‘One voice is but a whisper, a thousand are a mighty roar’

Dear IOA

I am a female inmate currently in custody at Durham County jail. First, I want to praise the work and efforts made to give voice to any and all parties willing to speak out against issues that would otherwise go unaddressed. As a temporary resident in this jail I am expressing the need for all inmates, male and female, to be properly screened and searched. Lice were discovered in 5D (women’s housing unit). The woman came into the facility with them, and was a part of general population for nearly a week before they were discovered. She was given one treatment, placed on medical lockback and virtually forgotten about besides meals. When approximately two weeks had passed, there was a breech in communication. One squad was told she was medically cleared, when she had not been. She again joined general population, only to be locked back until she was released. There have been grievances filed about females grooming and styling hair in the eating area, which is highly unsanitary, but no one has formally addressed this matter. Another issue in the female pod is the constant unnecessary request for toilet paper and feminine products, which should be kept on hand. There is no reason a woman should have to wait for items that are necessary to ensure good hygienical practices. Continue reading

Numbers #

9-22-16

Dear Brothers and Sisters here at DCJ,

There is always strength in numbers and it’s more of us than them. To start off we must use our mind and pen. We must flood them with paperwork. Like, write a legal complaint and give it to our lawyers or public defenders to make copies and file on our behalves. This way it won’t get lost or misplaced. We need to push those dirty azz trays back out the door. We got to keep it hot on ABL Management new food service company. They may start out great but it’s all about the money and the bottom line. They will do all the right things to keep their foot inside the door. We are going to see, keep eyes open.

We have to stop their money flow. You do the math. It’s simple. $17 or $27 for those phone cards every week to 10 days before you re-up on one. $17 x 3 = $51. $27 x 3 = $81. That’s a 30-day period. And if you get one a week, times that by 4.

Just buy a few stamps and see what you save. Numbers don’t lie.

I heard a C.O. say that she was not concerned about our names, only the body count, only the numbers #. You need a # to use the phone, you need a # to order canteen, you got a # on your wrist, you got a # on your cell door, you got a # on your laundry bag.

I’ll do my part to collective action here because some things are best said unspoken.

Just know that, small pieces makes a big pie. Word will spread so keep your ear to the vent. Help is on the way.

Day 90 (DCJ)

Still in the struggle

Coy AKA Plastic

P.S. Sidebar

We need to get on our knees and pray to God for his help. When God shows up God will show out!!! Prayer is a powerful tool if we apply it collectively every day. At 12:50 to 1:00 as a group. Strength in numbers, and watch things happen for the good. So let’s not play with it. Let’s step out on faith.

“the jail system is mis-run and mis-managed”

Dear Mr. W_______,

Thanks for the letter and n4.  It came at a much needed time.  I’m glad to hear there are concerned citizens who care about how the jail system is mis-run and mis-managed!  It more often than not sends people worse off back into neighborhoods angry, hurt, and totally demoralized and at times animalistic!  Its truly a system designed to oppress and exploit the lesser, poorer persons in society, 1. high bonds, 2. wrong search and seizures at homes (my house was trashed and 1100 dollars stolen), 3. very poor sleeping quarters (my dogs have better), 4. slop for food, 5. the cells are freezing while we get little clothing and blankets 5. husbands/wives should at least be allowed to visit if incarcerated at the same time (I fit that category, the family is the fabric of society), 6. they arrested us quickly and put us in cages, yet the legal process once here is slow and tedious, even the process of bond reduction takes weeks all the while people lose good jobs and families are damaged sometimes beyond repair.  The jail system is a business of making money, not reform and helping most who may have made a bad choice or mistake become a better citizen, neighbor, co-worker, or friend (cuz that’s what 99% of us are!).  I’m very glad to hear that our neighbors are getting educated and involved, cuz believe it or not…this could happen to any of us!  And unless you have access to 10-50k your whole life could change forever and your family’s also.  The phone situation is laughable, the grievance officers are simply yes people, as I’ve made several complaints and requests with zero results or even responses back.  I thought in our legal system you’re innocent until proven guilty.  Well that doesn’t appear to be the cause here.  All and all its hard to believe this is happening in the United States of America.

 

Signed, E.Q.Y.

