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

‘IOA: Fight til you can’t fight no more’

Greetings to IOA,

Content!…This is the first word of this letter I insist on stating. I’m Christian and a firm believer of being content. I received your first letter and my apologies for taking so long to respond. Under my circumstances I have been seriously practicing what I preach to set an example for others around me that complain about everything inside or outside the jail. According to my beliefs which it says in Phillippians 4:11, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances,” and also Hebrews 13:5-6, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” and because of this I refrained from writing. My God is a God of Love, Justice, Peace, Happiness and everything Good. So on behalf of my Brother through Christ our Savior, in whom I actually grew up with as we went to United Pentecostal Church, which is now First Pentecostal Church located on Carver St., from childhood to adulthood, and God allowing me to be present at his “Homecoming” to Heaven, my condolences to Matthew McCain, but I disclose to those who know or who may not know details about his death. Continue reading

‘The professionalism here is at an all-time minimum’

3-8-16

I welcome all letters, info and visitations at all times that are available (permanently–T.K.)

Hello,

I’m Tony King and let me first start off by saying my name may be used in any positive form of light that helps contribute to the awareness of what I.O.A. stands for within its public and private affairs. I must admit I am far from a perfect person; however, I am a good person, a person that believes that right is right, and wrong is wrong. With that being said, let me also say I’ve read several feedbacks and agree with all of the accusations that others have made in regards to the Durham County Jail. Now I myself would like to shed some light on some of what my observations have come to see. Continue reading

‘Can’t keep writing because I’m low on cash’

Dear IOA,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your time and energy to write me, and also for the “feedback” newsletter. I’m overwhelmed to witness people like yourself and others who still care about us here in Durham County Hell. I’m also passing the newsletter around the pod and I can say that some of the guys are interested and wanted to share their story also. Continue reading

‘Being treated equally is not in the math!’

Dear —

How are you? I hope all is well and that you are making progress in your efforts to support the inmates of the Durham D.C.J…Well I received your letter a couple weeks back. I guess it would be better to say last year lol, but anyways it was nice of you to write me back. I was in the window that night you all had the street blocked off and wouldn’t let anyone through. Power is in numbers and you all have surely proven that…Hard work and perseverance brings forth results and you all are working super hard for us and I want to thank you and the rest of inside-outside alliance for all help, care and support. Continue reading

“they have fired the nurse that was on duty during Matt’s incident”

G___,

I received your letter in reply to me today. I want to thank you for your feedback. Many individuals in here have sent letters to the Inside-outside alliance or the members who originally contacted them and haven’t heard a response yet. Many inmates are concerned that their letters are not being received. So I appreciate you taking the time to reassure me that my letter was indeed received.

Anyway that I can help, I’m more than happy to do so or at least try to do so. This includes any questions you may have.

I heard recently that they have fired the nurse that was on duty during Matt’s incident, due to the events that occurred, which I find odd because I found officer Boria more so accountable for the events that occurred, and he is still present here many days.

Anyway, I’m lucky to have much support from family and friends. At the moment I don’t request much or need anything but I appreciate the offer and support. If there is anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to ask!

_____

‘It’s like telling these doors to open themselves and let us go’

(Note: the date on the following letter is correct—the envelope had multiple post marks, and seemed to have been opened before going out—editors)

Feb 3, 2016

IOA

I’m doing ok, just another day in jail. Thanks for writing. I don’t really know too much about the death of Matthew McCain, but I know the guard that was working that pod (Erick Boria) the day it happened is very lazy—all he does is sit at the desk either reading a book or looking at TV. He doesn’t do his rounds every 15 minutes like a lot of other guards here. Continue reading

“A blatant lie and coverup”

Hello Brother G___,

My real name is ________________.  I appreciate all that the Alliance is doing, for the brothers and sisters that are incarcerated in the Durham Co. Detention Facility.  Thanks for allowing our voices to be heard.

Concerning brother McCain, I only know what I heard through the grapevine and the newspaper.  I hope that whoever is responsible, gets prosecuted to the fullest, cause it is a shame that this tragic incident happened.

There are two other incidents that happened, that has be concealed from the public/community.  One is criminal in nature and the other is immoral and unethical, and I hope that something can be done to keep this from ever happening again.

On 12/17/2015, around 0800 hrs, a medication nurse, give knowingly, an inmate (a close friend), unprescribed medication (100-200 mg seroquel).  A direct result of trying the said medicine, the inmate was taken to Duke Regional Hospital’s ER, in a semi-conscious state.  This facility in cahoots with Duke Regional, said the cause of his condition was from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Eleven inmates, two aramark employees, and one detention officer (kitchen security) were all in the kitchen, from 0400 hrs until the incident.  None of us were affected by this carbon monoxide.  Why?  A blatant lie and coverup.  This inmate has not been allowed to return to kitchen duty since.  Why?

The next day 12/18/2015, around 1030 hrs, at least eight inmates, detention captains, two detention sargents, and one detention officer (kitchen security), discovered rodent feces and maggots in food warmers used as the tray assembly line.  Several inmates said that maggots fell/got into potatoes being served, and the Aramark employee on duty, scooped the maggots out, and ordered the inmates to keep putting those same infested potatoes on inmates trays, being served for lunch.  This is as inhumane as it gets.

All of us incarcerated in this facility are somebody’s father (grand) or mother (grand), brother or sister, son or daughter, uncle or aunt, and/or husband or wife.  We are not caged animals that will eat anything to get nourishment.  

They took the infested food warmers out, and I was personally told by the deputy director (Lt. Col. Perkins), that new food warmers were in the warehouse waiting to be delivered.  A week later the same old warmers, a little cleaner, were brought back, and we still use them as of today.

I feel my health, walfare, and safety is in serious jeopardy, because of the severe incidents that have taken place in this facility in the last year.  I am a navy veteran, with health problems (liver damage), that are not being addressed properly either.  The VA Hospital has a treatment to cure this and I have been denied access to this treatment.  TOday, I took a plea bargain, so I can leave this facility in the near future, so I can get the proper medical care.

Hopefully, this letter can get the ball rolling even more, so current or future residents at this facility can be healthy and safe.

Thanks for lending an ear of concern.  I will write in future as to my whereabouts.

  • FV