‘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

‘This is our life inside’

the following letter was received more than five weeks after it was written. 

Oct 22 2016

Hello!

My name is J. B. I’m an inmate in Durham County jail scheduled to return to — County…I am in fear of serving the rest of my time in Durham due to an outbreak of scabies that the jail and medical staff have tried to cover up. I was exposed to this disease because the medical staff put the inmate who was infected in our block. I actually shook hands with him, he used the phones and showers. Two days later they removed him and the sergeant along with a nurse came in with biohazard bags and removed his personal items. Continue reading

‘I’m not a half person’

10-3-16

Dear —

Thanks for writing to me. It took me a long time to write you back cause of my mental health and medical problems. Right now, as I write to you, it is very much a hard struggle. I don’t want my name in the feedback, only my initial L.

These are the things I want talked about. One, I’m not a half person. I’m like the singer Usher. If I’m gonna tell it, then I’m gonna tell it all!

1.) Bed bugs, or some kind of bugs I’m not sure. Now I don’t know what this meant, but before they did it I kept complaining. These bugs were eating away at us. But n-e-ways, over the weekend in the women’s pod of 5D (maybe the whole jail), Mr. Ham and his supervisor gave “everybody” brand new washcloths, towels, 1 sheet, blanket and laundry bag! Continue reading

‘Ask for t.p., it takes five hours to get…’

Hi,

How are things going for you? I’m doing the best I can in here. Been here 1 and ½ months. I have a 3 million dollar bond. For drug charges. Highest in the women’s pod. Why is that? Fuckin’ crazy. My lawyer said I’m looking at decades for my charges. Cops said I had — kg of meth. Wow, if you think about it, you’ll know where that number came from , they are saying that is meth. So my whole life may be fucked cause of that. Otherwise, most c.o.’s are ok, a few are assholes, ask for t.p. and it takes five hours to get, or denied to make a sick call, as I watch the same c.o. I asked let two women out of cells to pass shit to another cell. Amazing that medical call is last to passing fucking bullshit from cell to cell.

Take care, my friends. Keep your head up.

C.L.

‘Something gotta give’

Thursday 6/9/16

Hey —

What’s going on? How are you doing? Fine I hope and all is good and well with you and IOA family and supporters. As for myself, I’m okay, I guess being that I’m still breathing. I want to apologize for not responding to your letters sooner, but I’ve been going through some things. Things that probably 95%, if not 100% of us Durham County Jail Detainees are going through that involves the court system. Things like:

  1. Being held under outrageous bonds (ransoms).
  2.  Not hearing/seeing attorneys for months at a time.
  3. Being held for bogus charges (He say/she say/word of mouth).

Continue reading

‘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

So, which one are you…?

4-21-16

How are you doing out there? I hope yall doing ok and the movement is great, too. I got that mail last week sometime, the feedback I like. Oh, I got them books and that booklet, too, that’s talking about the deaths, too, need more booklets like that for everyone to read. I got to say yall doing a great job about putting out there. Us in jail love yall for that, too. I’m doing ok in here, just taking it one day at a time, too…I’m going to say that the jail and court system is fucked up, too…
I’m really ready to put this all behind me and to move on in life, fuck jail and prison, they do you wrong when you in the inside, smh. It’s a lot of people who be reading these feedback and like them. I be talking to all my friends in here, and they be thanking me for putting them on to yall and I know there is more…I also got a few d.o. who be reading these and they be loving, too, smh. Continue reading

We Need OSHA: “We’re not the animals they’re treating us like”

3-27-16

Hello,

I’m Tony King and I give I.O.A. permission to use my name and letters at anytime for the sake of awareness of all amplified voices unless I withdraw my consent verbally or written.

Update: the kitchen’s inmate staff is now being worked to the bone, just to cover any tracks of anything that shows lack in the D.C.J. staff members. We’ve experienced a hot tray for dinner for the first time. Hopefully it will continue. As far as officers go, there is another who decided to show their true colors this night of 3-24-16 by the name of Officer Perry – a male. 5-B. So, let’s dissect the issue. Majority of the time, us inmates are locked back or out in the pod, the officer is sitting at their desk usually doing nothing is the most honest thing one could say. So, after only 1 hr into his work schedule, Officer Perry at 9:00pm states he’s not going to open our doors to our cell unless he feels like it. So I had a moment of clarity which was: Officer Perry clearly isn’t satisfied with the pay he receives to just sit and push some buttons. Also, when we’re let out of cell at 9:00pm, it’s a wonderful privilege that’s appreciated 100% until you get an officer such as Officer Perry who instead of pushing the button that opens all doors so we can exit cell, the officer will walk to each door of at least 47 doors and unlock them only to cut into our free time at the least 10-15 minutes, which we do not receive back. Sad isn’t it?