We Need OSHA: “We’re not the animals they’re treating us like”

3-27-16

Hello,

I’m Tony King and I give I.O.A. permission to use my name and letters at anytime for the sake of awareness of all amplified voices unless I withdraw my consent verbally or written.

Update: the kitchen’s inmate staff is now being worked to the bone, just to cover any tracks of anything that shows lack in the D.C.J. staff members. We’ve experienced a hot tray for dinner for the first time. Hopefully it will continue. As far as officers go, there is another who decided to show their true colors this night of 3-24-16 by the name of Officer Perry – a male. 5-B. So, let’s dissect the issue. Majority of the time, us inmates are locked back or out in the pod, the officer is sitting at their desk usually doing nothing is the most honest thing one could say. So, after only 1 hr into his work schedule, Officer Perry at 9:00pm states he’s not going to open our doors to our cell unless he feels like it. So I had a moment of clarity which was: Officer Perry clearly isn’t satisfied with the pay he receives to just sit and push some buttons. Also, when we’re let out of cell at 9:00pm, it’s a wonderful privilege that’s appreciated 100% until you get an officer such as Officer Perry who instead of pushing the button that opens all doors so we can exit cell, the officer will walk to each door of at least 47 doors and unlock them only to cut into our free time at the least 10-15 minutes, which we do not receive back. Sad isn’t it?

Also, officers fail to follow protocol when opening your door allowing an inmate in your room without permission. This happened to me tonight. I asked was there a protocol when opening door. He stated yes, however it’s clear protocol wasn’t followed, and luckily nothing was stolen due to me catching the issue in time. Officers in general also lack respect when it comes to your personal phone calls that may be $10-$20. The officers sometimes just hang up on your phone call without notice, leaving you with the loss of money and an unfinished phone call, all with no consideration for the inmate. Last but definitely not least, there is, I repeat, there is something in the water we drink and bathe with. It is a thin foggy white film that floats in and on top of your water. Also, the water you bathe with is so harsh it chafes your skin very badly.

Well, it’s been a pleasure. Hope to talk soon.

P.S. I’m looking forward to letters and useful information, if possible.

(I’m not sure if you all wrote me back or not. I have not received any mail entirely. Please feel free to do so or maybe they’re holding mail as usual.)

Also, for all medical visits here at Durham County Jail it will cost you $20, unless you’re dying, is what the nurse told me. I asked for the medical policy and was told that they could provide me so I wouldn’t be confused about how to be seen appropriately. I stated: it was my (Right) to have this information, and was told again there is nothing to give you, but if you’re sick she said, put in a sick call not a grievance cause it usually is the least concern. I said, wow, she sure isn’t educated as the last nurse I spoke with that addressed my needs.

(And thanks to the Post Office for the 1 pair of socks donated to each inmate.)

Also, I’ve heard specifically from inmate kitchen staff that fruit flies / gnats are all over the kitchen and sometimes have crawled onto the food that they serve us. Kitchen staff has also said when they notify the kitchen authority of the issue, they threaten them to mind their business if they wish to continue working in the kitchen. So, basically if you notify staff of these health related issues you’re fired from your kitchen position. I personally witnessed the jails head kitchen officer come to 4C pod and make a mockery of the guy who found the maggots, say strip him of his blue uniform immediately. He no longer works in the kitchen anymore and never will, not while I’m working here. OSHA, please save us. We’re not the animals they’re treating us like. Even a dog deserves and receives better treatment than this. OSHA just needs to come unannounced and justice will be served. Please help us.

-Tony King

“We are breathing dead skin and drinking Flint water.”

I’ve been in the Durham County Jail for 50 days. I made a request on the computer that my sink did have cold water in cell #1. In Pod 5B also there are at least 3 more cells that don’t have hot or cold water. I’ve been with cold water since March 3, 2016. Today is March 28, 2016. If you put in maintenance request, they should have fixed by now. I’ve wrote the maintenance people 3 times in this matter. Another thing: some of CO have other inmates to different room so they can see the TV and everything works fine in the room that they sleep in. I asked to be moved for my cold water issue. They have not moved or fixed anything. Beside that the water in the jail after drinking it for a while leave you with a scratchy throat. It feels like you have hair in your throat. When you tell the CO, they all say you shouldn’t come to jail. Also if you leave your cup and have juice in it overnight you have some film in. Where’s the film coming from? Well, I found that the heat/AC vents have never been cleaned out. Send OSHA to see all the dusty vents in the hallways in the pods. If you go in Pod 4c near the rec yard and look up in the vents you will notice that the dust is flying down from the vent like it’s snowing. What is dust? Dead skin. We are breathing dead skin and drinking Flint water.

