“All they have to do is send people home and make sure that we come to court”

Note: In an October 2015 news release, Sheriff Andrews said the time out of cells had increased to 8 hours. Here is yet another report from inside refuting his claim: total time out = 6.5 hours.

12/22/15

You’re welcome. Anytime you need any information is fine with me. I’m so tired of the struggle being in here. It’s so hard especially when I didn’t do anything. They keep us locked back so much, like we’re animals. I’m OK, just taking it one day at a time, that’s all I can do. We come out every day 9-12:45 and 4-6:45. Wish we could stay out 9-10:45 at nite. A trustee is someone who has been here for a long minute. We clean the showers, clean up after each lock back, clean the rooms when someone leaves. One of the c.o.’s choose [who] it is. I wish I could work on work detail but my bond is too high. When your bond is high/real high, we can’t do work detail. All they have to do is send people home and make sure that we come to court…. Wish I could be out with you all instead of being in here. Yes it is very hard to deal with especially over the holidays. I’m trying to stay positive. It’s hard. Real hard. Thank you so much.

–N.C.

‘They use the jail to break a person down’

The following letter is from someone now in a state facility.

Hi,

…I got the feedback and read it. It does bring back bad memories of that place (DCDF). I couldn’t believe the sick calls have gone up to $20 a visit. With the jail overcrowded, look for A LOT of pleas being taken.

They use the jail to break a person down to accept a plea. That is why the bonds are so high sometimes.  Continue reading

Aramark worker threatens inmate in kitchen, gets away with it

Name is D.L pod —, room — in the Durham Co. Jail. Been in jail since —. I have a problem illegal. I am a inmate, I used to work in the kitchen. It is this man who works in the kitchen, he is Aramark—some company—he work for the jail. My job is to wash pots, pans, cups, everything. So while I was doing that this man came to me and ask me to stop washing pots and come over here to help him fix some food. I told him no, my hands are wet with soap on them. About 5 men they wasn’t doing anything, I am the only one in the kitchen working. The Aramark man name is — got in my face called me a motherfucker dumb-ass black nigga, that’s why I am in jail. I told — why you talking to me like that. (He) told me this is my motherfucking kitchen, you do what I tell you to do. Continue reading

Exposing the Indecency of a Trusted System

11-23-14

Greetings “free” society and my fellow captives.

Anthony McInnis here, sounding an alarm loud enough to reach all tax paying citizens of Durham and remaining counties. In 2013, I was booked into Durham County Detention Center on a case that should have been a misdemeanor. Due to my consistent stance to refuse plea offers for active time and an inability to post bond, I remained in jail for eleven months. In N. Carolina, the accumulation of a criminal background basically guarantees you a prison term, partly because you’re sick of having to endure such a dehumanizing experience, but mainly because we usually can’t afford a paid lawyer

The whole community needs to know that: Durham County inmates spend almost eighteen hours a day in cells that remain cold year round. Two inmates often share a cell designed for only one man. Meals by Aramark are almost inhumane with no fruit and processed meat patties. Dinner consists of two sandwiches (thin) and an excuse for dessert. It is served at four pm and breakfast does not arrive until six am (13 hours!). Meals are served on trays and lids that are completely outdated and contain dishwater from weeks earlier. Inmates load these trays each day assembly-line style and carry out all the duties of the food service process. They do not earn money nor does any other man on jail work detail.

Now let us consider the following points:

  • N. Carolina acquires over 85% of its court convictions from those who accept plea offers.
  • Today, significant numbers of young Black males are populating the jail, particularly 16, 17, and 18 year olds.
  • No other group has been affected by American criminal justice like the Black community.
  • At least 80% of the incarcerated in the state are Black males.

It is simply impossible to justify the mass incarceration of over 2.1 million people in America, the vast majority of them Blacks who represent only 12% of the total population.

