T or F: These dishes are not intended for human consumption.

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

“Aramark is here to stay”

After reading that topic, I hope the news gets better? And it could, if we work together. Just this morning, another inmate sounded off at me. He said, ‘You still writing that shit? You’re wasting these guys’ time. Why don’t you write about something important?’ I’m thinking, ‘This guy’s got 3,000+ dollars on his books. I have .02 cents on mine. I assume, to people here in jail with 3,000 in their account here, I reckon I am wasting my time. That’s really got me primed. Wonder in the mornings which leg he starts with to get dressed. Now back to Aramark, which is teaming up with these people who are currently in control of our lives, and those who are in our circle. There’s not much to life, being in here. Continue reading

‘If we weren’t down here doing it, they would have to…’

6-8-16

Hey, my name is —, but you can call me Blaze. Well, first off I want to say nice to meet you and yes I will be writing you a lot since I got your letter. I have seen a lot of things, so let me get started. Yes, use the name BLAZE in the letters (newsletter or in the IOA booklet–Thanks!!) Well, I worked in the kitchen here at DCJ and I seen things down there that wouldn’t have known if I did not work, such as: Bugs (gnats) flying all in the kitchen, in the food when it’s on the line to serve for the inmates, in the juice that the inmates drink, and when you tell the d.o.s or the Ararmark people that’s in charge, they say ‘you are in jail,’ and I say ‘what’s that got to do with it–these are still people’s food. Then when the inspection people come in they try to make us scrub and clean heard as hell to cover up the REAL PROBLEMS in the kitchen and if we try to talk/tell the inspector people what’s going on or try to show them anything they will get mad, look at us funny or worse FIRE US. that is crazy, it’s like they don’t care about us (Well, I know they don’t) Then they always pass inspection I don’t know how, has to be some under the table stuff going on or something, because the kitchen here is nasty. Mold on the walls, covered with paint, but you can see it and tell. Then it’s this lady down there named Pam who work for ARARMARK, too, she thinks she can talk to you any type of way, curse at you and think just because  you are an inmate and working in the kitchen she can do that and you just supposed to sit there (SMH). She knows if you say anything back, and she tell the man who hires you to work (Tyler) it’s over and you willl be fired and that’s not fair. That is why people don’t be wanting to come to work like that in the kitchen because she talk to you like you ain’t shit because you in orange/in jail. It is one new lady down there in the kitchen and she so sweet, kind, respectful, never get loud with you or curse at you, we need more people like her. First shift work from 3:30 a.m. or 4:00 till about 10:00 a.m. Working hard as hell, never get no good food for working, thank you or non-thing, just the same food as the inmates and a bye? Second shift work from 9 or 10 a.m til 6 or 8:00 pm, working like slaves while Aramark sit on they AZZ and talk shit to us workers all day. If we weren’t down here doing it, they would have to, you know? If they had more people down there like the New Lady and gave us different food, then the inmates, then more people would want to come to work…That’s it about the kitchen part.

Showers: These showers here are the worst and the water is, too. It’s rust, mildew all in the shower and bugs flying in the shower and in the pod. The water don’t even be hot most of the time (4 real)…How do you take a shower with Dial Antibacterial Deodorant soap and get out the shower still itching and bumps all over your skin, chest, back, stomach? The water got to be dirty, then when you drink the water out your sink it feels like something in your throat/mouth. We need all this stuff I talked about to change. Please help. Thanks I.O.A. Thanks 4 the support/help…We need it.

Blaze, till next time

‘Try to be stuck up in a room all day…that’s something to be depressed about’

Man a lot has changed around here since I last wrote IOA, but most of it has been for the good. We now get three hot meals a day. We’re still dealing with a few small problems like the side of the pod I’m on most of the rooms don’t get hot water, and Sgt Davis said that they will be in to fit it, but they still have not.  Continue reading

‘It’s rules within rules that aren’t even documented’

To whom it may concern,

My name is Deontae Richardson and I don’t care if you use my name. First off, let me say I personally work in the Durham County Jail kitchen and the infestation of fruit flies is getting out of control. I am ServSafe Certified, and I know that it’s against health regulations seeing these bugs flying and landing and crawling on the food people is going to eat. And the only thing I’ve seen was it get fanned like we’re at a cook out–it’s ridiculous. They came and sprayed, but it was a half job, because for one they’re still there, and it’s picking back up.  Continue reading

‘Without the move there is no movement’

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

3-5-16

I wanted to thank you for coming to visit me and did get to see you all out on Pettigrew Street. I get a thrill out of seeing all of you out there cause you all are doing it out of love for us. A lot of men and women don’t really realize how valuable you all (I.O.A.) have been to us. Your support means a lot. I still don’t know my situation on my pending charges (crazy).

