Survey: ‘No time to see the sun’

How long have you been inside?

I have been inside 11.5 months.

How many court appearances have you had?

I have only had my probable cause hearing and my probation violation court date.

How many times have you talked to your lawyer?

I would have to say I seen my lawyer 13-15 times–at least once a month.

What is the situation regarding your charge? (Awaiting sentencing, awaiting trial, awaiting appearance, etc.?)

Awaiting sentence. They are talking they bringin Nick Yates of the District Attorney’s office about giving me a plea for 23 + 40 months.

Have you been ever been ‘disciplined’ in your time at DCDC, either individually or as part of a group? Tell about it.

Yes, several times by the detention officers for proving them wrong on something or generally just cussing them out telling them how sorry they are and caught up on their powertrip. I also had a very serious incident with medical where I called on a emergency for my blood sugar and or my blood pressure and they made me wait 2 hours before a nurse came up and took no vital signs, no blood sugar, no blood pressure, no blood oxygen level and no heart rate.

What in your opinion are the biggest problems with the DCDC? The lack of respect that the C.O.’s give inmates, especially the younger female officers who are more interested in the attention…if other male c.o.’s or inmates crowd and play to their egos. 

If you could express one largest grievance, what would it be? Lack of movement and mixing of ages of inmates. No time to see the sun.

Does anyone visit you at DCDC? What are their biggest problems with the DCDC? Yes, my sons. The time frames in which they have to visit with school and work. It proves to be difficult. 

We have heard many complaints about medical services at the jail. What is your opinion of health services? Shitty, plain and simple. The nurses only want to chat it up with each other and eat and not be bothered but the Doctor Harrell is a bumbling fool that is only trying to get the max dollars out of it so they can give kick backs to the county for their contracts. 

We have heard numerous complaints about food. What is your opinion about the nutritional value and taste of the food? Truly think it is lacking in vitamins and also lacks the standards of state regulations. Tastes like cardboard. 

What is your opinion of library / educational services to prisoners at the jail? My opinion of the library is it is greatly disorganized. And your pushed through it in 10 minutes when you get a chance to go. Educational services are non-existent except for the STARR/GRAD program which is a great program with great people who need to be told about the good job they do and the people they help. 

What do you think of the c.o.’s? My opinion of the c.o.’s/d.o.’s are that some are here to do their jobs, others to bully and abuse their power that is given to them. Most  of them are or seem to be idiots. 

How do you get along with other prisoners? Mostly good…

How do jail staff affect your ability to get along with fellow prisoners? They do not affect my ability.

What, if any, are some of the good experiences you have had at DCDC? The STARR/GRAD programs and the books that you have sent me (Thanks again!)

Have you ever made a complaint or filed a grievance with jail authorities? If so, what happened? Many with medical and c.o’s and nothing happens.

Have you ever started a petition or signed a petition regarding things happening at DCDC? Yes, several and would sign more!!

Some DCDC prisoners have suggested the idea of a prisoners council that would participate in making decisions about things at the jail. What do you think of such an idea? It would be a good idea but the jail would never let it happen. Their favorite saying is this is our house, meaning the sheriff’s office and fuck what we think or want. Now, that being said there are a few exceptions to that rule. Mrs. Kim Evans, who is a c.o and officer Richmond and Sgt. Weaver and Sgt. Hodder. They generally care about the inmates and what they can do for them within their power. 

How could it work? What would it look like? Full page needed for this one. You would have to have elected 2 inmates per pod by the inmates in that pod who they would want to represent them. On issues such as supplies: toilet paper, envelopes, such and so forth and any additional problems each pod is having. As well, I would think that us inmates should vote on the detention officers that should be on the panel as well so we would have a better chance of constituting change in the jail. As far as pay for inmates and hygiene for inmates and quality of things in the jail. 

What circumstances on the outside led to you being locked up? How common do you think those kind of circumstances are? Economy. Social status, profiling and discrimination of the lower class harder for them to fight back against the system so they are more apt to take pleas to get moving than to go to trial and win a case. By the targeting of more lower class and drug addicts they get more convictions which looks better on their resumes. 

What have you noticed about being inside (who is here? Why are they here?) See above answer for this…

In your opinion is there a relationship between race and incarceration? What is it? Same as above. 

