‘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

They need a price check–ASAP

To Who May Concern,

Who in the fuck charges a black man of a crime and put a bond on him of one million dollars? So, basically you’ve made one’s freedom worth one million dollars–that’s just one arrest out of many a day. That shit not even logical. Help this city, it’s sad. No help.  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

‘It’s messed up when you see people treated like white man’s pets’

What’s up in and out. My name is Donavon Bright along with my cellmate Curtis Jackson. We want to speak out about all the things wrong about this jail. From the molded bread they feed us, to the now COLD shower water, power surges, crooked, hateful d.o.’s, and even the dirty mold-infested showers and cells. This is no way to live. Continue reading

‘We all matter, not just those in higher positions in life’

What’s going on —,

This letter here is in regards to all inmates, the signatures are in accordance with those who are in full agreement of the “First Five Grieving Committee of the Durham County Jail.” The 2nd letter to whom it may concern is not based according to thoughts or opinions, it’s based according to outside resources and research done in accordance to the agencies or departments stated. This letter was written and prepared by —. We’re supporting him in agreement. We would  LOVE to see this taken seriously and put into investigation on such governmental officials. What needs to be done NOW!!!!, which would be nice, is them stepping up and proving all of us in Durham County Jail wrong. I would also love it if you would post this on your Facebook page and tag it to my page. Thanks for all your support. Stay in touch. God Bless You All, IOA. Continue reading

After Winter Must Come Spring

(this statement is included in a newly published zine by IOA called No More Jail Deaths No More Jail, which you can find here)

A statement from Inside-Outside Alliance, April 2016

Everything is everything / What is meant to be, will be / After winter, must come spring / Change, it comes eventually –Lauryn Hill

The days after Matthew McCain’s death on Tuesday, January 19th were as bleak as any this winter in Durham. On Friday the 22nd, a mixture of snow and ice pummeled the Triangle area. As they often do, media outlets focused singularly on the weather event, despite social media outrage about Matt’s death. But the determination of Matthew’s loved ones, and of those who had witnessed his death by medical neglect, could not be denied, and once the snow and ice had melted, the egregious inaction of jail staff began coming to fuller light. Further, Shakiyla Young, who had all but stopped hoping for a drop of information about the death of her father, Dennis McMurray, identified with the pain and helplessness felt by Matthew’s family and publicly came forward again with her story about her father’s death in the jail a year prior.   Continue reading

‘IOA: Fight til you can’t fight no more’

Greetings to IOA,

Content!…This is the first word of this letter I insist on stating. I’m Christian and a firm believer of being content. I received your first letter and my apologies for taking so long to respond. Under my circumstances I have been seriously practicing what I preach to set an example for others around me that complain about everything inside or outside the jail. According to my beliefs which it says in Phillippians 4:11, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances,” and also Hebrews 13:5-6, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” and because of this I refrained from writing. My God is a God of Love, Justice, Peace, Happiness and everything Good. So on behalf of my Brother through Christ our Savior, in whom I actually grew up with as we went to United Pentecostal Church, which is now First Pentecostal Church located on Carver St., from childhood to adulthood, and God allowing me to be present at his “Homecoming” to Heaven, my condolences to Matthew McCain, but I disclose to those who know or who may not know details about his death. Continue reading

‘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

‘The professionalism here is at an all-time minimum’

3-8-16

I welcome all letters, info and visitations at all times that are available (permanently–T.K.)

Hello,

I’m Tony King and let me first start off by saying my name may be used in any positive form of light that helps contribute to the awareness of what I.O.A. stands for within its public and private affairs. I must admit I am far from a perfect person; however, I am a good person, a person that believes that right is right, and wrong is wrong. With that being said, let me also say I’ve read several feedbacks and agree with all of the accusations that others have made in regards to the Durham County Jail. Now I myself would like to shed some light on some of what my observations have come to see. Continue reading

‘Being treated equally is not in the math!’

Dear —

How are you? I hope all is well and that you are making progress in your efforts to support the inmates of the Durham D.C.J…Well I received your letter a couple weeks back. I guess it would be better to say last year lol, but anyways it was nice of you to write me back. I was in the window that night you all had the street blocked off and wouldn’t let anyone through. Power is in numbers and you all have surely proven that…Hard work and perseverance brings forth results and you all are working super hard for us and I want to thank you and the rest of inside-outside alliance for all help, care and support. Continue reading