‘One voice is but a whisper, a thousand are a mighty roar’

Dear IOA

I am a female inmate currently in custody at Durham County jail. First, I want to praise the work and efforts made to give voice to any and all parties willing to speak out against issues that would otherwise go unaddressed. As a temporary resident in this jail I am expressing the need for all inmates, male and female, to be properly screened and searched. Lice were discovered in 5D (women’s housing unit). The woman came into the facility with them, and was a part of general population for nearly a week before they were discovered. She was given one treatment, placed on medical lockback and virtually forgotten about besides meals. When approximately two weeks had passed, there was a breech in communication. One squad was told she was medically cleared, when she had not been. She again joined general population, only to be locked back until she was released. There have been grievances filed about females grooming and styling hair in the eating area, which is highly unsanitary, but no one has formally addressed this matter. Another issue in the female pod is the constant unnecessary request for toilet paper and feminine products, which should be kept on hand. There is no reason a woman should have to wait for items that are necessary to ensure good hygienical practices.

About the food: the quality is substandard and at times unappetizing in taste or appearance. Even more so when hair is found in it. I don’t doubt that those working in the kitchen practice good service by wearing proper attire, some things just happen but shouldn’t. On several occasions we have been served spoiled milk, rotten fruit and molded bread. The sad things is that the quality was obvious, and it was still placed on the serving cart. Canteen and hot trays are a godsend for some people who would otherwise not eat if these services weren’t available. The down side is the unpredictability of the delivery. It feels to some as if their money is held hostage and delivery is intentionally delayed. The system should not let me order what is not available or in the inventory. By the time an order is processed or filled it is too late to guarantee delivery of items ordered with the money that is in the account. How can a company making upwards of a “guesstimated” $9,000 per canteen cycle continuously run out of the most popular items, such as honey buns and hot chips? Clearly, they are in the wrong profession. No matter who the customer is there should be some type of integrity when it comes to quality of service. It is clear that nothing will change if we continue to be silent about how we are treated as inmates if we don’t speak up. Although we must remember there is a way to speak up. One voice is but a whisper, and a thousand are a mighty roar. Speak up so we can all be heard. Thank you for the platform to express my concerns and don’t stop what y’all are doing.

Respectfully submitted, E.F.B.

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