‘Not being able to see (mom) in the flesh would give me one less reason to live’

What’s been up brother? How are you, me I’m fine. I just met a man not too many weeks ago. He’s about 65 or so years old. His name is Ronnie Long. He did forty years for a crime that he did not do and there was no evidence of. His base is in Durham…They recently granted a retrial because of some help from some lawyers in Durham. I think you may know more about him than me. Anyway, how are you? I’m so glad to hear from you.

I am fine. I’m very hurt that a girl of 17 should lose her life in the jail. That’s painful. I hate to say that I think more people die in DCJ than her where people are stabbed (fairly often). I know that it’s a shitty comparison. 

I know that I’m here in prison, but if there is anything I can do from here, let me know. I’m reeling from so much, it seems, just a lot going on in the political atmosphere.

You know, on DCJ: at first it was a shock like being locked somewhere that’s a void with no air. That’s how I felt when I first was detained. It was some of the worst pain that I have felt in my 29 years. And I will never forget it. At first I just wanted to sleep and die. I felt separated from myself, like at anytime I could just die and be through with it. I don’t like going back through this, but to help others I will call to memory the feelings and the thoughts of hopelessness that DCJ brings to me. I’m 29 years old. An Army combat veteran. I was an infantryman, a fighter. In all the training I received and skills I learned, it still was not enough to prepare me for the deprivation that I would experience in DCJ. Afghanistan did not help me in DCJ. My first week no one asked me if I was alright. If I was having thoughts of suicide. If I had family or someone they could call. No one cares. Don’t care where you came from, how you got there. It was hopeless, after about a week or two someone came to my cell and said I have a visit. I didn’t know who it was, or how they knew I was there. But I walked into the visitation booth and she was standing there with her hands on the glass and she told me, ‘It’s going to be alright, it’s ok, I love you, you’re going to be alright.’ When I saw my mother standing there in front of me, I drew strength from seeing her there in front of me. From that day forward she came to see me at least once a week. I spent 4 years in that jail, and without being able to see her in the flesh, would have given me one less reason to live.

But I guess I’m fortunate. Some people aren’t so fortunate. I guess they just give more money to DCJ to make sure we kill ourselves. It’s like paying someone for hopelessness. Durham County Jail wants me to commit suicide. That’s why it is the way it is. That’s what they do with the money–buy misery. Life is hard, people have little. But I guess it’s easy to make things harder for people who are in a hopeless place.

No hope at 17 years old; whose baby has no hope? Who supports no hope. I guess you pay for suicide. Your money, your hopelessness, you want 17 year old suicide. Your money, your program, you’re responsible for her death. Hopeless pain at 17–whose baby?

Sorry I got a little taken away. I’m so sad. I hope this helps.

Striving together inside and outside,

Timothy B.

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