‘She did that shit on purpose’

I’ve been going up to visit my fiance with his two kids for two months now every Wednesday. Two weeks ago, all of a sudden, the woman in there, who hadn’t been there on Wednesdays before, she says “Only one kid can go up with you.” I said, “they’ve been going up with me every week.” She points to the sign that says only one per adult. But online when you’re scheduling a visit, it lets you sign up to bring two kids. It won’t let you sign up three kids–that’s too many, but two kids is fine. It doesn’t make any sense. They were going up with me every week. Now all of a sudden they can’t go up and see their dad. I tried to bring one up, and then send him down, and send the other one up, but they wouldn’t let them do that.

So then, last week I go up to see him, this time on a Wednesday with no kids, and I’m waiting there for him, and waiting. Everyone else on his pod is out visiting, but not my fiance. He’s not there. So I go downstairs and ask, ‘did you say he had a visit?’ I go back up, and I’m waiting again. So I go back downstairs. I ended up going up and down 4 different times before I actually saw him, and by that time the visit was just about over. She did that shit on purpose. No doubt in my mind. Cause I had an attitude the week before about the kids not being allowed up. So after wasting my time like that I asked ‘Can I speak to the sergeant?’ But he didn’t do anything. He didn’t get my time back.

And what the hell is going on with the mail? When he first got in there it was 2-3 days for him to get mail. Now, it’s 2-3 weeks for him to get it, and 2-3 weeks for me to get mail from him. I sent him some photos of me (not naked or anything), and he didn’t get it, didn’t get it, and then they came back to me. I went in there and I asked an officer, ‘Is he allowed to get this? Why did it come back?’ He said, ‘that’s fine, he can get those.’ So why didn’t he get them? And why is it taking so long? I’m asking the post office, I’m calling Durham, I’m calling Raleigh, but all signs point to this place being the problem.

‘Officers taunted me to kill myself’

May 4th 2016

IOA

Sorry it has taken a while to respond to your letters. I’ve been going through some personal issues lately, but to answer your question about us getting three hot meals instead of sandwiches, I’m honestly kind of glad. I was starting to get fed up with those dry-ass sandwiches every night, but as my fellow inmates said, they don’t give us a good enough portion to fill us up… Continue reading

‘They try to punish you for little things…’

April 21, 2016 (received May 19)

Dear —

I’m doing good, keeping my head high. I’m ready to go home, this ain’t no place for anybody, they treat us like animals and talk to us any type of way. They crazy how they let that wonderful man (Matthew McCain) die. They don’t want to be doing they job.  Continue reading

‘It’s the little things that get a smile on our faces in here’

5-5-16

It was great to receive your letter…it made me laugh. I was thrilled to see the pictures of Edward Crawford in Ferguson. Thank you guys! It is yet another dreary day in the pokey. I was startled today when I opened my lunch tray to the scent of real meat! Although you could tell it was a hamburger patty of mostly soy, I could see, smell and taste hints of meat. Most likely it was road kill of an unknown variety and not beef. Maybe it was bison? Maybe it was skunk or even turtle meat. Continue reading

‘We all matter, not just those in higher positions in life’

What’s going on —,

This letter here is in regards to all inmates, the signatures are in accordance with those who are in full agreement of the “First Five Grieving Committee of the Durham County Jail.” The 2nd letter to whom it may concern is not based according to thoughts or opinions, it’s based according to outside resources and research done in accordance to the agencies or departments stated. This letter was written and prepared by —. We’re supporting him in agreement. We would  LOVE to see this taken seriously and put into investigation on such governmental officials. What needs to be done NOW!!!!, which would be nice, is them stepping up and proving all of us in Durham County Jail wrong. I would also love it if you would post this on your Facebook page and tag it to my page. Thanks for all your support. Stay in touch. God Bless You All, IOA. Continue reading

After Winter Must Come Spring

(this statement is included in a newly published zine by IOA called No More Jail Deaths No More Jail, which you can find here)

A statement from Inside-Outside Alliance, April 2016

Everything is everything / What is meant to be, will be / After winter, must come spring / Change, it comes eventually –Lauryn Hill

