‘The only thing left is to beat me’

Hi, my name is Joseph Clayton. I’m currently an inmate in the Durham County Jail. I’ve been here since January 4th 2015, so I’ve been here since the lockback started. I have several concerns. First, I’m a diabetic. My first two months I wasn’t given the correct medication. As a result, my vision had started getting bad. And I experienced weight loss and weird headaches and dizziness. Since the lockback started, I’ve been locked back 72 hours at a time several times and as much as 98.5 hours at one time. My shoes were taken. It took more than 2 months to get them back. Most people still haven’t gotten theirs back. The only reason I got mine back is because I’ve been trying to file a sexual harassment suit against a male officer for making obscene gestures such as kissing at me and acting like he was (masturbating). The captain came to talk to me about it, and later that day they took me to get my shoes. But they’ve taken other and newer inmates’ shoes since then.

I’ve not been able to practice my religion since the lockback. I’m Muslim and we meet on Fridays at 1:00 pm for prayer. We have not been allowed to do so. It’s now Ramadan, a month of fast for Muslims. Today is the 20th day out of 30. They’ve only brought our breakfast trays 8 times on time for us to eat before it’s light outside. I’ve also taken our lunch trays, which is the only form of vegetables we have and give us 2 “dinner” trays which consist of sandwiches. I’ve tried to explain to sergeants, kitchen officers, even the captain that by doing that they would be depriving us of vegetables for a month. Some say they understand. Others like Sgt. Hassleback says that’s the way it’s always been for the 13 years he’s worked here. And if I don’t like it, I can stop participating. I’ve been taken off the list (special diet) 3 times. Another inmate who has been taken off said it was because we complain. I’ve been complaining about the food since day 1. Once a week for “dinner” they serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with cake and applesauce, which I never eat because it’s full of sugar and I don’t get insulin after “dinner.” So since I’ve been fasting there’s been no lunch, no vegetables, just 2 trays of sandwiches—that’s 8 slices of white bread, 8 slices of cold cuts, cake and applesauce, oranges or pineapple. Very unhealthy for anybody but especially a diabetic, but no one seems to care. I’ve even been served raw meatballs and food from the day before because it was the exact same thing. A fish pattie broken into pieces, rice clumped together and mushy veggies. And the fact that I’ve been a chef for more than 20 years I know food. I feel that this jail has violated me in almost every way possible. They’ve not provided me with proper medical care, taken my personal property (my shoes), they won’t allow me to practice my religion, and sexually harassed me, and won’t provide me with a proper diet. The only thing left is to beat me. I recently witnessed an inmate have the shower curtain pulled down and threatened with a tazer because he was taking too long in the shower. This is inhumane treatment and I need some legal representation. I read that you guys are the same people who picket outside of the jail on Fridays. Thank you. I gave you guys my info when I was visiting my brother last year who was being held falsely for a crime he didn’t commit. I also heard that you wanted to hear stories about what’s going on to post them. Well, I give you permission to post mine and you can use my real name. It’s very important that this jail is exposed. Please do what you can to help.

Thank you.

Joseph Clayton

 

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