Many times the call for help is sitting right in front of you. But can it be heard while we sit behind these narrow walls? When you arrive, medical asks if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others. If you say no, it’s brushed off and never brought up again. The mental health staff are thorough here, but only if you have a pre-existing psychiatric history! Continue reading
Included with this beautiful drawing:
Ebony Fields was in the STARR program in Durham. She was transferred to Wake County for about 50 days. She knew Uneice “Neicey” fennell who died here in Durham at the jail on Marc 23rd. Ebony drew this in her memory and asked me to forward it o you for possible publication in the IOA.
Thanks so much
I received two letters from you on March 31st, one was dated February 11th and the second March 27th. So I think there may be some lag time with the mail. You asked if I had received the Human Relations Commission’s Report and I have not! The only thing I received in the mail are two written letters and both March and April “Feedback” booklets. There is no report anywhere to be found if it was sent. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if it conveniently was lost by the mail inspection here.
As for your inquiry about any knowledge in regards to Uniece Fennell. There is none in 3D, no one knows a thing here and the officers are tight lipped as if it never happened. When I called home the day after the incident my family was asking about the death – And I had no clue about it at all. When I asked the officer in the pod about it he would not comment and wouldn’t even confirm that anything happened. I watched the local news that evening, there was no story about it there either and nobody gets the newspaper. The women’s pod is on the 5th floor, we are in the dark down here on the 3rd floor. Sorry I couldn’t be of any help this time.
Video visitation seems to be a hot topic lately. I heard that the jail was going to transition to it like Wake County but I didn’t realize it was happening NOW! A couple days in the past few weeks we have been prevented from coming out of our cells in the morning because they had someone working in the visitation room: They’ve already started installing metal mounts to house the video screen. It looks like they are progressing forward despite all the protests inside and out. The feedback booklet hits on a few critical points such as profiting GTL as well as the jail’s profit and how video visitation will dehumanize personal interactions. I want to point out how the District Attorney’s office will directly “profit” from it, too. Just like our phone calls I would think the video visits will be recorded. The district Attorney’s office has access to your phone calls and will now be able to pry into your visits. There is no privacy whatsoever. They read our mail, they record our phone calls, and now they will be keeping tabs on our visits. What would it be like if we had that privilege to listen to the prosecutors and DAs discussions and every phone call that they make. Invade their private interactions. Now that would be something. My point is that the deck is already stacked against you and anytime I speak my mind I have to worry whether or not what I say could be falsely used against me or perceived some other way. It’s ridiculous!
On to other topics! The food and ABL. It has been a roller coaster with them and there is no consistency. When they began in October, there was promise, but now I can see that was just a front. The first 3 weeks were good! A variety of fresh fruit including Bananas, green vegetables, including chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, good portion sizes, and no soy. Currently, the fruit we get is not ripe, heavily bruised, and tastes awful, easily finding its way into the trash container. We have not seen a banana since the first couple of weeks. We hardly get greens, nothing like we got the first few weeks even if we do. Lately the food has been so salty you can’t even eat it. The pancakes yesterday were hard as a rock. At this point I don’t know which company was worse, ARAMARK or ABL. There is absolutely no variety ether. You get the same meals every week multiple times a week. It’s getting old very quick. Honestly, at this point I hope the jail does not review ABL’s contract. What reviews I saw and the article about ABL in the newspaper raving about their good quality and healthier menu is a lie. My vote would be to kick them out too. Their quality and service has been declining since day 1.
I wrote last time about the DA’s office and the prosecutor threatening to obtain another search warrant after a judge has already noted significant misconduct by officers. Well they mangaged to get one, how, I have no clue. The only way is by lying and bad faith, which the DA’s office is notorious for so I’m not surprised. I just read an article in the newspaper on 3/31/17 quoting a supreme court judge. In summary it mentioned that the average person does not think the justice system within North Carolina is fair and a large percentage think the process is too slow. My follow up question to that would be to isolate Durham and see how it compares. My guess would be that Durham would be far worse. I sit here day after day watching how the system in Durham works and it is concerning. Most of the prosecutors are no better than Mike Nifong and Tracy Cline, maybe even worse. I swear they teach a class to these prosecutors on the best way to hide the truth, withhold evidence, and when all else fails keep them in jail and delay, delay, delay. Its a vicious cycle where their goal is for you to lose everything you have; whether its your job, house, car, marriage, etc. And once they’ve exhausted and beat you down by holding you in jail they wait until you give up. It’s just crazy to me and something needs to be done.
