‘What good is this place doing for anyone?’

Paul, outside of DCDF, after visitation:

I don’t like coming down here. If it was something he (my son) had done I would accept it, but still wouldn’t like it. But I’m old, and it takes a lot out of me to come down here twice a week. It isn’t fun coming down here. Some people are in here, and they’re laughing about stuff. It ain’t funny. This ain’t a happy or funny place to be. I’ve worked hard my whole life, and you know what? Life is serious. I’ve worked hard and been told ‘why you sitting down?’ Cause I’m tired, that’s why. But they say ‘get up, get to work.’ Life is serious and this place should make you see that. 

What good is this place doing for anyone? Even those who might have taken someone’s life, how do they get any better by being in here? But when my son gets out of here, he is not going to be the same. My wife don’t understand it, but he will not be the same. All that’s being put in them in there. And taken away. It’s their freedom being taken from them. Every living creature wants to be free. When I was young, we had animals, and we kept them in a pen, and you should just see them if they got out of the pen, they loved it. But the way they treat ’em in there, it turns you against Durham. It turns me against Durham. If I were him (my son) and they told me, ‘—, you’re free,’ I’d be just like a bird and fly away from here.

The thing is you get used to living like that and you got to try to learn how to live all over again. They produce criminals. Jail produces what? Crime and criminals. You see how big this jail is before us here? Before long you know it, they’ll be building it bigger or building another one, to house all the criminals they have produced. Instead of that, this place across the street here (DPAC), why don’t they build a place bigger than that where we can help people?

We need more people like you and me, who ain’t afraid, who are gonna keep struggling for a better day.

Put my name on this, and any place you print it. What do I care or got to worry about? I’m old and they’ll catch up with me if they want to catch up with me, but I ain’t afraid of them.

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