“Its a vicious cycle where their goal is for you to lose everything you have”

G___,

I received two letters from you on March 31st, one was dated February 11th and the second March 27th. So I think there may be some lag time with the mail. You asked if I had received the Human Relations Commission’s Report and I have not! The only thing I received in the mail are two written letters and both March and April “Feedback” booklets. There is no report anywhere to be found if it was sent. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if it conveniently was lost by the mail inspection here.

As for your inquiry about any knowledge in regards to Uniece Fennell. There is none in 3D, no one knows a thing here and the officers are tight lipped as if it never happened. When I called home the day after the incident my family was asking about the death – And I had no clue about it at all. When I asked the officer in the pod about it he would not comment and wouldn’t even confirm that anything happened. I watched the local news that evening, there was no story about it there either and nobody gets the newspaper. The women’s pod is on the 5th floor, we are in the dark down here on the 3rd floor. Sorry I couldn’t be of any help this time.

Video visitation seems to be a hot topic lately. I heard that the jail was going to transition to it like Wake County but I didn’t realize it was happening NOW! A couple days in the past few weeks we have been prevented from coming out of our cells in the morning because they had someone working in the visitation room: They’ve already started installing metal mounts to house the video screen. It looks like they are progressing forward despite all the protests inside and out. The feedback booklet hits on a few critical points such as profiting GTL as well as the jail’s profit and how video visitation will dehumanize personal interactions. I want to point out how the District Attorney’s office will directly “profit” from it, too. Just like our phone calls I would think the video visits will be recorded. The district Attorney’s office has access to your phone calls and will now be able to pry into your visits. There is no privacy whatsoever. They read our mail, they record our phone calls, and now they will be keeping tabs on our visits. What would it be like if we had that privilege to listen to the prosecutors and DAs discussions and every phone call that they make. Invade their private interactions. Now that would be something. My point is that the deck is already stacked against you and anytime I speak my mind I have to worry whether or not what I say could be falsely used against me or perceived some other way. It’s ridiculous!

On to other topics! The food and ABL. It has been a roller coaster with them and there is no consistency. When they began in October, there was promise, but now I can see that was just a front. The first 3 weeks were good! A variety of fresh fruit including Bananas, green vegetables, including chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, good portion sizes, and no soy. Currently, the fruit we get is not ripe, heavily bruised, and tastes awful, easily finding its way into the trash container. We have not seen a banana since the first couple of weeks. We hardly get greens, nothing like we got the first few weeks even if we do. Lately the food has been so salty you can’t even eat it. The pancakes yesterday were hard as a rock. At this point I don’t know which company was worse, ARAMARK or ABL. There is absolutely no variety ether. You get the same meals every week multiple times a week. It’s getting old very quick. Honestly, at this point I hope the jail does not review ABL’s contract. What reviews I saw and the article about ABL in the newspaper raving about their good quality and healthier menu is a lie. My vote would be to kick them out too. Their quality and service has been declining since day 1.

I wrote last time about the DA’s office and the prosecutor threatening to obtain another search warrant after a judge has already noted significant misconduct by officers. Well they mangaged to get one, how, I have no clue. The only way is by lying and bad faith, which the DA’s office is notorious for so I’m not surprised. I just read an article in the newspaper on 3/31/17 quoting a supreme court judge. In summary it mentioned that the average person does not think the justice system within North Carolina is fair and a large percentage think the process is too slow. My follow up question to that would be to isolate Durham and see how it compares. My guess would be that Durham would be far worse. I sit here day after day watching how the system in Durham works and it is concerning. Most of the prosecutors are no better than Mike Nifong and Tracy Cline, maybe even worse. I swear they teach a class to these prosecutors on the best way to hide the truth, withhold evidence, and when all else fails keep them in jail and delay, delay, delay. Its a vicious cycle where their goal is for you to lose everything you have; whether its your job, house, car, marriage, etc. And once they’ve exhausted and beat you down by holding you in jail they wait until you give up. It’s just crazy to me and something needs to be done.

Oh, I want to give my thoughts on this jail with regards to Uniece Fennell. I don’t know what happened, but if it was suicide I don’t think that means the jail can wash their hands from liability. My understanding is that this jail was supposed to get more funding for mental health. Officers were supposed to get training on how to better handle mental health issues. If Uniece was troubled enough to harm herself, there were obvious signs that should have been caught. These officers don’t care about anyone in this jail and they are certainly not observant enough. Next, how does the jail provide the means for someone to commit suicide. This should not have happened and should not have even been possible. I’ve lived in these cells for 17 months, if she was able to be successful in her attempt – something was not right and something needs to change. You stress the hell out of people and then place them in a harsh environment. We already know that mental disorders are widely prevalent within the jail. It’s a shame that yet another person dies in this jail.