– Chapel Hill Resident,

Anthony McInnis

#0270116

P.O. Box 839

Vanceboro, NC 28586

‘You’re sick of who you are, so you let this jail mold you as they want you’

Dear —,

I’m surviving. I really appreciate the lyrics. Music speaks to me as no other. When I read and sing them, I really feel empowered to push without regarding consequences. the lyrics tell me there is so much more than just here. They take me away, y’know? I’m getting into that Jailhouse Lawyers lawbook. Next chapter (3) is about our rights in prison/jail. I’m excited to finally be informed, that way I won’t speak ignorantly when I stand for true justice. — —- had a point about losing validity. Jail isn’t a place for guerilla warfare, especially when we want to go non-violence. We need a plan and to stick to it, adjusting as needed. With a backup should our first efforts be dispersed. Adding constant follow-ups. I really need others’ ideas. I might make a outline of our true rights in jail and send to you for copies…for confrontation. From my experience reverse psychology does not work on these officers. they feel too above others. But maybe there is a way to take their rules out of context, but still ‘following’ what’s written. Catch my drift? I’m glad for the names, I’d like to communicate 1 on 1 with them but we can’t send letters… without stamps. Another way to cut communication between us that only shows they fear unity. Yet I find it a waste anyway when I can just have you all reciprocate everything back to them. I think a good proverb to tell everyone would be that ‘rules without relationships lead to rebellion.’ Which is true. We’re expected to bow and kneel to those we don’t know. They tell us what to do, but don’t believe they should tell us why. They’re oversensitive asses act like it’s a challenge to their authority. When really it’s just a human asking ‘why are you treating me like this?’ The c.o.s obviously can’t maintain their conscience on this question and retaliate against us instead, with threats or emotional duress. It is a lack of respect. Just like overworking is. Yet 4B just seems so much more appealing than locking back. See the connection? When inmates choose to go to 4B to work they initiate a lack of respect for themselves. Not just because they work for the same person that condemns them, but also because they let themselves be overworked for meager pay. This lack of respect subconsciously deteriorates your own self-worth to the point where you’re so unconsciously sick of who you are you let this jail (the c.o.s) mold you to as they want you. Seriously, if this place hired real cooks (no offense 4B) they would scoff at the food they try to serve us, and deny feeding us rather than dish us this poison. Hell if 4B (the kitchen) all said “I’m not working” in one day the jail would be annihilated. How? They’d have no one to serve us food, and if we don’t get fed that’s a lawsuit. From some 500 inmates. This might be a good letter to share. God’s giving me the wisdom for ideas I believe. I’m gonna start asking for lyrics to 3-4 songs per letter. If it’s too much, just let me know. Born free, live free, die free. S.V.

P.S. I’ve also read a lot not to compromise. I believe that holds its own validity.

‘It’s all a ploy to leave you struggling, penniless and prone…’

Greetings —-,

I sincerely apologize for the tardiness of my response to your letter. I’ve been in sort of a “funk” here lately. It comes with the territory. This place can make you lose who you are if you allow it. I sometimes stay inside of my head too much wondering, ‘Why me? What if, what could/should I have done to avoid this…Thoughts of my daughters and family matters can be overwhelming at times and I go into this sort of “funk.”

I’m doing what’s required of me, in order that I’ll be able to submit my request transfer request whenever the time arises. I don’t want any infractions or disciplinary problems to hinder that. So, I’m pretty much what you’d call “a model prisoner.” Continue reading

‘The people believe with all their hearts that they need the system to survive’

from a “convict” in a state facility.

Hey (IOA),

How is it going? It’s funny because I’ve been here now for about 2 months and I’ve finally settled in so I was going to write you to say hi and see whats going on and all of a sudden I get a letter from you.

First off, I’m doing good, I mostly live inside my head because it is the only place “they” cannot affect. I stay busy by working out, playing soccer, volleyball or basketball and I read a lot. I also just recently got a job in the kitchen on the morning shift. I make 40 cents a day I think, the highest paying job in there is $1.00 a day so what people say about slavery is correct. We get to eat a little extra but if you’re like me you take as much as you can, fuck them. If I get caught they will probably fire me, but I won’t get caught. Lol. Continue reading

‘I applaud the uprising of all those angry and sick and tired of the DPD’

EPSON MFP image

on the envelope: Who Am I? What Am I?

Hey ___,

First I would like to say I am sorry for not writing you sooner. I’ve just been trying to find my niche here. So, I would like to talk about Chuy. I know him from Durham County Jail, he was in 4-C with me early in 2013. He turned 17 in 4-C with us, he was one of those kids that you thought there was more for him than this shit. I first heard about Chuy it was when I received your letter (when I was) at Craven with my drawings you sent back to me. It didn’t register with me what 17 year old kid you were talking about until I made it to Green C.O that I was up early one morning and was watching WTVD 11 that I saw his picture and then the name hit me. “Chuy” NO! It can’t be. So I made a point to get up early to follow this story…(omitted)

Continue reading

‘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