Also, officers fail to follow protocol when opening your door allowing an inmate in your room without permission. This happened to me tonight. I asked was there a protocol when opening door. He stated yes, however it’s clear protocol wasn’t followed, and luckily nothing was stolen due to me catching the issue in time. Officers in general also lack respect when it comes to your personal phone calls that may be $10-$20. The officers sometimes just hang up on your phone call without notice, leaving you with the loss of money and an unfinished phone call, all with no consideration for the inmate. Last but definitely not least, there is, I repeat, there is something in the water we drink and bathe with. It is a thin foggy white film that floats in and on top of your water. Also, the water you bathe with is so harsh it chafes your skin very badly.

Well, it’s been a pleasure. Hope to talk soon.

P.S. I’m looking forward to letters and useful information, if possible.

(I’m not sure if you all wrote me back or not. I have not received any mail entirely. Please feel free to do so or maybe they’re holding mail as usual.)

Also, for all medical visits here at Durham County Jail it will cost you $20, unless you’re dying, is what the nurse told me. I asked for the medical policy and was told that they could provide me so I wouldn’t be confused about how to be seen appropriately. I stated: it was my (Right) to have this information, and was told again there is nothing to give you, but if you’re sick she said, put in a sick call not a grievance cause it usually is the least concern. I said, wow, she sure isn’t educated as the last nurse I spoke with that addressed my needs.

(And thanks to the Post Office for the 1 pair of socks donated to each inmate.)

Also, I’ve heard specifically from inmate kitchen staff that fruit flies / gnats are all over the kitchen and sometimes have crawled onto the food that they serve us. Kitchen staff has also said when they notify the kitchen authority of the issue, they threaten them to mind their business if they wish to continue working in the kitchen. So, basically if you notify staff of these health related issues you’re fired from your kitchen position. I personally witnessed the jails head kitchen officer come to 4C pod and make a mockery of the guy who found the maggots, say strip him of his blue uniform immediately. He no longer works in the kitchen anymore and never will, not while I’m working here. OSHA, please save us. We’re not the animals they’re treating us like. Even a dog deserves and receives better treatment than this. OSHA just needs to come unannounced and justice will be served. Please help us.

-Tony King

“We are breathing dead skin and drinking Flint water.”

I’ve been in the Durham County Jail for 50 days. I made a request on the computer that my sink did have cold water in cell #1. In Pod 5B also there are at least 3 more cells that don’t have hot or cold water. I’ve been with cold water since March 3, 2016. Today is March 28, 2016. If you put in maintenance request, they should have fixed by now. I’ve wrote the maintenance people 3 times in this matter. Another thing: some of CO have other inmates to different room so they can see the TV and everything works fine in the room that they sleep in. I asked to be moved for my cold water issue. They have not moved or fixed anything. Beside that the water in the jail after drinking it for a while leave you with a scratchy throat. It feels like you have hair in your throat. When you tell the CO, they all say you shouldn’t come to jail. Also if you leave your cup and have juice in it overnight you have some film in. Where’s the film coming from? Well, I found that the heat/AC vents have never been cleaned out. Send OSHA to see all the dusty vents in the hallways in the pods. If you go in Pod 4c near the rec yard and look up in the vents you will notice that the dust is flying down from the vent like it’s snowing. What is dust? Dead skin. We are breathing dead skin and drinking Flint water.

Also, Pod 5B downstairs doesn’t have the correct fall on the ground for the water to drain, so it flows on the ground. When you step on it, you slip, and the don’t have any wet floor sign. OSHA needs to see this. They sell you flip-flops. If they are going to sell them, why can’t they slip proof? When wash your clothing, why do your shirt and socks get taken and no one will replace them? When you tell the guards, they all have the same line: you shouldn’t come to jail. I also spent 9 days in this jail. I’m here for a probation violation. They will not give me my jail credit but it’s in the computer that I’ve did nine days. Why can’t I get credit? They just sent me a statement saying they will not allow jail credit. If I did the time, I should get credit for it!

I would like to add this jail is hurting the County of Durham. They making this gang land. From what I notice young man come in on high bonds and a court date so long that they should have time served but that’s not the case. They don’t get a court date until 8 ½ months to a year and the young men join a gang. 90% of the guys in the Durham Co. Jail joined the gang in jail. So let’s thank the jail for helping the gang population go up in our town. They done a great job with this. Taxpayers are paying for the C.O. to sit on their ass for 12 hrs. All they do is push a button. Most of them are getting payed to play poker, chess, checkers, and always Facebook. I’m surprised they don’t have hemorrhoids from sitting down for 12 hrs a day. They work 3 days that week: 12X3 that = 36 hrs of getting paid to sit down and look at TV and play on the computer. Great job. The man who shot the cop’s bond is lower than gang members and second offenders. Just thought you should know.

– S.M.