‘I watch inmates rush to take plea bargains’


First off I would like to thank you for writing me and for your concern in DCJ. I have been here for a while and being locked back 16 ½ hours a day can drive me crazy at times. On top of that they run the A/C all year round and only give us one blanket and yes, it’s freezing like hell. I’m not understanding—we already locked up, what more do they need? Continue reading


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


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


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

“I feel that they may have lied about the time of death”

Hi G___!

My name is J___.  It’s great to hear from you.  I hope you made it past the snow and ice ok.  First, I would like to tell you about the heating and cooling in here.  These blankets that they give us are for controlled temperatures.  I think this is where we are getting cheated.  The heat is on in the day rooms.  But in the cells where the doors are closed it is very cold.  The whole winter I think they have cut the heat on 4 or 5 times at most, inside the cells that is.  The officers wear snoogans and gloves and coats, but all we have is this thin blanket.  The blanket is probably meant for 70° or 80° temperature.  I know last night with the cold temps and sleet it was probably 50° in my cell.  But when we come out for breakfast it is pretty warm in day room.  And Greg I am not out to lie or mislead in any way!  Why can’t someone come and catch this authority in the act of negligence.  You can come about anytime during day, when it is cold outside.

OK I would like for us to get more day room time.  This can’t help us to sleep better and be more tired to sleep better.  We are confined already, why can’t we play cards or walk or something to help our time go by better!  I will probably be in here another year, If you all could help with these things it would be great.

Now about Mr. McCain.  I am stay in the room right above the room that he was in.  I happened to be awake at 4:30 am the morning he died.  I thought I heard him making some noise, but there were guards standing at their desk joking and carrying on.  So I just thought that maybe I did not hear anything because they were so loud.  The nurse helper comes in about 5:10 am in the morning to check blood sugar and give shots, or whatever she does.  He is unresponsive to the call on intercom to get up and see the lady or nurse!  The guard opens the door for her, I hear them call his name a few times.  Then I see the nurse get her coat and leave the pod faster than I have ever seen her move.  She was moving so fast I thought she was on roller skates.

Then Mr. Boria and the Sergeant of whom I don’t know the name, come in the room.  They were knocking on desk loud and calling his name over and over.  Then I hear them slapping him about five times.  I think they know he was dead at this time.  This was probably around 5:30 am or so.  OK then the head nurse and helper come to the room this was around 5:40 or so.  The head nurse tries whatever she can do.  She has some kind of machine that keeps repeating something about administering CPR.

The machine keeps repeating something about CPR.  At this time other guards and sergeants are in here.  Some of them are on the phone, they all are kind of waiting around or something.  I still don’t know if he is alive or what.  Next I hear an Ambulance siren outside.  I think this is about 6:30 am before the paramedics are called for.  So when nurse helper left his room first time, around 5:25 am, it takes them over an hour I think in order to realize that he needs paramedics.  They work on him for all in all I would say 30 to 40 mins.  But this is the strangest thing the CPR machine that they were using started to make a noise like the sound of beeping.  You know the sound as if he has a pulse.  Beep.  Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

OK  All the guards and everyone started acting happy.  They were laughing and talking and all.  So I am thinking at this time probably around 7 am that Mr. McCain is alive.  The paramedics leave without him on the stretcher so I think he is going to be OK.  So they pass our trays out without letting us out of our room.  So I eat and lay down and go to sleep.

So when I get up they still have us on lock back.  They call me down to get my medicine.  I notice a sheet over his door.  The sheet was his bed sheet.  It appeared to have vomit spot on the sheet.  I ask the guy beside of him what happened.  He said that Mr. McCain had died.  That was shocking to me.  I was asleep when they removed him from the pod.  This bed sheet stayed on the door for a week or so until someone came and cleaned the room out.  For it to be a dirty sheet like that I felt that, that was disrespectful.  So in a way I feel that they may have lied about the time of death.

I hear that he had told 2 or 3 people that he did not want to live.  He would get angry when his lady friend would not answer phone, I saw him one time refuse to go see doctor downstairs, so the guard just left him.  I don’t know if he maybe did not take some of his meds or not.  It is possible that he acted like he was swallowing and he was maybe throwing it away.  But he had had several seizures in here.  They should have had him on suicide watch or somewhere where camera could see him at all times.  It is possible that they let him commit suicide by not taking his meds.

Me personally, I am a white man 44 years old.  I did attend church with Mr. McCain several times.  I am so sorry for his family and kid.  I am so sorry that he did not make it out of here.  I know that he loved them and that they loved him.  I pray that God Bless his family.  I know they miss him.  I think and hope that the jail gets found negligent on their part.

God Bless You All

Rise and Roar: From Inside the Jail and Into the Streets, We Say No More

from The Lion King Welcoming Committee of Inside-Outside Alliance:


The Lion King returns to DPAC for a month of shows beginning February 16 and running through March 20. A lot of money will flow through the city-owned performing arts center, and a lot of money will go to the Nederlander Organization, which runs the Broadway performances that come to DPAC. Meanwhile, just across Mangum Street, at the Durham County Jail, people continue to suffer and die from medical neglect. Less than a month ago, 29-year-old Matthew McCain died in his cell. Numerous accounts indicate that Matthew received poor medical care for his diabetes, and that he was not treated properly after an altercation he had with another inmate. He did not have to die. Nor did Dennis McMurray, a previously healthy 52-year-old man who died in the jail in January of 2015. Thirty-year-old Raphael Bennett died in the jail in August 2015 under unknown circumstances. The jail, and the sheriff’s department which runs it, has had little to say about these deaths and the repeated accounts of medical and nutritional neglect, as well as brutality and harassment by officers. They deflect questions and never take responsibility for anything. This needs to stop now. Continue reading

‘I can’t even give a name to it…’

Jan 1st 2016


First off I want to thank you and all those that has been protesting for us every Friday. I also got in the window New Year’s Eve to watch you guys march. I honestly don’t know where to start! After reading the newsletter from the other inmates they pretty much narrowed it down. Continue reading

‘They need to SHUT THIS JAIL DOWN’

  • There’s no fresh air here nor any way to exercise!
  • The mats we sleep on are flat and dirty!


Thanks for protesting for us. The medical here is shit. They don’t help us. The food is not good, always cold and very unhealthy. The officers who work here treat us like shit, excuse my language. They talk to us like we’re dogs. The whole entire jail is nasty and unfit to live in. There’s no kind of schooling. It’s very cold in here year round. Continue reading

Top Ten Problems at Durham County Jail

Dear —

We would like to thank you guys for all the support. We would probably still be on 23 and one if not for you all. We appreciate all of the long hours that you all have put in this summer and all the time you’re putting in now. We really believe that what y’all are doing is making a difference and you have our gratitude. Please keep up the fantastic work because although you all have accomplished a lot there is still more we have for y’all to do. We have a list of concerns that we would like for y’all to help us with. Continue reading