“this for the Durham Association of Educators”

Dear g______ ________

I’m doing alright thanks for asking, yes we are doing a creative writing class where we get to express ourselves in different kinds of ways.  Rap, poem, drawings, speeches, & a lot more.  Curtis Barnette [another detainee] started the class & we sign up for it.  We start at 12 or when the multi-purpose room ain’t at use & any action book or drawing book is good & a dictionary, too.  I like making great drawings so I’m like more tattoo drawings.

this for the Durham Association of Educators, & the union of public school teacher: thank you for focusing on our Education.  I’m still enrolled in my base school.  I was 17 when I got here, now I’m 18.  I’m up in here for a couple a months now.  The government should focus on building schools & jobs instead of making money for the jail, b/c this jail system is so crooked.  I’m here with no proof of me committing any crime of what they blaming me for – no weapon found, no evidence of any stolen goods, no witnesses.  I’ve been just waiting for my court dates & they cancel my court date every time its been scheduled.  My lawyer just once he came and see be.  I haven’t been to court at all.  The DAs lying on everything, the court appointed lawyers ain’t helping, to be honest.  Fuck Durham County Jail, they want me to feel down & plead guilty so they can make money off me.  You know what they chose the wrong person, b/c I’m staying strong.  I got into the word of God & he helps me to stay strong & for my family & loved ones who support me they can’t even come to visit me.  I only saw my mom 3 times & now they ain’t allowing her to come.  I’m against the video visitation.  So many young teens like my age die in this cells & they just say they committed suicide or natural cause.  It ain’t true.  The COs allow it to happen & if they ain’t do nothing about it that’s how they move up to new positions.  The canteen be ripping us off of our money, they don’t return our money when we order canteen & they don’t bring our canteen, & they act like they don’t know nothing.  Man shyt crazy.  I can’t even trust the law & I never did & never will.  I speak for all my latinos up in here.  I got a friend here & they don’t let him have any visit.  His family want to see him but they don’t allow him to have any visit, & when they feel they loosing our case they put a deportation order on my people with out having proof of anything.  We get crazy rash on our body b/c of the sope & our clothes are being washed with only water & we get rash from it & we get back pain from the bed they give us.  They treat us like a bunch of animals.  They hold us over years & trying to make us commit suicide & if you don’t have money you can’t get no medical attention or get the medication you need to live.  Shyt crazy man.  They block the phone sometimes so we can’t call anyone.  People are still here fighting o live & some lost their life fighting the system.  Thank you IOA for working on protest to help us students & anyone up in jail.  Thank you and god bless y’all.

 

Sincerely,

ghost z:.

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‘Could you imagine driving that far to sit in front of a video screen?’

6/11/17

Hi,

I owe you a response from a letter you wrote to me on March 27. You met my dad outside the jail and he gave you my name and information.

Since I’ve received that letter, a lot has happened. Indeed, unfortunately, we lost Niecey from the women’s pod, and I did not know her personally, but it still put everyone who heard of her death on edge. The tension could be felt in the air, and all of the detention officers were receiving dirty looks from detainees. Even those who were not even working on the night of the situation. Things could have grown dangerous on either side. Thank God, from at least my perspective and in my pod, we had no further issues pertaining to that.  Continue reading

“a male CO was picking on and messing with Niecey”

Dear G___,

First off I would like to thank you and many others from Inside-Outside Alliance for love and support, a lot of people on the outside as well as some of us in here are blind to how we are being treated in this jail so once again thanks.  I read the newsletter that you provided and loved every page of it.  I can relate to all the topics and I agree that the jail in some areas are getting worse.  Canteen is at an all time high and the website to set up visitation is not working at all right now so some of us can’t even see our love ones.  As far as the situation with Niecey committing suicide, I feel that it could have been avoided.  As you may know, we inmates talk to each other male and female through many different ways, one being jail house mail and what I discovered is that a male CO was picking on and messing with Niecey, this situation made Niecey committ suicide.  Its sad and prayers go out to her family, as an inmate and a person who has been coming and and out of this jail for 12 years I can only hope for the best but I know it won’t happen.  Thanks for the letter and I will be looking forward to the next one but until then I’m out.

Sincerely,

C

PS: In my next letter I will be sending y’all a poem entitled DCJ

Video visitation: ‘It simply shouldn’t happen!’

Dear friends!

I was very glad to get your letter.

Thank you much for efforts to memorialize Niecey. It is extremely painful for me to think about her death.

Yes, I saw you many times on the streets in Durham. I used to work in one of the restaurants in downtown. But never did hear you being outside at the jail like now. I am on the 5th floor. Certainly I support from all my heart the protests against video visitation. It simply shouldn’t happen!! And “upset” about it is not enough to say!

…Thank you for your attention. With love and respect, F.L.

 

‘This damn jail is destroying my family’

What’s going on? Sorry it’s taken me so long to write back, but let’s just say I have not been myself lately. Sometimes I don’t know what or how to feel. Because I am so weighed down by personal issues and with the fact of being incarcerated for a year now. As far as this jail goes it’s still the same slave ship it has always been. These people act like they care about us, but they really don’t. They have made it much harder for our people to see us. Speaking of which, I have not seen my kids in 3 months. And that is the only way I can maintain. Hell, I have a son that’s about to be a year old, and one that’s soon to be 8 years old. I can’t take not seeing them…This damn jail is DESTROYING my family! Continue reading

‘Not being able to see (mom) in the flesh would give me one less reason to live’

What’s been up brother? How are you, me I’m fine. I just met a man not too many weeks ago. He’s about 65 or so years old. His name is Ronnie Long. He did forty years for a crime that he did not do and there was no evidence of. His base is in Durham…They recently granted a retrial because of some help from some lawyers in Durham. I think you may know more about him than me. Anyway, how are you? I’m so glad to hear from you.

I am fine. I’m very hurt that a girl of 17 should lose her life in the jail. That’s painful. I hate to say that I think more people die in DCJ than her where people are stabbed (fairly often). I know that it’s a shitty comparison.  Continue reading

Mental health nightmare

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