The days after Matthew McCain’s death on Tuesday, January 19th were as bleak as any this winter in Durham. On Friday the 22nd, a mixture of snow and ice pummeled the Triangle area. As they often do, media outlets focused singularly on the weather event, despite social media outrage about Matt’s death. But the determination of Matthew’s loved ones, and of those who had witnessed his death by medical neglect, could not be denied, and once the snow and ice had melted, the egregious inaction of jail staff began coming to fuller light. Further, Shakiyla Young, who had all but stopped hoping for a drop of information about the death of her father, Dennis McMurray, identified with the pain and helplessness felt by Matthew’s family and publicly came forward again with her story about her father’s death in the jail a year prior.   Continue reading

‘A place you are not guaranteed a good night’s peace’

4/2/16

Hi –,

It was good to receive your letter and the Vol 15 Feedback bulletin. I appreciate your concern, support and interest. As of my current state of mind, I remain optimistic though terribly heavy-laden. I am approaching 27 months of incarceration and have finally gotten close to getting my case resolved. Although I don’t wish to discuss any specifics of my charges, I will say I am glad to have this much time under my belt. The conditions I have experienced here have been ridiculous. It is a jail after all. It is not by any means a walk in the park. Finally they have stopped serving sandwiches at dinner time. I am not as hungry as I have been in the past months. I am being fed. This is good. Although it is not the best food and mostly starch, it fills the hole LOL. We still do not get to come out at nights around 9:00 p.m. like we did about a year ago, and that’s unfortunate. Basically I stay in my own lane and avoid as much calamity as possible. Sometimes living this way is difficult as trouble seems to find me from time to time.

I have managed to avoid disciplinary actions that have stemmed from disagreements I have had with fellow inmates and detention staff. It is a loud place. A place that you are not guaranteed a good night’s peace. You got people beating the walls and doors around you cancelling any chance of productive thought. It’s like people were raised in a barn. Some come in and never shower with their stinkin asses. Some shower and still stink. Let’s not get started on the toilet paper situation! Guards sometimes say, “We haven’t got a roll in the building.” That’s the biggest crock I’ve ever heard. Knowing good and well they have got stacks of it in the storage room. I have had a trying stay here, though. A few instances of the canteen messing up orders, the medical not being prompt, the mail arriving late, and recreation time being cut short or cancelled some days. I’m surviving…goin on…feelin strong. One thing I will say is that I desire the loving embrace of a woman. Loneliness envelops me. Anyhow…that’s neither here nor there. I do have a request that I hope you will be able to help me with. Enclosed is a photo (shown below) that I tore out of a feedback bulletin (issue 6). It is a photo I have had stuck to my wall for many months. If there is any way you could send me an enlarged copy or two, I would greatly appreciate it. I have looked at it daily and it has brought me peace (strangely enough). If you cannot print me an enlarged copy or two, could you please send this one back. I know this is a weird request lol. I plan on trying to draw this picture as I have been trying my hand at sketching. crawford.teargasThank you for taking the time to write me and for supporting us inmates locked down in this hellhole!

Sincerely,

Brandon K Jayne

‘We deserve better point blank period”

To IOA,

Whatever you all are doing is making a difference slowly but surely. We now receive three hot meals a day, but there is a catch to it…they slack on our portion sizes terribly. March 23-24 2016 this change took effect at dinner around 4:00-4:30 pm. We were served Spanish rice, and a piece of cornbread, with a single slot of applesauce. On the 24-25 of March 2016 at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast we were given two small pieces of sweet bread, a slot of oatmeal, and a single slot of syrup. Lunch came and we received a burger, slaw, beans and soy, and a slot of applesauce. And so forth. Continue reading

‘Try to be stuck up in a room all day…that’s something to be depressed about’

Man a lot has changed around here since I last wrote IOA, but most of it has been for the good. We now get three hot meals a day. We’re still dealing with a few small problems like the side of the pod I’m on most of the rooms don’t get hot water, and Sgt Davis said that they will be in to fit it, but they still have not.  Continue reading

‘It’s rules within rules that aren’t even documented’

To whom it may concern,

My name is Deontae Richardson and I don’t care if you use my name. First off, let me say I personally work in the Durham County Jail kitchen and the infestation of fruit flies is getting out of control. I am ServSafe Certified, and I know that it’s against health regulations seeing these bugs flying and landing and crawling on the food people is going to eat. And the only thing I’ve seen was it get fanned like we’re at a cook out–it’s ridiculous. They came and sprayed, but it was a half job, because for one they’re still there, and it’s picking back up.  Continue reading