“this for the Durham Association of Educators”

Dear g______ ________

I’m doing alright thanks for asking, yes we are doing a creative writing class where we get to express ourselves in different kinds of ways.  Rap, poem, drawings, speeches, & a lot more.  Curtis Barnette [another detainee] started the class & we sign up for it.  We start at 12 or when the multi-purpose room ain’t at use & any action book or drawing book is good & a dictionary, too.  I like making great drawings so I’m like more tattoo drawings.

this for the Durham Association of Educators, & the union of public school teacher: thank you for focusing on our Education.  I’m still enrolled in my base school.  I was 17 when I got here, now I’m 18.  I’m up in here for a couple a months now.  The government should focus on building schools & jobs instead of making money for the jail, b/c this jail system is so crooked.  I’m here with no proof of me committing any crime of what they blaming me for – no weapon found, no evidence of any stolen goods, no witnesses.  I’ve been just waiting for my court dates & they cancel my court date every time its been scheduled.  My lawyer just once he came and see be.  I haven’t been to court at all.  The DAs lying on everything, the court appointed lawyers ain’t helping, to be honest.  Fuck Durham County Jail, they want me to feel down & plead guilty so they can make money off me.  You know what they chose the wrong person, b/c I’m staying strong.  I got into the word of God & he helps me to stay strong & for my family & loved ones who support me they can’t even come to visit me.  I only saw my mom 3 times & now they ain’t allowing her to come.  I’m against the video visitation.  So many young teens like my age die in this cells & they just say they committed suicide or natural cause.  It ain’t true.  The COs allow it to happen & if they ain’t do nothing about it that’s how they move up to new positions.  The canteen be ripping us off of our money, they don’t return our money when we order canteen & they don’t bring our canteen, & they act like they don’t know nothing.  Man shyt crazy.  I can’t even trust the law & I never did & never will.  I speak for all my latinos up in here.  I got a friend here & they don’t let him have any visit.  His family want to see him but they don’t allow him to have any visit, & when they feel they loosing our case they put a deportation order on my people with out having proof of anything.  We get crazy rash on our body b/c of the sope & our clothes are being washed with only water & we get rash from it & we get back pain from the bed they give us.  They treat us like a bunch of animals.  They hold us over years & trying to make us commit suicide & if you don’t have money you can’t get no medical attention or get the medication you need to live.  Shyt crazy man.  They block the phone sometimes so we can’t call anyone.  People are still here fighting o live & some lost their life fighting the system.  Thank you IOA for working on protest to help us students & anyone up in jail.  Thank you and god bless y’all.



ghost z:.

‘We’ve been taught to love a song that blatantly disrespects us’


What’s happening? I’m glad you reached out to me. I do have a few comments concerning a few different topics. First I want to shout out the new food company ABL. They holding it down with the new food changes they’re regulating with. After eating Aramark for 3.5 years and now eating ABL’s I truly understand that Aramark are a bunch of damn crooks. Words can’t explain how much of a shame and absurd it is how they’ve got over for all these years on what they served to us as “food.”

Next shout out to Danielle Mace. What you told me they did to you was unacceptable and I hope you push with legal action till you receive the proper acknowledgment you deserve to expose these bastards. Nothing but love shorty. Next I want to acknowledge a recent incident that took place last week. Officer Faulkner kicked us off the recreation yard after 30 minutes of basketball. (as also described in this post) Continue reading

Con un hispano, se portan más racistas/With a hispanic person, they act even more racist

*English translation below*

Hola ________

Soy L.L.L. y quiero dar gracias a dios y a ustedes y a ti que se preocupan por nosotros los presos, no tengo mucho que contar a cerca de Mateo (Matthew McCain), pero para mi crea que fue una negligencia medica su muerte ya quel día anterior el se quejó que ya se sentía mal y no lo atendieron. Tambien estava laqueado porque no salia junto con nosotros.

