Just short of two months in the TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers) Program, I walked out the door. I’m facing 30-48 months with three years probation. I took time in TROSA. Now, we’ve all got our reasons why we’re looking for a solution and answers to our drug addictions, alcoholism and other habits that cause us harm. I’m a drunk and I was looking for help. Continue reading
Thanks for checking in on me. It’s crazy to think an entire year has passed sitting in this jail! Nothing much has changed since the last time I wrote. At one point the jail was censuring my mail and refusing to give me certain letters, but those issues were straightened out a while ago after addressing the matter with Major Collins. It seems as if the Detention Officers sorting through mail were going about and beyond what they should have. The mail service here has really struck a nerve recently though. Apparently the jail ahs recognized several days as holidays that are not considered state holidays. As a result mail was not distributed or sent out for 6 days. This not only interfered with communication with family members over the holidays but also directly impeded our access to the courts. I know several individuals who prepared letters to be sent to the courthouse but that was halted until the Detention Officers felt like coming into work and doing their jobs. You are telling me that not a single officer in the entire jail could collect the mail and send it ot the post office in that 6 day time period? Come on!
I did catch the “Night Without Detensions” protest on the news where individuals shut down the entrance into the jail by shackling themselves together. I’m glad people on the outside have the courage to draw attention to the rights Detainees are supposed to have. I’m also glad to hear that the complaints written to the Human Relations Commission of Durham has pulled some weight which led to recommendations on improving the jail. I would definitely like to see what recommendations they have provided! I know that IOA has been aggressive with coordinating an independent investigation into the jail, especially since January, and I hope this is one step closer to reaching that goal. I’m sure a lot will be uncovered during the results of any investigation of this jail. Some of what I read is unfortunately exaggerated and I wish people would stick to the facts instead of falsely inflating petty matters, but there is some truth to everyone’s comments. Many things are wrong here that need to be fixed!
I’m also surpirsed the Human Relations Commission expressed concern about the private companies profiting so much from Detainees. There is a word for what they are doing, It’s called price-gouging. And unfortunately it’s not just the private companies fault, but the jail’s too. From what I understand ARAMARK has won the new contract for canteen/commissary, they aren’t going anywhere. However, the jail charges ARAMARK to sell their pdocuts here. Part of the reason prices on canteen are so high is to blaance out what the jail charges to even sell the items. We are a captive audience and have no choice but to pay these ridiculous prices on items and ARAMARK knows this. I don’t blama ARAMARK for trying to make money, but there really needs to be boundaries on how much they can inflate these prices!
As for the Human Relations Commission recommendation to abolish bail, seems a bit far fetched to me. I do agree that bail in Durham is excessive in many cases, to the point that not even a wealthy many could post bond. Simply, the point of bond and detention is to make sure you come to court. I would assume many people have all intentions of coming to court, but I know some, are going to flee any chance they get. For that reason part of me agrees with bond, but something that is reasonable at the very least. Of course everyone who is being detained is going to support the contention of abolishing bail. That would mean we wouldn’t be detained any longer. However, I know this jail brings in a lot of money to this city (over $21 million) and many jobs, all of which would suffer if bail was abolished. THe state and county would never let that happen.
I know IOA has wored very hard and has made substantial progress with the jail. What I would like to see is the same progress with the DA’s office. I have had the pleasure over the past year to witness a lot of questionable behavior come out of that office. And the Assistant District Attornies have perfected every under-handed trick in the book to delay, keep you from getting a bond reduction, add more charges months down the road to railroad you and further enhance your bond, mishand evidence, and did I mention they delay your case? I have heard the prosecutor make every excuse imaginable to continue or delay my case from “I was on vacation and need more time,” to “my child was sick and I haven’t had a chance to look at the case,” and my favorite “I want more time so I can offer a plea bargain he probably won’t accept.” But yet somehow they always are able to prevail and get a continuance to the next month, sometimes 2 months. With all that said, I’m hoping to mave on to trial soon. It only took 14+ months to get to this point. Oh, I forgot to mention I had a court hearing the first week of January, and yes, it was continued to February. I think this excuse tops them all. Over the past year my attornies have easily widdled away at the states case and 2 separate search warrants were found to be defective. Which translates to Durham police officers violating my 4th amendment rights and numerous North Carolina statutes repeatedly. Judges ruled in each instance police officers conducted an illegal search. At the court hearing in January, the prosecutor wanted a continuance so they could now go back and search the same place that they had illegally searched to begin with. This is or would be an illegal search again in an attempt to exploit information that a judge has already suppressed. Basically, the prosecutor asked for a continuance so they could conduct an illegal search! Crazy. But nothing surprises me here in Durham anymore. And they got the continuance, hopefully they think twice before acting though.
