. The system – send help.



p.s. Can you send me some books to read? I’m having a hard time with patience. I could also use some stamps. I don’t have money to buy any. And if I put ‘No Funds’ on my letter, it may get to you. It may not. There’s a lot I need to tell you about this jail stuff. My mom was hospitalized with cancer. Had surgery. Sargent Brown would not allow me a phone call to see how she is doing. I need your help. Let the people know how we are being treated in here.

2 thoughts on “Frozen by the day

  1. Maybe you people should have thought about obeying the law. Right now I sitting in a nice cozy house. Heat at 72. You made your bed and now you gotta lie in it( hope u freeze)

    • John, jail is not prison. Jail is where people are held while they await trial. That means some of them are definitely innocent. (I’d be willing to bet you believe in the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”.) In practice, only poor people who cannot afford bail end up waiting in jail for their trial, which can take many months to get scheduled. I saw a trial where a guy had stolen some copper wire. He’d been held in jail for 10 months because he had no money to pay bail (if you’re scrapping copper to get by, you’re too poor to pay bail!). The “trial” took about 15 minutes because the longest sentence the judge could give him was far less than the time he’d already spent in jail! He went free that day, but only after having lost 10 months of his life to living in jail because he was poor. No one with any means at all would have spent that 10 months in jail, whether they were innocent or guilty, because they would have been out on bail. So, our county jails have become debtors prisons in this country because we don’t provide enough resources to ensure speedy AND FAIR trials. It’s a messed up situation because *everyone* in a county jail should be presumed innocet until convicted, and should be treated with the respect that an innocent person deserves.

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