As you know I’m a trustee. The officer came into the pod today and told all the kitchen guys, “If you all don’t go to work today the whole pod will be on lockback!” I thought to myself, ‘Damn–real live slavery. For real. That was some real slick shit on the police’s part, you know. Holding lockback over your head. The Aramark staff didn’t even show up to work this morning. The meals were late today cause the inmates mostly had to put it all together. Oh, yeah, and them trays are still waterlogged and greasy. I would volunteer my time to go down and remove all the bad trays, but I think that makes too much sense/common sense for Aramark or the staff at the jail that knows about this…

Still doin time,

John Weaver

Does the sheriff season his food?: a report from the work pod

From pod 4B (work pod) comes this report:

The Sheriff has started coming to the kitchen nearly once a week.  J—says this definitely has to do with all the struggle against conditions and the complaints cited against the food, and with the sheriff trying to appear like a man of the people and getting called out for being unaccountable or a tourist at his own jail. He’s been eating a couple of bites and trying to talk to guys in the kitchen. Guys on the pod asked him point blank: ‘Why can’t we have salt or pepper to put on our food, to season it a little?’ He gave no answer. “We wonder if he puts salt on his own food,” says J–. As it is, inmates who work in the kitchen (and those who get the food) often use soup packets bought through canteen to get any kind of seasoning for their food. Nothing has improved nutritionally or flavor-wise. Nor has much changed with the cleaning regimen for food trays. There is still food and other substances clinging to them on a regular basis. Continue reading

“A blatant lie and coverup”

Hello Brother G___,

My real name is ________________.  I appreciate all that the Alliance is doing, for the brothers and sisters that are incarcerated in the Durham Co. Detention Facility.  Thanks for allowing our voices to be heard.

Concerning brother McCain, I only know what I heard through the grapevine and the newspaper.  I hope that whoever is responsible, gets prosecuted to the fullest, cause it is a shame that this tragic incident happened.

There are two other incidents that happened, that has be concealed from the public/community.  One is criminal in nature and the other is immoral and unethical, and I hope that something can be done to keep this from ever happening again.

On 12/17/2015, around 0800 hrs, a medication nurse, give knowingly, an inmate (a close friend), unprescribed medication (100-200 mg seroquel).  A direct result of trying the said medicine, the inmate was taken to Duke Regional Hospital’s ER, in a semi-conscious state.  This facility in cahoots with Duke Regional, said the cause of his condition was from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Eleven inmates, two aramark employees, and one detention officer (kitchen security) were all in the kitchen, from 0400 hrs until the incident.  None of us were affected by this carbon monoxide.  Why?  A blatant lie and coverup.  This inmate has not been allowed to return to kitchen duty since.  Why?

The next day 12/18/2015, around 1030 hrs, at least eight inmates, detention captains, two detention sargents, and one detention officer (kitchen security), discovered rodent feces and maggots in food warmers used as the tray assembly line.  Several inmates said that maggots fell/got into potatoes being served, and the Aramark employee on duty, scooped the maggots out, and ordered the inmates to keep putting those same infested potatoes on inmates trays, being served for lunch.  This is as inhumane as it gets.

All of us incarcerated in this facility are somebody’s father (grand) or mother (grand), brother or sister, son or daughter, uncle or aunt, and/or husband or wife.  We are not caged animals that will eat anything to get nourishment.  

They took the infested food warmers out, and I was personally told by the deputy director (Lt. Col. Perkins), that new food warmers were in the warehouse waiting to be delivered.  A week later the same old warmers, a little cleaner, were brought back, and we still use them as of today.

I feel my health, walfare, and safety is in serious jeopardy, because of the severe incidents that have taken place in this facility in the last year.  I am a navy veteran, with health problems (liver damage), that are not being addressed properly either.  The VA Hospital has a treatment to cure this and I have been denied access to this treatment.  TOday, I took a plea bargain, so I can leave this facility in the near future, so I can get the proper medical care.

Hopefully, this letter can get the ball rolling even more, so current or future residents at this facility can be healthy and safe.

Thanks for lending an ear of concern.  I will write in future as to my whereabouts.

  • FV

‘Things changing slowly but surely’

1/2/16

What’s up IOA

One day I was out for my 1.5 hour walk and I realized something…Everybody looks forward to mail and visits. When it’s all said and done I know I and have seen people cry after a visit. It’s people in here that got kids out there in the world that need them. It hurts me real bad. I really do feel for them. I hate seeing people sad. I hate that we all in here hoping and praying that we get a letter or visit or money on our books. I wish/want better for my people. As far as myself go, still trying to shake the fact that I’m still in my room, still locked back/admin. Hate this place. I’m not an animal. Officers come up to me a lot and tell me they hate the way they be treating me and it’s officers that be like they know I’m not the person they trying to make me out to be. I’m really a good-hearted person if you took the time to get to know me. 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

‘Obviously jail isn’t a place for anyone’

What’s good man? My fault for writing back late. Just had a lot on my mind lately. I’ve been fine since I been in here, met a lot of cool people (believe it or not) but overall fine. Personally I like the switch to 8 hours a day, cause it makes my time go by faster. To be honest, screw the detention officers, as long as they don’t put they hands on me I’m fine. I kept looking at your letter on my desk like damn I should write back, it came to me one night, I was blessed for you to write me so I should return the favor. Continue reading