‘I’m a black male–that’s why I’m still here.’

Hello feedback world,

I have been housed here in the Durham County Jail since April 8, 2016. After checking my house on the night in question, the Durham police left with nothing. But they came back a week later cause the word of a white woman. Yes, I’m a black male, that’s why I’m still here. Thanking God for the change in my life. I’ve been out the system for eight long years. Continue reading

‘The outcome would have been different’

I hope that upon receiving this letter you guys at Inside-Outside Alliance are in good health and spirits. I myself am doing o.k., trying to stay strong.

I was recently sentenced for a crime that I did not commit due to the corrupt system of Durham County. My attorney knew months before I was sentenced that I was innocent, but due to the nature of the crime, she had already found me guilty before even looking at the actual evidence. Even after she got the evidence needed to prove my innocence, she did nothing to help me, she filed no motions for dismissal or for anything else that could help my case. Continue reading

‘My life doesn’t matter so long as they can get paid off my misery’

By Vincent P.

I was locked up for six months for being $900 in arrears in child support. The thing was, my kids were living with me. I was supporting them. But the state (or the county) wants their money. How and why am I paying child support for children that are in my house? Who am I paying it to? It’s going directly to the state. What does that have to do with my children?

So they left my younger daughters to go with their mother, who was not supposed to have unsupervised visits. My older daughter and son were left to be homeless on the streets while in school while I did my time. Well, I really think the jail term did more harm to my family than good. Two 17 year olds with no parents at all. They were left on their own.

When I was in court before getting locked up, a chaplain Holloway from the Durham Rescue Mission came and said I could have a job so I’d be able to make my payments, and the judge told him to move along, that he wasn’t supposed to be there. What is that all about?

The judge said, ‘How are the kids going to eat?’ I tried to explain they had been with me, that they were eating. And he told me, “You’re in custody, don’t speak.” I didn’t even have a lawyer on my side, it was just people from the prosecutors’ office and the judge against me. Continue reading

‘It is the jail’s fault I am in pain’

I have a couple of issues I need your help with. The first one is my denture plate has still not been fixed and this problem has been going on since 8-25-15. That was a lot of days ago and I am in pain everyday because I have to put them in to eat and when I do they cut the inside of my mouth and my gums and when I had my lawyer call and ask what is taking so long, they being medical talked to her like she was a piece of shit and would not tell her anything. That is my lawyer and she cannot get a straight answer from them so you know I cannot. Continue reading

‘No one should make mistakes like that with people’s lives’

July 31, 2015 (yes that was when it was dated)

I hope this letter finds you in best of health and spirits. As for myself I’m waiting to find out the next action to be taken in my case. I have another lawyer, so this makes three. I was told by the judge that if I keep finding issue in my case I would more than likely end up having to represent myself because I will not take any of these pleas and have asked for trial for the last 20 months and can prove my constitutional rights have been violated.  Continue reading

Lock back mode


Thought I would write and tell you what’s going on in the Durham County Jail. I’m sure you’re aware that our free time has been the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., 4:00 – 6:45 p.m. and generally sometime between 9:00 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. On March 6th all of that changed. Now we only get out of our cells six hours a week. The whole jail has been on lock back mode since and they’re trying to do it permanently they say. It’s like a damn maximum security prison. I’ve been here almost 9 months and still haven’t been to court or given a plea. The food is alright except for dinner. They give you two sandwiches, cake, applesauce and that’s at 4:30-5:00 p.m. That means you have to go 13 hours with nothing to eat if you don’t have canteen till the next morning. I’d appreciate it if you could let everybody know what’s going on in this F’d up place.

T. S.

‘The D.A. holds you here as long as she feels like it…’


I hope that this letter finds you doing well and in good health. My name is H. D. I am a Mexican-American of — years of age, — when you receive this letter because I will be having my — birthday on Tuesday February 10th. I do speak both Spanish and English. Fluently as well as write it. I have been incarcerated since April and have not been to court once only when my attorney resigned back in November because she did not want to do for me things that she very well could have done. Continue reading

‘It’s super cold’

Hey —,

I’m very happy to receive the newsletter. I really enjoy reading them. I have feedbacks 5 and 6. If you have 1-4 I would enjoy reading those as well. Things going smoothly, a little bit. I been here for 2 months and only seen my lawyer 1 time. I haven’t been to court. My lawyer keep putting my court date off. But I’m staying strong and just holding on, can’t wait to be released. I did receive the books and I’m thankful. They keep me focused in my spare time. My further request and types of reading I enjoy is urban books. I’m pretty sure you heard that a lot from a lot of different people. You never lied about the weather, it’s super cold and what makes it so bad is they run AC all year long. I really hope things change. All we can do is fight. I support the inside and outside struggle, and I’m with you all every step of the way. Thank you for everything, keep fighting, stay strong, and be blessed.


‘My whole 18 months…that moment made it worth it’

Nov. 2014

Dear —,

How ya doing? I reread some of the feedback 6. I aches me thinking of what (one writer) will miss out on, but happy he’s still gonna pursue that dream in (another place). I also read my letter which I enjoyed, it sounds better than I thought. If only I could speak my mind as well as I write sometimes. Though my personal belief is if you don’t speak from the heart then it won’t sound good or genuine. Lately, I’ve been letting my emotions control me. I used to have them such in check. I feel weak. I think and reread earlier stuff I wrote, and what I’ve stood up for in my past, and see the hollow husk of the man I used to be when I look in the mirror. When I was homeless and in a crazy house I ALWAYS took up for others without even a second thought to my own self. Now I feel that’s just not in me. I don’t feel good or bad. Continue reading

‘It’s hard times doing time here’

Hey —,

This D. Thanks for the books. They was ok, but I am more in to true stories, true crime, or learning books. But I did read them and if you have time can you send me some more before the thanksgiving holidays get here so I can have something to read and also can you send me the National Prison Resource List (NPRL). But anyway, things is ok, I just wish I could get in court. I have been here for 90 days and had 2 court dates but no one had got me out to go and my lawyer cannot tell me what’s going on with my case. So I am just waiting. Its hard times doing time here, but I don’t have a chance.

Thanks.                                                                                                          D.F.