‘What don’t kill us only makes us stronger’ 

How is it going, World, and my brothers and sisters here in D.C.J.? Me, I’m ok, taking it one day at a time. I’ve been here 10 months, praying when I go to court I’ll be going home. Nothing has changed in the women’s pod. There’s about 47 of us in here, maybe even more. Well, now we can’t watch BET, MTV, VH1, anything like that. They put a block on it. Me, myself I get along with all the c.o.’s that work in the women’s pod. I try to keep the peace in the pod. Already don’t want to be here and I sure don’t belong here. At least we get 3 hot meals now. They could let us have radios, something, anything better than nothing. Yes, it still is cold in here, sometimes it be freezing. One thing I can say is that me and my friends are here for one another. Shout out to Jessica W., Alezai C., Olga L., Ashley G. I mean that’s what we got to do is be here for one another and don’t bring each other down. I love you all. Keep your head up. This will be over soon. What don’t kill us only makes us stronger.  –Melanie B.

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‘Everything associated with this jail is a mind battle’

Hey! What’s going on?

I don’t know if you have paid close attention to my letter I wrote about me being an analyst…it was even posted in this month’s feedback under “Point Blank Period” in association with the inside information about Brother McCain’s death and the severe head injury he experienced. I mentioned how the Durham County Jail’s staff would meet the demands being made but also unequivocally cause conflict in the meeting of these demands to continue an uproar in the jail, because its result would boil down to what’s more important. Continue reading

‘It’s the little things that get a smile on our faces in here’

5-5-16

It was great to receive your letter…it made me laugh. I was thrilled to see the pictures of Edward Crawford in Ferguson. Thank you guys! It is yet another dreary day in the pokey. I was startled today when I opened my lunch tray to the scent of real meat! Although you could tell it was a hamburger patty of mostly soy, I could see, smell and taste hints of meat. Most likely it was road kill of an unknown variety and not beef. Maybe it was bison? Maybe it was skunk or even turtle meat. Continue reading

This May Day: Smash the Durham Jail and Prisons Everywhere

This May Day: Smash the Durham Jail and Prisons Everywhere

On Friday, April 29, Inside-Outside Alliance and Triangle Area Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) invite you to stand in support of prisoners organizing against the racist violence of the Durham County Jail, the Durham Community’s struggle for an independent jail investigation, and prisoners on strike in Alabama and Texas, who are calling for a national strike starting September 9. Meet at 6:00 in Central Park and march to the jail. Continue reading

We Need OSHA: “We’re not the animals they’re treating us like”

3-27-16

Hello,

I’m Tony King and I give I.O.A. permission to use my name and letters at anytime for the sake of awareness of all amplified voices unless I withdraw my consent verbally or written.

Update: the kitchen’s inmate staff is now being worked to the bone, just to cover any tracks of anything that shows lack in the D.C.J. staff members. We’ve experienced a hot tray for dinner for the first time. Hopefully it will continue. As far as officers go, there is another who decided to show their true colors this night of 3-24-16 by the name of Officer Perry – a male. 5-B. So, let’s dissect the issue. Majority of the time, us inmates are locked back or out in the pod, the officer is sitting at their desk usually doing nothing is the most honest thing one could say. So, after only 1 hr into his work schedule, Officer Perry at 9:00pm states he’s not going to open our doors to our cell unless he feels like it. So I had a moment of clarity which was: Officer Perry clearly isn’t satisfied with the pay he receives to just sit and push some buttons. Also, when we’re let out of cell at 9:00pm, it’s a wonderful privilege that’s appreciated 100% until you get an officer such as Officer Perry who instead of pushing the button that opens all doors so we can exit cell, the officer will walk to each door of at least 47 doors and unlock them only to cut into our free time at the least 10-15 minutes, which we do not receive back. Sad isn’t it?

Also, officers fail to follow protocol when opening your door allowing an inmate in your room without permission. This happened to me tonight. I asked was there a protocol when opening door. He stated yes, however it’s clear protocol wasn’t followed, and luckily nothing was stolen due to me catching the issue in time. Officers in general also lack respect when it comes to your personal phone calls that may be $10-$20. The officers sometimes just hang up on your phone call without notice, leaving you with the loss of money and an unfinished phone call, all with no consideration for the inmate. Last but definitely not least, there is, I repeat, there is something in the water we drink and bathe with. It is a thin foggy white film that floats in and on top of your water. Also, the water you bathe with is so harsh it chafes your skin very badly.

