What’s been up, I’ve been waiting for a letter from you for forever. Me I’m doing as good as I can. I’m at one of the worst prisons in the state. How are things? That draft (of Durham Human Relations Commission’s recommendations on the jail) looks great! What’s the status with things in the jail? Trump is…I don’t know,,,but what is very evident is that change is coming and not the kind that’s easy transitional type kind of stuff. This is more of the brute force, force feed kind of thing. I listen to the news radio about 3 hours a day and the global climate went from progressively hopeful and optimistic to almost hostile. You got Trump banning people from certain countries from entry, and Iran doing missile tests. Continue reading →
May this missive find you in a state of bliss in all respects. Like always it was a pleasure hearing from and acknowledging your efforts that contribute to the struggle. I really look forward to meeting you and some of the Inside-Outside Alliance comrades soon.
Have you heard that the Neuse C.I. went up in smoke two weeks ago? Yes! A lot of the staff from there have been posted here for work until the Neuse facility is repaired. The inmates burnt the place up, especially the processing part. Heard it’ll take months before they get it back up to par. Continue reading →
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!
…Since I’ve been here it’s like a world of difference, but regardless the condition the issue still remains the same. Although things seem different the problem remains. Some people say prison is better than jail, I’ve even had people go as far as to tell me “Oh, it’s going to be a like a college dorm!” But I keep my facial expression the same and look on. I know on the outside I look simple to some and to others they may even believe prisoners lack the ability to think. Or maybe I’m less than human; my mentor taught me hatred cuts both ways. Sometimes I wake up and see the guards and staff and wonder if they have a clue as to what is around them. Some say it’s just a job. Or, ‘I have to feed my family, too.’ Sometimes I hear a small joke from a c.o. about this lifestyle. Some laugh. But I don’t. I’m given things to keep me within the boundaries. But always my ears hear and eyes perceive: the locks, fences, the things inside and outside. Freedom always calls to me, and I hear it. I am a person, I choose to mourn others’ pains. I’m not content. How long do walls stand? For me, not always.
I hope that upon receiving this letter you guys at Inside-Outside Alliance are in good health and spirits. I myself am doing o.k., trying to stay strong.
I was recently sentenced for a crime that I did not commit due to the corrupt system of Durham County. My attorney knew months before I was sentenced that I was innocent, but due to the nature of the crime, she had already found me guilty before even looking at the actual evidence. Even after she got the evidence needed to prove my innocence, she did nothing to help me, she filed no motions for dismissal or for anything else that could help my case. Continue reading →
the following is from a prisoner who was transferred from Durham to a state facility.
Feb 4 2016
I got your letter and the books from the Internationalist. I am doing okay. I hate the monotony and lack of color here or any prison setting. Everything about it is built to dull men and ruin them. I feel sad a lot partly because a lot of men here in prison don’t understand the debilitating torture of all things prison (food, clothes, concrete, smart-ass guards). Continue reading →
the following is from a Durham man recently moved to state prison.
What’s up brotha. I’m glad to hear you guys have been making some serious moves out there. I’m beyond proud, but there is still a lot of fighting to be done. I have some access to information here, but hopefully I can extend that a little. I was so sure that I was gonna stay at Central Prison but that didn’t quite turn out. Continue reading →
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.
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 →