‘This is our life inside’

the following letter was received more than five weeks after it was written. 

Oct 22 2016


My name is J. B. I’m an inmate in Durham County jail scheduled to return to — County…I am in fear of serving the rest of my time in Durham due to an outbreak of scabies that the jail and medical staff have tried to cover up. I was exposed to this disease because the medical staff put the inmate who was infected in our block. I actually shook hands with him, he used the phones and showers. Two days later they removed him and the sergeant along with a nurse came in with biohazard bags and removed his personal items. We asked what was going on and all the nurse said was “this is a routine check.” They never sanitized the cell block, never checked any of us inmates for infection. Please help! Please!! Also during my stay at Durham County Jail, they never do regular check ups on their medical patients. I have hypertension, PTSD, and depression. I take meds for my illnesses. There is mold in these cells, and the walls and floors are filthy.

We’re supposed to have access to telephone books, bondsmen, our medical charts–this is our lives inside, and when you have no family to get you the help you need, you’re just a name and number. Why are there extra staff just walking around, but this jail is on lockdown so much? After 6:45 pm you won’t see outside your cell until 6 am the next morning. The officers cuss at you, lock you back in your cell if you ask too many questions or defend yourself when they cuss at you! You can write a grievance all day long and it takes five days to hear back or not, but takes five minutes or less for the stripes to lock you down or put you in the hole! I have written to the news and will continue to write to them and you all if you’re willing to help. I’m not afraid to tell the truth period! Please get in touch with me ASAP! By the time you read this I will be in — County jail. I will contact you again! Please help in fear of my health, and the lives or other inmates are in jeopardy. I will go on record to show how serious I am. Thank you.


P.S. Help is all I’m asking!

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