‘What they are trying to do is torture to these people’

this first appeared in our print publication, feedback, volume 9.


by Dora

I first became aware of the lock back, sometime in March. Because my dad had, had court that day, and when he was brought back to his cell, everyone was locked up. It was bad. It is bad.

As far as what people inside are doing to resist the conditions, I have heard that some inmates create chaos in there. Some have even tried fighting the guards to try to do something about it, and others do as they are told to try to see if that helps better the conditions and situations. But nothing seems to be helping.

Some inmates, for example my father, has a serious illness. He needs a special diet and special medication that are being denied to him because “He is a prisoner. He’s living at a jail not at his house”! He was taken to the hospital about a month and a half ago because his whole body was paralyzing . He was losing oxygen, his mouth began to dry. His whole body and face turned white, and as we pleaded and yelled for help to save him and do something, they kicked us out. We had no information about how he was. We weren’t allowed to go visit him and for over 30 minutes a group of 5 or more sheriff officers stood around him laughing and making fun of him while he was slowly dying and asking them to help him. The only criminals here are the Sheriff’s department and anyone else who is helping fund them. They are the thieves and murderers here. They don’t get real food, when they are sick they aren’t taken to the doctor. They don’t have real educated doctors in there. They are woken up at 2 a.m to cut their hair. The mail is opened, read and very rarely delivered to them. If you do not have any money, they will NOT by any means take you to be seen. You will first die before you are allowed any medical help. What they are doing is torture to these people who, no matter the race, language, religion, sex, still have a right to live. A dog lives better than these inmates. They have feeling and they are human beings and also make mistakes and some are innocent .

Here’s a story that might help people understand the humanity of the people inside. During one of the shakedowns (where they go in and take whatever possessions of yours they want, supposedly to get contraband), the officers took from my dad a card he had gotten for Valentine’s Day that played music. They threw it away. But, what happened was the garbage was maybe a work duty for someone, and they took the card out, and it ended up making its way down the line of cells and back to my dad eventually. The other inmates knew it was his card, and they knew there was no reason he shouldn’t have it so they made sure he got it back after the shakedown.

As for the officers, well, one time recently when we were outside looking at my dad through the window, and my brother and sister were writing on the sidewalk with a rock, a c.o. came out and told us we were ‘defacing public property’ and we had to go. He said something about taxpayers and public property. I said we pay taxes and it’s not defacing anything. But he said again, more forcefully, you have to go. When we didn’t move right away, he said “You have to go,” and he reached toward his gun and he put his hand on it, as though to show us what he would do. We started moving then. It was very upsetting because it was threatening.

My family and I got involved in the protests because I have my father and several other family in jail and it really hurts and kills me to see not only what is being done to them and how they have been treated, but to EVERY inmate in there. They are humans, not animals and even animals do not deserve that kind of torture that is being done to the inmates at Durham County Detention Center. The inmates are like the guinea pigs and sheriff department is the scientist. The protests have done a lot of great things. The inmates have gotten the privilege to 4 hours out of their pods since the protests. Although the price to be seen when they aren’t feeling well has gone up from $10 to $20.

A great memory of the protests is one day when we played music and we went walking around the entire jail and the inmates (some) were able to see that we haven’t forgotten them. We will continue to fight for Justice and for their rights.

We continue to do this because the inmates like it. My dad is truly thankful and grateful to every single person who has been out there helping protest, not caring of the weather conditions or the trouble/problems that protesting might bring. He says that as long as we’re protesting, “OUR VOICES and PRAYERS” will be heard. He says that this is the best we could have done.

A jail is designed to help and/or guide those who have made mistakes. To help them be better and maybe to teach them a lesson. A jail is supposed to help keep innocents safe, but Durham County Detention Center is doing the opposite. The inmates aren’t learning anything, they are being TORTURED and HUMILIATED and treated like garbage.

I think the police, jails, prisons and the justice system are 100 percent in favor of this dumb legacy/belief that white people are better. African-Americans, Indians, Hispanics and many other races can do just as much good and bad that “White” people can and do. No race is better than another. A brown egg and a white egg are still “eggs”.  The brown egg isn’t less of an egg just because it’s BROWN . The skin color does NOT matter. It’s very sad to see that the people that are supposed to represent the words “Justice” and ” Equality” are the same people who are breaking the laws and showing what UnJustice and InEquality really is.


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