Keeping It a Ban!


Greetings brothers and sisters in the name most high God. Yes, the struggle is real. As I sit here in what seems to be a glass bowl where you have no privacy, nothing is concealed. There is a device in the top of the ceiling that’s always watching every movement, not to mention that every eye that is closed is not sleeping.

I will be the first to say that what I thought to be my best thinking put me into my present situation, in which I find myself fighting for my freedom again. And that’s freedoms with an ‘s’. I fight a few stumbling blocks and obstacles that have been very present in my life and that I’ve been struggling with. Some days are better than others, I must say. I have taken this time to really take my self-inventory and see what must change, because it starts with me and ends with me. I learn that me can be my biggest problem. When I look back and rewind the film back, it’s like a hurricane that comes through and you don’t know the full extent of the damage until the storm is over. So, 10 felonies and 9 misdemeanors and bond in $81,000 plus $4,000 cash. Some may say that’s not much, but it’s a lot if you don’t have it.

I was sitting in a cell in 3-B (DCJ) all alone fighting the withdrawals of mind-altering chemicals and not only to be spiritually bankrupt also. But God stepped in and sent an angel to minister to me. It was my pastor and we had an informal talk about the one lost sheep and forgiveness of one’s self. I left that visit and got on my knees and cried out to God for help from deep inside of myself. And I confessed my sins to God and asked him to show me the way. At that point I believe the change started in my heart, soul, mind and strength. It was like I was seeing myself through a true heart of repentance for a call for change. That night I was moved to 5-C pod. The brothers was having Bible study and prayer daily. It was something to do positive in a negative situation. Little did I know that the process of change was taking place. I was now getting into the solution on how to rebuild from that storm. Encouragement, repentance, faith, obedience, prayer, studying of God’s word, serving others, thankfulness, worship. The test comes daily in some form, but it is up to me to pass it or fail. And if I fail it, I’ll see the test again. I am learning not to lean toward my own understanding. I truly believe that God has placed people in my life along with the Holy Spirit to lend me and guide in truth and deed. At this point I need all the direction to learn how to live life on life’s terms. I want better for myself as a father, grandfather, brother, neighbor, friend.

My hope and sincerest desire is to be the man that God will have me to be.

Sidebar: Once a cucumber becomes a pickle, it can never be a cucumber again!

Still in the struggle,

Coy AKA Plastic

[inmate at Orange County Jail]

Respect and Dignity

Wow, in 4D, this guy named C.B. started a men’s group. It’s not only for the young, but the older men, too. I feel it will help take out a lot of negative energy. We all are going though our own problems. Knowing some days are worse than other days.

So let’s start with respect, cause we all must have and give respect. That’s something that should start with oneself. No matter what anyone is going through we give them their space. And at the end of the day, our unity still stands. Now that’s when we get our respect from the officers, too. They will see everybody is not here to play with them. We let them know that we all are not kids in here. Continue reading

‘At times it feels like we are in a hole…’


Dear –

My name is —. I’m currently at Wake Correctional in Raleigh. I’m writing you in response to the article that was in last week’s newspaper. I want to begin by saying thank you to you and the whole Inside-Outside Alliance and to all the organizations and people that are involved with the protest and rallies that you all are doing. And I believe that I speak for the majority of the inmates in prison, if not all, when I say that what you’re doing is so very great. At times it feels like we are in a hole with no way of getting out. With very little contact or help from the world. But it’s groups like yours that give us all a little more hope in life. I want to share a little of my story with you and I’m completely ok with you sharing it with people if you’d like. Since 1999 I’ve been in and out of prison 5 times. And in and out of jail I’m not exactly sure how many times. All because of being on drugs. I was a drug addict of all drugs really. Some more than others. But drug addict none the less. Each prison sentence I was given got longer and longer. I’ve been in since October 2011 now. And I have about 57 more months left before I go home. Each time I’ve been to prison is because of stealing to support my drug habit. Every time I got locked up in jail I would ask for help. To be send to a rehab. I was pretty much accepted to TROSA once. But the judge wouldn’t allow me to go get help. The only treatment I’ve had was a 90 day AND90 program at Burgaw prison in 2006. That program is a joke. A waste of taxpayers’ money. Nobody can begin to get clean in 90 days. Not even in a year. It takes time and help. But the system feels like they are doing something major by having that program. Anyway for the first time in a very long time, I decided to get clean in 2011. And I’ve been clean since. From drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. And I work hard to stay that way. Since the first prison sentence I ever done until now, the wages that are paid to prisoners for jobs are still the same. Very, very little money. And the prices of everything in the canteen have more than tripled on most things, from food to hygiene. The prices for medical have went up. And they charge us taxes on the gift money that our families send us. And I believe that gift money is supposed to be tax free. And on top of that, since we have to pay taxes on items from the canteen we should be allowed to have our families file for those taxes on their income taxes. But we’re not able to. If we get a write up then we are charged $10.00 And they write us up for simple things a lot. Like not having our shirt tails tucked in. For having an extra pair of socks or boxers or pants. We get wrote up for feeding the wild geese and deer. What kind of write up is that? They treat our families like criminal when they come to visit us. And the list goes on and on. There is no reason worth this type of treatment. They put us in the hole for simple things. And for 15 to 100 days depending on the write ups. The federal prisons have ipads for inmates to email their families. And they pay inmates for the work they do. The prison system don’t have any type of real resources to help inmates when they are released. We have to have a way to get to the DMV to get an I.D. And we have to have an I.D. to get a place to stay, cash checks and other things. You are right, prison is a modern day slavery. And the prison is a bad place for people with drug problems. They lock us up off the street from being drug addicts. And with no help to get clean, they throw us in a prison which is full of drugs, that are possibly brought in by the guards or administration…And when we use drugs we fail drug tests, and when we fail drug tests we are written up for failing a drug test, and then put in the hole for a minimum of 30 days. These are just a few of the many problems in prison. One more problem is that there are a lot of prisons like Pender, Sampson, Harnett, etc., that don’t have A/C. And it gets 100 degrees or more in the dorms. The prison won’t put in A/C because we are inmates. But the animal rights activist will have a national standoof/protest if an animal shelter don’t have A/C. So if a dog or a cat has to have A/C then why don’t a human being have that right? Anyway, these are just some things that maybe you’d like to know. And I do hope that you’ll keep up the protests and help that you are giving us. It is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for all that you do. Be safe and take care!



