A disappointing ‘justice’ system

Nov. 6, 2014

Dear –,

How ya doing? Thanks for the visit the other day. It truly helps to be able to vent to someone you know is concerned, unlike my lawyer who talks using the words ‘we’ when talking about the state and their offers! And I say, ‘what do you mean “we”‘? And she has nothing to say! She’s literally working for the prosecution! That plea (offer) is killing me. What if that’s what God wants me to do? Continue reading

An inmate talks about court-appointed attorneys

“No, my attorney hasn’t seen me. She’s terrible, but it’s the same with a lot of guys in here, man. I really think they are working with the d.a. Or working for the d.a. They’re not working for us. They don’t care a lick about what defendants have to say, that’s why they won’t come and talk to us. They just want us to plea. Just plea. What about those of us who don’t want to plea? And that’s a lot of us. They just say plea, plea, plea. They don’t want to do work. They are not going to work for people who don’t have money. You want someone to put in work on your case? You have to have money. Otherwise they’re going to tell you to plea. It’s terrible. Guys are in here and they are at their breaking point, just being broken down sitting in here forever, and that’s the kind of legal help we get. I ain’t gonna plea and I know some other guys ain’t either. Fuck it, man.”

interview with Durham jail inmate, September 2014

‘Over 400 years in slavery we still manage to stand strong’



How is you doing on the outside? I hope fine, well. I would like to thank you for the stamps once again. I have been in here 2 months now and praying for good things to come my way. Yeah, my finger be cramping up sometimes, but I’m okay with it that’s the only thing that kill time and keep you busy while incarcerated man. I really thanks you and IOA family for giving us hope while we in here. Continue reading

‘We not afraid’


Aug. 18-14

Hey Brother —-,

How is everything going on the outside? Some ol thing in here tryna make it day by day. I see that you have receive my old roommate name. He has the signs so he will be able to hold em up to keep the movement going down in —. I currently in –. Now I have sign up for the STARR program to help better myself and just to get free time out the pod. I miss my old roommate…but that’s was my homie we laugh and joke and play cards and chess all night till it breakfast time. I was mad a few days ago my little cousin was shot and I have no money to call home and see what happen. It was on the news a few days ago. I been stressing out very bad and I don’t have a court date and don’t know what’s going on with my case. Continue reading

‘4 out of 5 inmates agree: attorneys are ineffective’

17 July 2014

T & F,

F writes and T writes; I am grateful for your concern and sacrificial effort.

I am the ‘jailhouse attorney’ for inmates who suffer on account of poor legal representation from court-appointed public defenders. My survey says more than 4 out of 5 inmates have complained bitterly over the effectiveness of their counsel. The most common complaints and their questions:

1.) When will I see my attorney? In many cases, the first appearance provides the opportunity for the accused to request an attorney. Lawrence Campbell, who is chief public defender, appoints these attorneys. Some have no experience and are more frightened at court than the inmate. Continue reading

‘Watch your backs’

Dear IOA,

Hope this letter finds you in best of health and spirits, as for myself I’m making it. I’ve been trying to get my writ of habeas corpus or motion to dismiss…accepted, but all have been denied without actually telling a fact. Each one of my writs or motions have been held under my constitutional right, each effort has been denied, which violates my constitutional rights and also shows due prejudice of the justice system in Durham county. Why, because I’m black. Continue reading

‘There’s good reason not to stand up: Fear!’

from a former Durham inmate in a state facility.
Hello. It’s been 1 month since I received your letter and I apologize for sitting on it this long. In your last letter you wrote: “When a lot of people are close together and are getting screwed in the same way it is a ripe place for organizing. Eliminating distinctions or divisions, and struggling, as a group, for the lot of the most oppressed among you and with the goal of expanding your ability to fight collectively in the future, is a good way to approach such situations.” Continue reading

‘A pure case of corrupt police tactics’


Dear IOA,

I am writing to ask for “help.” Legal help! Or public awareness help, with my case. I have documented proof of the police department fixing charges. I have in my possession, false and fictitious, and conflicting evidence in my case.

I found a ring all crushed up on the ground and sold it to a pawn shop on — The Police Department made up a fake pawn ticket, saying I took the ring to — Pawn Shop on —-. The reason they made up the fake pawn ticket is because a break in occurred in that area.

Trying to make me look guilty.

I need an outside voice. I don’t fully trust my attorney, —-, to do what’s right, get the charges dismissed. This is a pure case of corrupt police tactics to get a conviction. And the D.A. is corrupt, too, for holding me over four months on these charges.

If you can help me, please let me know, I will send you a detailed copy of my motion of discovery so you can see just how dirty the police department is.

Sincerely yours,

D. N.

P.S. I have been in jail on these fictitious charges since December and they are still unknown to the judge. Have not been allowed to get in the courtroom. D.A. won’t take me to court. Judge don’t know about the fake paperwork!