Oh, I want to give my thoughts on this jail with regards to Uniece Fennell. I don’t know what happened, but if it was suicide I don’t think that means the jail can wash their hands from liability. My understanding is that this jail was supposed to get more funding for mental health. Officers were supposed to get training on how to better handle mental health issues. If Uniece was troubled enough to harm herself, there were obvious signs that should have been caught. These officers don’t care about anyone in this jail and they are certainly not observant enough. Next, how does the jail provide the means for someone to commit suicide. This should not have happened and should not have even been possible. I’ve lived in these cells for 17 months, if she was able to be successful in her attempt – something was not right and something needs to change. You stress the hell out of people and then place them in a harsh environment. We already know that mental disorders are widely prevalent within the jail. It’s a shame that yet another person dies in this jail.
Alright! Thanks for the letters and Feedback! Looking forward to hear from you soon and any new updates!
Two weeks after her death in the Durham County Detention Center, Uniece “Niecey” Fennell will be memorialized at a funeral service for her family and friends today, Thursday, April 6. Although her mother is glad to have her daughter’s body near her now (and is appreciative to those who have donated), this day will bring no solace or peace. And that is because there are many more questions than answers surrounding Niecey’s death on March 23. Seeing Niecey’s body in person has left her mother, Julia Graves, more convinced than ever that, with the bruising all over her body, she was beaten and that the state of her body is not consistent with that of a hanging, as the jail asserts happened. Niecey’s mother believes “it was not a suicide.” The jail, through its various media mouthpieces, has been able to get away with asserting that a detention officer that had given Niecey a particularly hard time had resigned two weeks before an email her lawyer sent Major Couch about the abusive behavior. The only problem with this narrative? The email exchange between Niecey’s attorney and Couch and his legal advisor, Curtis Massey, does not actually name an officer. Not exactly artful liars, this bunch.
Although the NC chief medical examiner’s autopsy has not been completed yet, Julia is not confident that it will tell the entire story. How closely does the CME work with detention officials? Why was Uniece’s body moved by the jail to a funeral home in Durham so soon after her death, and before her mother was aware of it and well before she signed off on releasing it? How come no one from the jail has contacted her to let her know what she should expect and when she should expect it regarding the autopsy?
Due to all these questions, and many, many more, Julia would like to pay for a second, independent autopsy in order to gain some closure and in order to hold the sheriff’s office and jail officials responsible for Niecey’s death. Thus, please keep the donations coming in to help pay for the second autopsy. Share the following link as widely as possible:
No donation is too small.
If you’re in Durham, come out this Sunday:
R.I.P. Niecey. Justice for: Niecey. We love you, Niecey.
Getting locked up in a jail cell
For something I did not do
I wake up every morning hoping this
Couldn’t be true
But it was a sign for me to come here
Because now I have found you Continue reading
|From the family of Uniece “Niecey” Fennell:
Standoff/Protest this Friday @12pm at the Durham County Detention Center for Niecey Fennell. This is for those who can’t participate in adding money to help with her expenses. It is absolutely FREE to express your emotions. There’s no excuses other than a ride and your job that you can not be there!!!!!!!
We will meet in front of the DPAC and start a line in front of the Detention Center forming a standoff and protest. If y’all really care like y’all say y’all do y’all will make it your business to be there!!!!! SHARE SHARE SHARE
DONATIONS for funeral expenses WILL STILL BE ACCEPTED!!!!! WE WILL ARRANGE FOR A JAR DROP TO PUT MONEY IN MADE PAYABLE TO HER MOTHER Jayel Graves FOR THE EXPENSES OF HER FUNERAL!!!!!
Uniece Glenae Fennell’s death is a horrible tragedy. We extend our condolences to those who knew and loved Uniece and we hope they can find space to grieve and mourn in peace.
At least this time the public was informed about a death at the jail. That is only because of the fierce struggle for justice undertaken by family, loved ones, friends and community members after Matthew McCain’s death in January 2016.
Uniece is the fourth person since 2015 to die in the Durham County Jail under the direction of Sheriff Mike Andrews. The Durham County Jail does nothing but isolate, abuse, neglect, and kill our friends and family. Though we don’t know the exact circumstances of Uniece’s death, we do know that no one should ever die in jail. Because this jail has already killed so many, and before it kills even more, we say no more jail deaths, no more jail.
We are trying to find out more about this tragic death. Please contact us at email@example.com or 919.666.7854 if you have information.