‘It’s like telling these doors to open themselves and let us go’

(Note: the date on the following letter is correct—the envelope had multiple post marks, and seemed to have been opened before going out—editors)

Feb 3, 2016


I’m doing ok, just another day in jail. Thanks for writing. I don’t really know too much about the death of Matthew McCain, but I know the guard that was working that pod (Erick Boria) the day it happened is very lazy—all he does is sit at the desk either reading a book or looking at TV. He doesn’t do his rounds every 15 minutes like a lot of other guards here. Continue reading

‘Why are we letting this happen?’


Alexander Berkman said it best, “I don’t believe in your laws, I don’t acknowledge the authority of your courts. I am innocent morally.” He tried to assassinate Henry Clay Frick, the owner and goon of a steel mill that was torturing its employees with low wages. They wanted (Berkman) to plead guilty. The New York Crime Commission admits that the very act of plea bargaining is criminal. Pleading to something you did not do or a lesser charge. These brainwashed sons of bitches in law enforcement of every branch are heathens. Misguided, prejudiced, untouchable, close-minded goons! Continue reading

‘They waste money by throwing people away like broken toys’

Hi (IOA),

They took —- to prison on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving..which made Thanksgiving Day for me very hard. I cried for two days.

People just have no idea how hard jail and prison is for the family also. My heart is broken over our mean and cruel system where instead of helping all these people with counseling and teaching them trades for good jobs… Continue reading

‘Am I a commodity to Durham County?’


My name is Jason. I am a North Carolina State inmate serving my sentence in the Durham County Jail. I want to start by saying I am NOT trying in any way to justify my wrong actions. However, the system in place here is taking FULL advantage of people’s misfortune, for whatever reason that may be. I myself am serving a 2-year sentence for DWI. Which was cut in half under the “Fairness Sentencing Act.” It seems public officials don’t “sell drugs,” although they more than likely have a hand in it! They don’t “rob” people (not blatantly). They don’t beat their wives or spouses (or get caught doing it), but one way they are common with “us” is that they do drink and often “drive” and are subsequently subject to their own laws. Continue reading

‘What good is this place doing for anyone?’

Paul, outside of DCDF, after visitation:

I don’t like coming down here. If it was something he (my son) had done I would accept it, but still wouldn’t like it. But I’m old, and it takes a lot out of me to come down here twice a week. It isn’t fun coming down here. Some people are in here, and they’re laughing about stuff. It ain’t funny. This ain’t a happy or funny place to be. I’ve worked hard my whole life, and you know what? Life is serious. I’ve worked hard and been told ‘why you sitting down?’ Cause I’m tired, that’s why. But they say ‘get up, get to work.’ Life is serious and this place should make you see that.  Continue reading

‘Obviously jail isn’t a place for anyone’

What’s good man? My fault for writing back late. Just had a lot on my mind lately. I’ve been fine since I been in here, met a lot of cool people (believe it or not) but overall fine. Personally I like the switch to 8 hours a day, cause it makes my time go by faster. To be honest, screw the detention officers, as long as they don’t put they hands on me I’m fine. I kept looking at your letter on my desk like damn I should write back, it came to me one night, I was blessed for you to write me so I should return the favor. Continue reading

‘I see big things coming and I want to be a part of it’

a comrade writes from a state facility:


I hope what you said was true that there is room in the struggle for me. I have like 60 days left and my time will be up and I can help the cause. I’m so proud of y’all. I was watching the news and I am way on the coast and I saw a segment where y’all was outside of the jail protesting I believe it was the lockdown.  Continue reading