What does social class or economics have to do with getting locked up? Same as above.

What do you think is the point of jail? Prison? The justice system? What do you think people on the outside think about people who are locked up? Supposedly a detention facility is supposed to house suspected criminals that are awaiting trial, But in this state is is merely a multi billion dollar business.

What do you think are the possibilities for living in a different kind of world, and how do we get there? Be more open minded and forgive people. “One apology often prevents a hundred wrong deeds.”

Survey: ‘If you have money you don’t stay locked up’

How long have you been inside? This time week and 1/2

How many court appearances have you had? 1 so far.

How many times have you talked to your lawyer? None yet.

What is the situation regarding your charge? (Awaiting sentencing, awaiting trial, awaiting appearance, etc.?) awaiting sentencing.

Have you been ever been ‘disciplined’ in your time at DCDC, either individually or as part of a group? Tell about it. Last time I was here, yes. Both myself because I did not return back to my cell at lock quick enough. I was helping clean up. The C.O. told me to leave it for other people to do it. As a group, several of the inmates were acting a fool, being loud and disrespectful so the C.O. keep us locked for breakfast the next morning. 

What in your opinion are the biggest problems with the DCDC? The food is bland, no able to get to the library more, and then only have 20 minutes to look for book (one). Unless you have been locked up more than a year. 

If you could express one largest grievance, what would it be? I have two: Food and Library.

Does anyone visit you at DCDC? What are their biggest problems with the DCDC? No I have no family here. My mom and grandma passed away. My dad and sister live in other states. 

We have heard many complaints about medical services at the jail. What is your opinion of health services? This time I have none. Last time it took an act of congress to get something done, and then they charge you $10.00 if it was a non-medical emergency. 

We have heard numerous complaints about food. What is your opinion about the nutritional value and taste of the food? The food is bland and now they serve our food in styrofoam. I know some of the inmates cannot have some stuff due to allergy, medical reasons. But when we get oatmeal or grits every morning along with some type of seasons off. I know only those with diet trays get milk last time everyone got milk. 

What is your opinion of library / educational services to prisoners at the jail? We could use more time in the library cause as for myself I love to read and I can go through a book pretty quickly and unless you have been here more than a year you only get to checkout one book at a time. 

What do you think of the c.o.’s? They are doing their job. Some you can talk to. Some you can not. I myself do not have a problem with them. 

How do you get along with other prisoners? For the most part OK. 

How do jail staff affect your ability to get along with fellow prisoners? Some of the inmates might think you are an informer. 

What, if any, are some of the good experiences you have had at DCDC? It gives me time to reflect on my charges, not so much as to think what I can do different so not to caught next time. But for me, what do I need to do to stay out of jail and while I’m in here it tells me who my friends are. 

Have you ever made a complaint or filed a grievance with jail authorities? If so, what happened? While I was out I found out I have a pinched nerve in my neck. So with only one mat that is tore up and looks like it has been through the mill, I ask for a 2nd mat. I have to wait till the doctors approve it, which sucks. 

Have you ever started a petition or signed a petition regarding things happening at DCDC? No.

Some DCDC prisoners have suggested the idea of a prisoners council that would participate in making decisions about things at the jail. What do you think of such an idea? I think it is a good idea. For the ones that have been here a while. 

How could it work? What would it look like? Get inmates that have been here awhile, and lease 6 month on (unreadable) for council. As to how it would work only time will tell. You don’t want more than 6 on the council. . 

What circumstances on the outside led to you being locked up? How common do you think those kind of circumstances are?  Lost job and place to stay. Too common. 

What have you noticed about being inside (who is here? Why are they here?) Mostly young black men, and some latino, some young, some old. In my pod there is 5 white guys here. As to why, mostly drugs, armed robbery, b &e. 

In your opinion is there a relationship between race and incarceration? What is it? In here it seems that way. Cause there is not enough education for the young people. 

What does social class or economics have to do with getting locked up? Those that are lower middle class or lower seem to be the ones getting locked. Cause if you have money you don’t stay locked up. 

