‘This is state-sponsored or funded madmen’

The following letter is from a state inmate who was serving time in Durham jail until he suffered a major hip injury in an altercation with other inmates.

Hey —,

Got your letter, thanks. I also got a letter from — that’s part of IOA. He liked something I said. It made me happy. It is a true blessing to have found like-minded folks out there. It was strange for years, I was like, “Are y’all reading this shit?” All my friends like to drink. It has destroyed my life. They maintain. They agree, but it is hard when you are fear stricken. Where I lived with my buddy for years in Durham on Vickers Ave, walking distance to the jail in 10 min. Anyway, we got tickets for having a beer on the sidewalk while we were working on a broken truck. Continue reading

‘The whole survey was a sham’

Dec 13 2015

Dear –

Thank you for your quick response…I will be sure to keep in touch…

Well, the 10th and 11th came and left and I have had no one from the “NCCHC” talk to me, survey me or any other inmate that I know of. I spoke with officers that said they were interviewed. What good is that? They are not the ones receiving medical treatment. Correct Care Solutions and Durham County Detention Facility suppressed the participation of the survey. I plan to follow up on this matter. I feel my grievances are going improperly answered. I am hoping you all will look into the matter as well. Continue reading

‘The lobby to Hell’


Thanks for your concern about how things are on the inside. As you already know things are really bad, not only are we locked back 20 hours a day, the food and the officers are awful. Only a few care about how you are treated. Can you believe they serve grown men peanut butter and jelly for dinner? I call this place the lobby to hell and I really mean it. I’m — years old this is my first felony charge and they treat me like I shot the president. This is by far the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. This place really needs change A.S.A.P. People are going to start coming apart in here, and they (the officers) just love a reason to get rough, I believe.

(Keep up the good work).                                                                                      N.B.

Lies and more lies

We got the letters from the sheriff slid under our doors around 2 AM the night of the protest (April 17). This letter, just like their statement on the news, is full of lies.

He says that it is not punishment but implemented for safety issues. If that were the case–why were all of the blocks placed on lockdown instead of the offending parties?

He states that it has to do with assaults on officers–even you said that on the news they said it was because an inmate overpowered an officer–this is not true. Even when one of us so much as kicks his door or refuses to go to his/her room, they “call code,” which means they speak a code over the radios, and any free officer in the building rushes to that block in case they need to get “physical.” I’ve witnessed officers break up fights between inmates and beat them in their faces with their fists just cause they were mad or just cause they could. No inmate(s) would jump on an officer cause we know that we might not survive it. Continue reading

33 months and counting…


Dear —,

Thank you for writing. I was glad to hear from you and to know that you remember me. I am going on the 33rd month of sitting in this jail waiting on trial. The DA got mad because I would not take the plea bargain. I am ready to own up to what I done, but not the things that have been added on to it. Anyway, you know our supper has been taken away and replaced with a sandwich, split in half, to make two. The canteen prices went up the same day. There is very little hot water and no heat. There is corruption in this jail. All types of items are in here, cell phones, cigarettes, pot, cocaine–which is old news. There are fights over the TV. I don’t know why this unorganized jail can’t fix a TV schedule for everyone to go by. Everybody do not want to watch sports everyday. Yes, I would very much like some more books. I am still a western, cowboy man. I’m just an old country boy that enjoy the western drama. The gunslinger, fast draw, cattle drive. When I get out of here, I am heading back to the country. Send whatever you can. Thank you.


Scared to oversleep

Hey IOA,
My name is E. N. I just got your letter, so here is my response. I been in jail for 7 months now. I only been to court once and only seen the lawyer once. Sent request forms to the judge and the lawyer offices trying to get a public defender since April “No Answer.” My motion of discovery show the lack of evidence they have in my case and still nothing happen. My fourth month here I got jump on by three men, one from prison, in my sleep. My face was swollen and purple and I had blood in both of my eyes. My left and right arm was purple from elbow to my wrists. I had internal bleeding in my left ear, still can’t hear that well now. Having bad back problems since then and can’t get the proper care. Ever since that happened to me I been traumatized scared to oversleep in the morning. Officers treat me different from any other inmate I guess it’s because my charges. They say smart comments about my charges in front of other inmates. I really need some help, if you can help me. I have a wonderful family out there that really need me home. My mom number is —-. You can reach her anytime before 5 pm. I love to read mostly anything. Need law books or learn more about my charges.

‘Our unity is this jail’s weakness’

The following manifesto hits on so many things directly affecting Durham inmates and points to a way out of this mess. It deserves a wide audience and to be read to the end. 

Greetings friends and brothers,

I’m so glad to have found you. I’ve always been one to fight for a cause and now I know I’m not fighting alone which is a blessing. So many places to begin. First thing first my brothers WE MUST UNITE. Leave the street lifestyle on the street. These c.o.s fear unity. How can I be sure? Years ago an inmate told me about a strike he put together which the C.O.s quickly disassembled and separated inmates. The thing is these officers are NO smarter than the rest of us. Truly knowledge is power. Why do you think we are all so repressed? Because they want you to believe they are superior to you.  Continue reading

‘That was really unfair’

Dear (IOA), EPSON MFP image

Hey! How are you? I’m just getting off 25 day lock-back. There was a guy who kept running his mouth about the military. I am a Operation Iraq Freedom vet. We were playing cards. I told him about 20 times to keep quiet about the military. He is a 16 year old kid. I got up from the table and accidentally hit my cup. It landed in his lap. Continue reading

C.O.’s ask: ‘Is every room in the pod this cold?’


Assalamualaikum (Peace be upon you)

How’s everything going with you guys? Yes, I did see the work that you guys put in on New Year’s–Great Job! To answer you question about the books you said you sent two months ago, no I haven’t received them. Try putting (full name) when you send them and my jail #. Continue reading

‘I overturn the ban’

Dec. 19, 2013

Hey _____,

I’m good, man. Just chillin.

The C.O. don’t do shit to stop fights. If you tell the C.O.s they put you on reclass. And the C.O.s pick on you until you leave. Now if you get in a fight you are guaranteed to get 25-30 days on disciplinary lockback. And the C.O.s still picks on you. Now, the pencil ban is kind of crazy. I overturn the pencil ban by fishing in my vent for a dull pencil, then trade it with the C.O.s (during rec time) and they never know what happen, but now I have a sharp pencil in my room and they don’t even know it.

I barely order commissary, so everyone in the jail just need to stop ordering until they drop the prices. But aint no way with the nasty ass food they feed us, unless we starve ourselves. Which ain’t gone happen…