‘One voice is but a whisper, a thousand are a mighty roar’

Dear IOA

I am a female inmate currently in custody at Durham County jail. First, I want to praise the work and efforts made to give voice to any and all parties willing to speak out against issues that would otherwise go unaddressed. As a temporary resident in this jail I am expressing the need for all inmates, male and female, to be properly screened and searched. Lice were discovered in 5D (women’s housing unit). The woman came into the facility with them, and was a part of general population for nearly a week before they were discovered. She was given one treatment, placed on medical lockback and virtually forgotten about besides meals. When approximately two weeks had passed, there was a breech in communication. One squad was told she was medically cleared, when she had not been. She again joined general population, only to be locked back until she was released. There have been grievances filed about females grooming and styling hair in the eating area, which is highly unsanitary, but no one has formally addressed this matter. Another issue in the female pod is the constant unnecessary request for toilet paper and feminine products, which should be kept on hand. There is no reason a woman should have to wait for items that are necessary to ensure good hygienical practices. Continue reading

‘I pray that all my brothers make it through’

Unity—One body—More Power

We are all convicts at the end of the day. I don’t bang nothing. But we killing each other on the outside. And it’s no better on the inside. Do we not see the system is trying to lay us down. It’s black and white right in front of our face. They don’t care about red or blue. The only color standing behind these walls are black. Young or old, we as black men are losing power in a system that wants us to fall. Continue reading

‘They are trying to kill us’

“The Cup Train of Genocidal Bacteria” (Crossover Contamination)

I’m going to try to keep this to the point and very detailed as well…

Announcement Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 around 4:15 p.m. in which C.O. Ms. Henderson stated cups would finally start being taken up after every meal to be cleaned periodically…Cool! ‘Bout time!!! Since it had been two weeks from when they first mentioned it on Pod 5A. Decent solution to keep things sanitary, but (there’s always a but when it comes to D.C.J.) Monday when cups was brought up for breakfast they were wet with soap residue and Bob Barker lotion sticker labels on them, black debris, deodorant labels, and teeth marks on the cups (before I go on, who bites on a cup, really, though?). This is still highly unsanitary…this is supposed to be new beginnings, but (again) D.C.J. is starting out the same old way. Continue reading

‘Our life and health is at stake’

9-12-16

Medical staff brings meds at different times, 3 or 4 different hours and different times each day. Medication should be taken consistently around the same time daily, not when they want to give it to you. That’s why a lot of medications are not helping because the way they are passed out is incorrect. This goes for the diabetic patients, as well as other medications. They should be taken on a schedule–on time–not when they want you to have it. Our life and health is at stake.I take medication for PTSD and bipolar disorder. I take my medication seriously. As for the jail’s medical department, well, it looks as if they don’t. The pod’s log book clearly will show how off schedule meds are brought in morning, noon, night… Continue reading

An announcement from the top: ‘So many of you have been writing…’

Friday morning September 9, Lt. Col. Natalie Perkins, jail director, came into the pod and made an announcement. She told detainees that because “so many of you have been writing to the Inside-Outside Alliance about how dirty and bad the trays are” there was going to be a new process for cleaning the trays and all food materials so that they “wouldn’t have anything to complain about anymore.” She said that all trays and utensils and anything to use to eat would be collected after the last meal of the day in order to clean them. She said nothing about who would clean them, or how the process for cleaning the trays (which have come under a lot of scrutiny) was better or different than before. However, Perkins was likely well aware that many people like/need to eat snacks between their last meal (around 4:30 pm) of one day and their first meal (around 6:30 am) of the next day, and that this new process to ostensibly redress the lack of clean trays would actually create another problem (no utensils to eat snack soups and other items) and piss people off. And she wanted to be sure detainees would know to be upset with Inside-Outside Alliance, which listens to and sometimes publishes the words of people who are hoping to get “these inhuman standards addressed,” rather than the detention facility, its staff, and its corporate partners’ staff, who perpetuate the conditions of filth and squalor.

The timing of this announcement from the top dog, an extreme rarity in itself, is also significant: on the day that prisoners in at least 24 states were participating in a mass strike, and less than a week before the city’s Human Relations Commission was set to host a forum on the impact of the county jail on city residents.

‘I can’t believe the health department hasn’t looked at these trays…’

8-13-16

Hey —

I do hope you are as well as can be! It was good to hear from you. I’m hangin in here and quickly approaching the 1000th day of incarceration in DCJ. It sucks the big one in here, but that’s how it goes for a person that has an extremely high bond and that’s fighting for their freedom. Don’t take a plea for something you didn’t do and sit and rot in jail. They will get their time out of you one way or another. I’m with the others on the hating the food situation. This soy they got coming to us is not enough to make you not even eat your tray. Recently, I’ve been noticing that the trays haven’t been washed thoroughly. So they bring us this slop to eat and you will see remnants of grits from breakfast and brownies from lunch that they didn’t clean good enough. Also, another issue is the trays themselves. Since I have been here (going on 31 months) and actually in 2008 I was here and saw the same type of trays. They haven’t replaced them. The lids in particular are hollow and many of them get full of water and dish soap. So you might get a tray and the lid weighs 5-10 pounds. Then you might get another that’s not full of water. This water drains out on your food. I have held one up and let water and old soap drain out on the floor. Most times if you inspect the food there are little bubbles with soap residue where something hasn’t been washed or that these old plastic trays/lids have leaked stagnant/soapy water out in our food. I can’t believe the health department hasn’t looked at these trays after and in between meals. It’s fucking disgusting to say the least. I mean a dude might blow his nose and put the tissue on these trays and it goes back down to the kitchen to be washed and they half-ass spray it down. We need new trays in the kitchen that our food comes to us on. And we need new dishwashers. These guys are fellows that probably never had a job on the street and couldn’t keep one if they did. They don’t give a damn about their fellow inmates, or their own cleanliness. I bet these guys have homes that are disgusting and have cockroaches running around, pizza boxes stacked up in the corner and endless lines of piss ants marching around everywhere. Savages. I wouldn’t mind throwing them in the sink and scalding them with their sprayer that is plenty powerful enough to clean our trays we eat on and that can easily remove old food. Bastards smh. Ask around on the tray situation. Oh, one more thing. There hasn’t been a toilet brush in this block 5-C in over a year and a half. I got some funk in my toilet that looks like it’s gonna grown arms and climb out of the bowl. I have had to clean it with my hands and a rag. Looks like I’ll have to continue. Drains still clogged in 5-C and overflowing their filth for us to inhale. Sewer gas is supposed to be vented by code (by law), yet it vents in our block and we inhale these toxic vapors. I may as well tell you about the carpet that was removed in 5-C. It was peeled up months ago, but the adhesive remains. People scuff their feet on it and chairs slide on it. Then janitors sweep over top of it. So with that being said, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the particles that are scuffed up (being tiny pieces of adhesive) are becoming airborne. Do they give us dust masks? No. Is that adhesive safe to breathe? One could tell that it’s airborne because when we sweep anywhere in this block, including our rooms, there’s tiny pieces of this yellow adhesive. It wouldn’t take but some remover, scrapers ,and a few swingin dicks to scrape and the jail would have successfully completed a task of removing what they started removing. I’ll stop now. Hopefully these concerns can help clean this place up, if you care to voice them. I have spread the word of your mission and will continue to do so…Thanks.

B.