Alright that’s enough ranting – thanks for the letter and updates. I look forward to hearing from you again soon.
On Tuesday, January 3, 2017, the City of Durham Human Relations Commission (HRC) voted to put forward a set of ten recommendations to Durham County and the City, County, and Judicial District of Durham. These recommendations relate to the Durham County Detention Facility and to people awaiting court proceedings in Durham. Inside-Outside Alliance encourages everyone to read and discuss the HRC’s 18-page document (linked below) and, if you wish, let us know what you think.
At this point in time, we in Inside-Outside Alliance have just one correction to the report: On page 5, Major Martin of the Durham County’s Sheriff’s office is quoted as saying there is “no way in hell” that Inside-Outside Alliance is coming into the jail. But, as often happens, Major Martin gets it wrong: Inside-Outside Alliance is already IN the jail.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Inside-Outside Alliance is not a church, nor is affiliated with any religious denomination, nor does it require adherence to any particular religious doctrine to participate, nor does it promulgate any particular religious doctrine. Neither, however, is it committed to “secularism.” Rather, we are committed to amplifying the voices and supporting the struggles of people locked up in the Durham County Jail. Detainees are, it should go without saying, religiously diverse, and IOA is committed to amplifying all of their voices as a key way to struggling against the “justice” system. Sometimes, those voices are religious. What follows is a poem written by someone who has written to IOA many times in the past. That it is published here should not be taken to mean that IOA supports any particular religion, but that we are committed to amplifying everyone’s voices.
Every inmate should have faith, and faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God
– Poem –
Follow the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, BIBLE.
We have a revival for all the Inmates survival
now I get it and a saint is my title
because my sins been washed away like a tidal, wave
I received God’s grace and I’m now saved,
’cause the wages of sin is death and death goes past the grave,
where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in a place called
hades and you will be living in flames.
But if you believe Jesus is Lord and God raised him from the dead
then you shall be saved.
To sin I was enslaved, getting whip by my own whip and cut by my own blade
I was trying to make myself into something when I was already made.
Made to lead, made to save, made to speak, made to pray, made to see
the unseen, and walk the road Jesus paved
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, the strong, Lo the [illegible]
that takes flight, the sun by day, and the moon by night,
The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky,
My rock, sword, and shield, and the shade at my right hand
So take a stand for the right man, who is Christ who dies for
Man, who sin was ‘numerous as the sand,
But he washed it away like a tide came in
God hears a sinners prayer so let the prayers begin
I’m prayin for everybody locked up
____ ____, himself, PA
Dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings in the name of the most high God. I just wanted to weigh in on the election of 2016. On 10-31-16 I submitted an OCJ request form to Lt. Bolton for consideration for a sentence reduction for good behavior, overcrowding, and following all rules that apply at OCJ. I state that I respected all staff and fellow political innocent until proven guilty prisoners. I also state that I request the reason for relief on this 120 day sentence, at date of this I had already did 110 days toward the 120 days. I wanted to get out to vote on 11-8-16. So on 11-7-16, time 1345, action taken by Lieutenant Bolton stated that state misdemeanant confinement program has given me a release date of 11-15-16. Signed Lt. Bolton #6875.
So, this misdemeanant confinement program is new to me. What has raised questions in my mind is every county jail sentence I ever did, no one does all the time, unless they get in trouble. So what Lt. Bolton is saying that Orange County has no such desire to give a person any type of relief for earned credits for working in the jail or for good behavior. Of course, I can’t get any type of information on this program from staff or administration of this facility (OCJ). Now let me mention that Durham County Jail has the same program, misdemeanant confinement, and I’m sure if residents being held there under such program (MCP) will find what I have found and that is deliberate indifferences, hidden racism, racial profiling, all in the name of keeping people like us from having the right and duty to vote. Their mindset is if we are locked up on petty charges, we can’t vote. Look at the numbers on how many misdemeanors was locked up on election day, 11-8-16, and you tell me what the outcome would have been.
IOA, we need answers. I think this is a very valid issue at hand. It is by design that these incidents are being carried out in county jails in NC daily. The capitalist machine is getting stronger as we speak. We can’t give it power. We must dismantle it one bolt and one screw at a time. Really take a look at what’s at stake.
Sidebar = Don’t play with it, look around and see what’s really going on!!!
Sill in the struggle,
A political prisoner,
Coy AKA Plastic