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!
How are you? I’m doing ‘good’ as expected considering these negative circumstances: If I worry about the negative things in here, my time would go by slower and more painful; so I don’t worry. I am just very concerned about the jail and the judicial system! You all on the outside help to build my hopes up high to know that someone is fighting for us inmates in the DCDF. Continue reading
This May Day: Smash the Durham Jail and Prisons Everywhere
On Friday, April 29, Inside-Outside Alliance and Triangle Area Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) invite you to stand in support of prisoners organizing against the racist violence of the Durham County Jail, the Durham Community’s struggle for an independent jail investigation, and prisoners on strike in Alabama and Texas, who are calling for a national strike starting September 9. Meet at 6:00 in Central Park and march to the jail. Continue reading
I wanted to thank you for coming to visit me and did get to see you all out on Pettigrew Street. I get a thrill out of seeing all of you out there cause you all are doing it out of love for us. A lot of men and women don’t really realize how valuable you all (I.O.A.) have been to us. Your support means a lot. I still don’t know my situation on my pending charges (crazy).
As you know I’m a trustee. The officer came into the pod today and told all the kitchen guys, “If you all don’t go to work today the whole pod will be on lockback!” I thought to myself, ‘Damn–real live slavery. For real. That was some real slick shit on the police’s part, you know. Holding lockback over your head. The Aramark staff didn’t even show up to work this morning. The meals were late today cause the inmates mostly had to put it all together. Oh, yeah, and them trays are still waterlogged and greasy. I would volunteer my time to go down and remove all the bad trays, but I think that makes too much sense/common sense for Aramark or the staff at the jail that knows about this…
Still doin time,
April 1, 2014
What’s up? Thanks for the letter it does me good to get one, I already get so few, so it’s appreciated to get one; especially someone who is for me. Each letter is an inspiration to strive further knowing progress is being made. I read a story just recently on a war hero named Jeremiah Denton who recently passed away. He was a P.O.W. and during his whole time he NEVER gave in. He was beaten, tortured, starved, etc. Us INMATES need that attitude. The thing is we are going to be treated like shit either way so why not give them a reason? Continue reading
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