Referiendonos al trato, para nosotros aqui si no tenemos dinero en nuestra cuenta, no nos atienden rapido, ya que nose cobran 20 dolares. Bueno apenas paso un caso de un hispano que se sentia mal su boca se le estava llendo de lado, y no lo atendian. Ya que por el ingles pero otra persona X le ayudó a excribir en ingles en la computadora la verda no se sabe que escribio la persona X. Porque rapido lo llevaron al medico. Pero lo raro fue que cuando regresó , lo movieron de piso y no se sabe que paso con el. Bueno con respeto a los guardias a veces no nos quieren dar papel hijenico o champu que dan aqui.

Con uno hispano se portan más racistas, y con respeto a la comida, yo desgraciadamente llevo un año aqui y todas las tardes lo unico que nos dan son pan con jamón y bueno ya que uno no tiene familia aqui, que le pongan a uno dinero. A veces los amigos se acuerdan de uno, pero con respeto a la cantina, o a la tienda que vende comidas o articulos que uno necesita, como javon, pasta, sopas’ están demasiado elevados los precios por ejemplo, una tarjeta telefonica e 20 dolares la venden en 27 dolares y cada sopa 89 cent. Bueno, yo para llamar a un amigo en Raleigh, me cobran 8 dolares 10 minutos, es mucho, mucho dinero, espero y le ayude o nos ayude la información gracias y dios los vendiga a ti y al grupo. …. y aqui le pongo 2 anillos de regalo.


rings for amplify voices

HI _________

I am L.L.L. and I want to thank God and y’all and you for caring about us prisoners, I don’t have much to tell about Mateo (Matthew McCain), but for me I think his death was medical neglect because he already felt bad the day before, and he said that he felt sick y and they did not treat him. Also, he was locked back because he did not leave his cell with us.

In reference to the treatment, for us here, if we don’t have money in our accounts, they do not treat us quickly, it already costs us 20 dollars. Also, there was just a case of a hispanic man who was sick, his mouth was going off to the side, and they did not treat him, could be because of english, but another persona X helped him write in english on the computer and the truth is, I don’t know what person X wrote, because they took him to medical quick.  The weird thing is that when he came back they moved him to a different floor and I don’t know what happened with him. But in regards to the guards, they don’t want to give us toilet paper or the shampoo they give here.

With a hispanic person, they act even more racist. And with respect to the food, unfortunately I have been here for a year and every afternoon the only thing they give us is bread and ham, and if you don’t have family here to put some money on your account, sometimes your friends remember you, but in regards to the canteen or the shop that sells food or things you need like soap, noodles, soup- the prices are too high, for example each 20 dollar telephone card they sell for 27 dollars and each soup is 89 cent. For me, to call a friend in Raleigh it costs me 8 dollars for 10 minutes, that is a lot, a lot of money. I hope this information helps y’all, thank you and god bless you and the group…. and here I put 2 rings as a present.


‘When will enough be enough?’

In last month’s feedback edition (volume 9), a girl by the name of “Dora” wrote in about the conditions of the jail and the injustices against her dad. I know exactly who this man is because I was there when he fell out in visitation! When one of the inmates in the visitation room beat on the window for help—the officer in the pod gave him the finger. The officer only called medical. When the inmate began to beat on the window again, the officer finally “called code” but cussed the inmate out and locked him back. Continue reading

‘What they are trying to do is torture to these people’

this first appeared in our print publication, feedback, volume 9.


by Dora

I first became aware of the lock back, sometime in March. Because my dad had, had court that day, and when he was brought back to his cell, everyone was locked up. It was bad. It is bad.

As far as what people inside are doing to resist the conditions, I have heard that some inmates create chaos in there. Some have even tried fighting the guards to try to do something about it, and others do as they are told to try to see if that helps better the conditions and situations. But nothing seems to be helping. Continue reading

‘Just some of the things that go on…’


I hope that upon receiving this letter you are doing well and your loved ones as well. My name is F. W. I have been in Durham County Jail going on six months now. Since I have been here I have been through a lot as well as having seen a lot. For starters, the food mostly always sucks, we get a very small portion for breakfast at about 6:00 a.m. Continue reading

