Six months ago today Matthew McCain died in his cell at the Durham County jail. We want to take a moment to say that he will not be forgotten by those who loved him, and by those in the jail who still write about him. We know he would still be here today if not for the inadequate medical care provided at the jail. To this point, the jail and Correct Care Solutions have escaped accountability.
A survey done by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care pointed out four essential standards the jail fell short on—including caring for detainees with long-term illness—and even the county health department’s review resulted in recommendation for changes. In the meantime, we have gotten word that the detention officer on duty at the time of Matt’s death and who reportedly ignored pleas for help, Erick Boria, has been promoted. And the sheriff’s department has very publicly conducted detainee baptisms, but neither Mike Andrews nor Natalie Perkins has ever apologized to Matt’s kin.
With the very public, high-profile deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in the news and on people’s minds, it is very important to remember others who are victims of state-sanctioned murder and severe neglect. The jail (or prison) and its backers seek to render its captives invisible. But they are not invisible and they are not forgotten.