Well, it’s been a pleasure. Hope to talk soon.

P.S. I’m looking forward to letters and useful information, if possible.

(I’m not sure if you all wrote me back or not. I have not received any mail entirely. Please feel free to do so or maybe they’re holding mail as usual.)

Also, for all medical visits here at Durham County Jail it will cost you $20, unless you’re dying, is what the nurse told me. I asked for the medical policy and was told that they could provide me so I wouldn’t be confused about how to be seen appropriately. I stated: it was my (Right) to have this information, and was told again there is nothing to give you, but if you’re sick she said, put in a sick call not a grievance cause it usually is the least concern. I said, wow, she sure isn’t educated as the last nurse I spoke with that addressed my needs.

(And thanks to the Post Office for the 1 pair of socks donated to each inmate.)

Also, I’ve heard specifically from inmate kitchen staff that fruit flies / gnats are all over the kitchen and sometimes have crawled onto the food that they serve us. Kitchen staff has also said when they notify the kitchen authority of the issue, they threaten them to mind their business if they wish to continue working in the kitchen. So, basically if you notify staff of these health related issues you’re fired from your kitchen position. I personally witnessed the jails head kitchen officer come to 4C pod and make a mockery of the guy who found the maggots, say strip him of his blue uniform immediately. He no longer works in the kitchen anymore and never will, not while I’m working here. OSHA, please save us. We’re not the animals they’re treating us like. Even a dog deserves and receives better treatment than this. OSHA just needs to come unannounced and justice will be served. Please help us.

-Tony King

‘A place you are not guaranteed a good night’s peace’

4/2/16

Hi –,

It was good to receive your letter and the Vol 15 Feedback bulletin. I appreciate your concern, support and interest. As of my current state of mind, I remain optimistic though terribly heavy-laden. I am approaching 27 months of incarceration and have finally gotten close to getting my case resolved. Although I don’t wish to discuss any specifics of my charges, I will say I am glad to have this much time under my belt. The conditions I have experienced here have been ridiculous. It is a jail after all. It is not by any means a walk in the park. Finally they have stopped serving sandwiches at dinner time. I am not as hungry as I have been in the past months. I am being fed. This is good. Although it is not the best food and mostly starch, it fills the hole LOL. We still do not get to come out at nights around 9:00 p.m. like we did about a year ago, and that’s unfortunate. Basically I stay in my own lane and avoid as much calamity as possible. Sometimes living this way is difficult as trouble seems to find me from time to time.

I have managed to avoid disciplinary actions that have stemmed from disagreements I have had with fellow inmates and detention staff. It is a loud place. A place that you are not guaranteed a good night’s peace. You got people beating the walls and doors around you cancelling any chance of productive thought. It’s like people were raised in a barn. Some come in and never shower with their stinkin asses. Some shower and still stink. Let’s not get started on the toilet paper situation! Guards sometimes say, “We haven’t got a roll in the building.” That’s the biggest crock I’ve ever heard. Knowing good and well they have got stacks of it in the storage room. I have had a trying stay here, though. A few instances of the canteen messing up orders, the medical not being prompt, the mail arriving late, and recreation time being cut short or cancelled some days. I’m surviving…goin on…feelin strong. One thing I will say is that I desire the loving embrace of a woman. Loneliness envelops me. Anyhow…that’s neither here nor there. I do have a request that I hope you will be able to help me with. Enclosed is a photo (shown below) that I tore out of a feedback bulletin (issue 6). It is a photo I have had stuck to my wall for many months. If there is any way you could send me an enlarged copy or two, I would greatly appreciate it. I have looked at it daily and it has brought me peace (strangely enough). If you cannot print me an enlarged copy or two, could you please send this one back. I know this is a weird request lol. I plan on trying to draw this picture as I have been trying my hand at sketching. crawford.teargasThank you for taking the time to write me and for supporting us inmates locked down in this hellhole!

Sincerely,

Brandon K Jayne

‘We deserve better point blank period”

To IOA,

Whatever you all are doing is making a difference slowly but surely. We now receive three hot meals a day, but there is a catch to it…they slack on our portion sizes terribly. March 23-24 2016 this change took effect at dinner around 4:00-4:30 pm. We were served Spanish rice, and a piece of cornbread, with a single slot of applesauce. On the 24-25 of March 2016 at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast we were given two small pieces of sweet bread, a slot of oatmeal, and a single slot of syrup. Lunch came and we received a burger, slaw, beans and soy, and a slot of applesauce. And so forth. Continue reading