We need an independent investigation—ASAP!

by Cynthia Fox


As-Salaam-Alaikum (Peace Be Unto You)

Hi, I’m the parent of an inmate in the Durham Co. Jail, who has been incarcerated for over two and a half years.

I am so very disgusted with the so-called policies and protocols implemented at the Durham Co. Jail. People (inmates) are still sick and hungry! The $20 fee to see a doctor is a big joke since they only administer aspirin for everything!

My son has a plate in his arm and it’s not a permanent item. This plate was supposed to be removed over a year ago and the Durham Co. Jail system has done nothing to accommodate the process of having this plate removed from his arm. The plate is now causing a lot of pain.

The shoes that were taken from inmates in pod 4D have not been returned and I have personally been told by detention officers and higher ranking staff that the shoes could not even be given back to family members of inmates. The Durham Detention Center has not right to keep property that is not included in trial matters. They also keep phones. Not lawful!

I’ve filed two complaint grievances at the Durham County Jail for conflict of interest, not returning mail that was refused by the jail, and the lack of cooperation from Major Couch and Lt. Col. Perkins who both say they “run the Durham County jail the way they want to, and nobody can do anything about it!” I beg to differ!

My son is innocent of what he’s charged with and has been in no trouble since being incarcerated in the Durham facility. So why have his shoes been taken? Why can he get no health care assistance? Why have my grievances not been addressed?

The unprofessionalism and lack of qualifications of the staff running the DCJ is so upsetting to me. The majority of the staff are people of color, lording over the inmates and it reminds me of the ‘house nigger-field nigger relationship. No, I’m not ashamed to use the word nigger, since its definition means “any person of low intelligence,” and that could mean any race.

By the way, who gives the Durham Co. Jail the right to keep mail and not return to sender, then claim it is lost—isn’t that against the law? I’m aware that they read and refuse some mail, but by law it’s supposed to be returned. Who’s the criminal here?

The Durham Co. Jail is guilty of de-humanizing its inmates. The state of mind these inmates are in, once they leave the deplorable condition in the jail, has lasting negative effects once they are released back into society or the prison system.

The D.R.T. (Durham Response Team) is often called in to intimidate inmates while the DRT practices their drills. There was an incident last year where Major Couch called in the response team from Raleigh to assist him in a shakedown at the Durham jail, and knowingly allowed a member of this team to enter the cell of an inmate with whom he had a conflict of interest because this staff member of the Raleigh Response Team was a family member to the victim in the inmates’ case. The officer who went into the cell had to be physically removed because he couldn’t contain his emotions. Now, what kind of security is Major Couch running?

This staff is corrupt! Bottom line! Inmates have been raped by staff, and one such d.o. has now been fired. Yes, there is proof. Another inmate has died while incarcerated, while asking for help because he had swallowed a bunch of pills prior to his arrest, and he was totally ignored because they didn’t believe him. Now he’s dead!!! What’s up with that? There are so many things to be exposed, that is why there is to be and should be an independent investigation as to the way Sheriff Andrews, Lt. Col. Perkins and Major Couch are running the Durham County Jail.

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