‘Undercover’ Racist C.O.s

To who it concerns,
Let me introduce myself. My name is not important but they know me as Demon. The reasons I’m here are also not important. This letter only has one purpose. Josebird
Let me begin by telling you a little of Durham County Jail. There are 5 floors and each floor has 4 pods. A pod really contains 48 doors/dorms with #s. 16 of those dorms are double-bunked, meaning having two beds in it. The rest of the 48 are single-bunked. There is only one t.v. that the whole pod shares.
I’m 17 years old, and a Hispanic male. Durham County Jail (DCJ) offers only 1 hour of Hispanic television and only the news channel. I think that Hispanics should be able to watch more than 1 hour of TV throughout a whole day. Personally I don’t complain since I’m bilingual, yet there are others who think that and I just thought this would be an opportunity to tell others of this.
I think that some of the c.o.’s here are ‘undercoveredly’ racist. One example is the one of a c.o. name Cole, white male, looking fat, about 250-270 pounds and only 5’5″ or 5’6″. The incident that occurred was early in the morning when I happen to be watching TV. The channel was on the sports channel and everyone was tired of it. I got up and went to C.O. Mr. Cole to try and get the channel changed. When I asked “can you change it to 71” (and I quote everything verbatim) and he responded “change what” with a sarcastic voice. Common sense that the only thing someone can “change” there is the t.v. Someone else overhearing us came and said “Can you just change it to channel 71, damn, why you have to be like that?” Soon as he was done he walked off and Cole said “you can’t say please so I’m not changing it.” I responded “Yo, just change it, please.” He asked “Where are you from?” I said “Honduras” (yet I was born here). He said, “If you’re gonna come to this country and speak English speak it right.” I got irritated and said “Man, why you have to be racist?” He said “I’m not, I’m just saying you need to learn proper grammar to ask me to change the channel.” I was so pissed off I walked away since I couldn’t do anything about it. My boy J. P. was witness to this.

Drown in my emotions, so I seem to push them aside

My name is J. B. I’m sixteen years old, and a hispanic male. I been in durham county facility for little over a month. Also I feel that there’s to meet the eyes about what goes on here. Fed that letters dont make it home and every by standard is being played, just cause the government officials have a little more power and they take advantage of it. I also feel that everyone works against the inmates, but supposedly they’re supposed to help. M and R told me to write a letter regarding how I feel instead I wrote some poetry, cause that’s what I do best, thank you or listening. Sincerely, JB (Amazing Poem Below)



I feel that my childhood been a blur, I have seem to grow up a little too fast. Seen my father be tooken back to his native land Look at my mother struggle on her future plan I been where a kid skips childhood in order to be a man Heard officers take teenage lives just for a promotion I had thought I was in paradise, but I was scared of the ocean   Know how to swim but I afraid I’m drown Drown in my emotions so I seem to push them aside None of my friend/family talk n our problem’s behalfs Just wave the pain with grams and halfs I learned on the corner that you make the money and don’t let it make you never wanted a 9 to 5 I’m just another Hispanic male with ink on my body and scars on my soul with a orange jumpsuit on, I feel like I was parachuting into failure, cause to them I’m just a number BII9864, felony charge for kicking doors could I at least see the inside of the court

Hear our cries, society

We Inmates treated like Animals? Are we still Humans? DO OUR TEARS STILL EXIST?


Time doing me

I’m a young hispanic 18 year old struggling here in Durham County Jail and over the time being here, I’ve seen and experienced a lot of depression, not only about my situation but the way we’re treated…Do they even remember we’re still humans? I’ve seen what they did to a fellow inmate; he asked to be put in solitary confinement. They refused him; so to get where he felt best he did what they wanted him to do, which was act out, and they went in his cell with 5 grown men and beat him severely. The kid wasn’t any older than I was, probably younger.

Continue reading

‘We are creators of our own history’

May 14

Dear —-,

Your letters were very inspiring and well worded. I see completely eye to eye with you that we are creators of our own history. I’ve been talking to MANY inmates lately about IOA. One of my statements I almost always tell them is that “Whatever we change in here is going to be changed forever, for every single inmate.” That would make the struggle for every other inmate that comes here after them a little less harder. Continue reading