Alright! Thanks for the letters and Feedback! Looking forward to hear from you soon and any new updates!

– E.X.

‘DCJ: Same shit, different toilet’


What’s up IOA? Thanks for writing. I’m hanging in there. Can’t really complain, God let me wake up. But as far as DCJ goes, same shit, different toilet. They find a way to make our lives worse by the day. The pod that I’m in has had a problem with our kiosk for damn near a month and the jail has still failed to fix it. Continue reading

Death to Imprisonment!

Hello, my name is Brandon Sutton but my friends call me Sutton (Remember that name) and I’m an inmate who is currently on work release from this Zoo called Durham County Detention Center. I’m here incarcerated on a DWI charge, my third one actually. I was fortunate enough to hire a lawyer to reduce what could’ve been a 3 to 4 year sentence down to 8 months with a few other stipulations given once I’m released. I’m contacting you because they’re others like me currently serving time in here. Non-violent/ non-accidental prone offenders who have several DWI’s but didn’t have the means to afford an attorney so they settled for a Public Defender. Continue reading

‘Because we need things, we are “needy”‘

this letter was also sent in October.

Hi,

Thanks so much for the books and letter. I’ve gotten your letter I didn’t write back b/c I just don’t know what to say. I hate it here. I’ve been here 18 months, seen a lot of stuff that human beings shouldn’t have to deal with: being told to piss in the shower because they don’t want to mash a button. The way we are talked to–here’s the thing: everybody in this jail is going through something, some more tragic than others and they don’t need this jail b.s. in their lives. Continue reading

INHUMANE

this letter was sent in October.

Hey —

Hope you’re doing well. Well I just wanted to write back to let ya know how things are going around here…I asked for toilet paper one day and the c.o. told me NO because she didn’t like me and because I was too white! Really. I put a grievance in on her and nothing was ever done. I still have an open grievance from May about an officer that told me to piss in the shower because she wouldn’t pop my door unless I was gonna stay behind that door. Sick, right? And the other day I saw an officer and a young girl, a minor, age 16, get into it. Continue reading

Jail Talk

  1. 1st week of October, 23:55 in 3D: A detainee was hollering and kicking the door at minutes before midnight. About 10-12 officers rushed the detainee, and he was put in the chair.

2. Fri, 21st of Oct, about 15:00: Maintenance came into 3D and repaired some cell locks. There’s still some that are not working!! I hope they finish the rest of them. I still not notice 5 more cell doors not working! If power goes out–which it does–and there was a fire, or some other emergency, people in these cells would have no way out.

3. Oct 21 was officer Johnson’s last day over the library. She’s now working down in medical with the other sorry asses! Most everyone knows this b-tch. She really is. She doesn’t like men at all, and if you like to read on your 12 hours a day lock down, to get a book you used to have to go through her. No more!

4. on Oct 26, an employee with Aramark named Bull–not just any employee, the one who delivered canteen items–got fired for coming to work on drugs. The saying is the vice president came here and fired him! Interesting that this guy who did what the fuck he wanted for so long all of a sudden gets fired when the bid on the commissary contract is coming.

More Jail Talk…

  1. On Oct. 10, an inmate goes to superior court, where his name is called out and the lawyer’s name as well. The lawyer, Lisa Williams, confronts her client and asks who was he. And what was his charge? Note, the client has had Lisa Williams his entire jail stay, 8 months.

2. Around the 1st of Oct, again Lisa Williams was in court, and while there she went and talked to the judge, then announced to her client that she was no longer going to represent him, because of conflict of interest. What led up to this day was an ongoing conflict between Ms. Williams and the client over an assault charge he was wanting to plead guilty to as quickly as she could get him in front of a judge. Which she continued to avoid for more than two months.

–this is a way to update on what’s going on in a pod…

‘It’s madness’

Hi,

I thank you for your letter and I appreciate your concern about the inmates here. We need more people like you! You’re right, people can’t put aside their silly beef to stand together to fight this battle of oppression, suppression and depression. It’s hard being an inmate, but even harder being an inmate in Durham County Jail. They suppress us in so many ways. The only good things about DCJ is the STARR and Grad program, and the psych help because I see Mrs. Kelly for my mental issues and she is a big help. She actually cares. Everybody else I can’t really say that for. But I been locked up in the county now for 4 and a half years and I still don’t have a trial date. I have seen and heard a lot since I been here. It’s madness. I remember my friend J’s ankle was messed up and he couldn’t walk, he was layin on the bed and D.O. Boria went into his room and smacked him for some crazy reason. Craziness…I’m gone. Appreciate the letter. O.B.