What do you think is the point of jail? Prison? The justice system? What do you think people on the outside think about people who are locked up? It is supposed to help rehabilitate people, jail that is, with short term crimes. But now it is a money maker. Prison, somewhat the same as a jail but on a larger term scale. Except for those that commit violent crimes and for these that commit murder I believe in the death penalty. The justice is not perfect. But does need work. If you can afford a good lawyer you can stay out of jail. 

What do you think are the possibilities for living in a different kind of world, and how do we get there? Till people can get past skin color not going to happen!!

Survey: “People caught up in a crooked system”

How long have you been inside? 3 months

How many court appearances have you had?0 (had 2, but they never came and got me)

How many times have you talked to your lawyer? 0 (keep writing lawyer, no answer)

What is the situation regarding your charge? (Awaiting sentencing, awaiting trial, awaiting appearance, etc.?) awaiting trial

Have you been ever been ‘disciplined’ in your time at DCDC, either individually or as part of a group? Tell about it. No.

What in your opinion are the biggest problems with the DCDC? Time between court appearances. 

If you could express one largest grievance, what would it be? That they don’t let you know what is going on with your case. 

Does anyone visit you at DCDC? What are their biggest problems with the DCDC? Yes. Not enough time for visit, unfair system. 

We have heard many complaints about medical services at the jail. What is your opinion of health services? They suck. They don’t give a damn about inmates. 

We have heard numerous complaints about food. What is your opinion about the nutritional value and taste of the food? Everything taste the same bland. 

What is your opinion of library / educational services to prisoners at the jail? It sucks because you can only get 1 book at a time. No educational services. Go to library maybe 1 time a month. 

What do you think of the c.o.’s? Some good, some bad. 

How do you get along with other prisoners? Okay.

How do jail staff affect your ability to get along with fellow prisoners? No comment (bad).

What, if any, are some of the good experiences you have had at DCDC? None.

Have you ever made a complaint or filed a grievance with jail authorities? If so, what happened? Yes. Nothing. 

Have you ever started a petition or signed a petition regarding things happening at DCDC? Yes. 

Some DCDC prisoners have suggested the idea of a prisoners council that would participate in making decisions about things at the jail. What do you think of such an idea? Good idea as long as it is fair. Some c.o.’s have their favorite inmates. 

How could it work? What would it look like? Hard to figure. 

What circumstances on the outside led to you being locked up? How common do you think those kind of circumstances are? I was homeless. Violated parole. Very common. 

What have you noticed about being inside (who is here? Why are they here?) A lot of bullshit. People caught up in a crooked system. 

In your opinion is there a relationship between race and incarceration? What is it? Yes. C.O.’s know most inmates from the street. 

What does social class or economics have to do with getting locked up? Try to fill numbers. 

What do you think is the point of jail? Prison? The justice system? What do you think people on the outside think about people who are locked up? Just a way to treat humans like animals. Legally. 

What do you think are the possibilities for living in a different kind of world, and how do we get there? Who knows. 

Survey: “The Justice System has its claws sunk deep”

These surveys do not reflect a unified point of view, nor do we in Inside-Outside Alliance necessarily agree with all perspectives that are represented. Despite a few answers which display a white ‘blindspot’–or complete ignorance of the role racial oppression has played and continues to play in U.S. society (and, in this case, Durham)–this inmate’s responses deserve a wide audience.

How long have you been inside? Been locked up for 82 days of a 90 day CRV. I have a hold for a (another county) misdemeanor paraphernalia, I should get time served on that whenever I get there. Continue reading

Surveys: “Black people and hard times…for the last 200 years or so.”

How long have you been inside? 20 months

How many court appearances have you had? 0

How many times have you talked to your lawyer? 3 or 4 times

What is the situation regarding your charge? (Awaiting sentencing, awaiting trial, awaiting appearance, etc.?) DA not satisfied with SBI lab results.

Have you been ever been ‘disciplined’ in your time at DCDC, either individually or as part of a group? Tell about it. No

What in your opinion are the biggest problems with the DCDC? The C.O.s not doing their jobs. Continue reading

Surveys: ‘Jail is a place I don’t like so I have no good experiences’

E.Y.:

How long have you been inside? Since July

How many court appearances have you had? Just first appearance

How many times have you talked to your lawyer? Once

What is the situation regarding your charge? (Awaiting sentencing, awaiting trial, awaiting appearance, etc.?) Awaiting appearance Continue reading