Also, Pod 5B downstairs doesn’t have the correct fall on the ground for the water to drain, so it flows on the ground. When you step on it, you slip, and the don’t have any wet floor sign. OSHA needs to see this. They sell you flip-flops. If they are going to sell them, why can’t they slip proof? When wash your clothing, why do your shirt and socks get taken and no one will replace them? When you tell the guards, they all have the same line: you shouldn’t come to jail. I also spent 9 days in this jail. I’m here for a probation violation. They will not give me my jail credit but it’s in the computer that I’ve did nine days. Why can’t I get credit? They just sent me a statement saying they will not allow jail credit. If I did the time, I should get credit for it!

I would like to add this jail is hurting the County of Durham. They making this gang land. From what I notice young man come in on high bonds and a court date so long that they should have time served but that’s not the case. They don’t get a court date until 8 ½ months to a year and the young men join a gang. 90% of the guys in the Durham Co. Jail joined the gang in jail. So let’s thank the jail for helping the gang population go up in our town. They done a great job with this. Taxpayers are paying for the C.O. to sit on their ass for 12 hrs. All they do is push a button. Most of them are getting payed to play poker, chess, checkers, and always Facebook. I’m surprised they don’t have hemorrhoids from sitting down for 12 hrs a day. They work 3 days that week: 12X3 that = 36 hrs of getting paid to sit down and look at TV and play on the computer. Great job. The man who shot the cop’s bond is lower than gang members and second offenders. Just thought you should know.

– S.M.

‘A place you are not guaranteed a good night’s peace’

4/2/16

Hi –,

It was good to receive your letter and the Vol 15 Feedback bulletin. I appreciate your concern, support and interest. As of my current state of mind, I remain optimistic though terribly heavy-laden. I am approaching 27 months of incarceration and have finally gotten close to getting my case resolved. Although I don’t wish to discuss any specifics of my charges, I will say I am glad to have this much time under my belt. The conditions I have experienced here have been ridiculous. It is a jail after all. It is not by any means a walk in the park. Finally they have stopped serving sandwiches at dinner time. I am not as hungry as I have been in the past months. I am being fed. This is good. Although it is not the best food and mostly starch, it fills the hole LOL. We still do not get to come out at nights around 9:00 p.m. like we did about a year ago, and that’s unfortunate. Basically I stay in my own lane and avoid as much calamity as possible. Sometimes living this way is difficult as trouble seems to find me from time to time.

I have managed to avoid disciplinary actions that have stemmed from disagreements I have had with fellow inmates and detention staff. It is a loud place. A place that you are not guaranteed a good night’s peace. You got people beating the walls and doors around you cancelling any chance of productive thought. It’s like people were raised in a barn. Some come in and never shower with their stinkin asses. Some shower and still stink. Let’s not get started on the toilet paper situation! Guards sometimes say, “We haven’t got a roll in the building.” That’s the biggest crock I’ve ever heard. Knowing good and well they have got stacks of it in the storage room. I have had a trying stay here, though. A few instances of the canteen messing up orders, the medical not being prompt, the mail arriving late, and recreation time being cut short or cancelled some days. I’m surviving…goin on…feelin strong. One thing I will say is that I desire the loving embrace of a woman. Loneliness envelops me. Anyhow…that’s neither here nor there. I do have a request that I hope you will be able to help me with. Enclosed is a photo (shown below) that I tore out of a feedback bulletin (issue 6). It is a photo I have had stuck to my wall for many months. If there is any way you could send me an enlarged copy or two, I would greatly appreciate it. I have looked at it daily and it has brought me peace (strangely enough). If you cannot print me an enlarged copy or two, could you please send this one back. I know this is a weird request lol. I plan on trying to draw this picture as I have been trying my hand at sketching. crawford.teargasThank you for taking the time to write me and for supporting us inmates locked down in this hellhole!

Sincerely,

Brandon K Jayne

‘It’s rules within rules that aren’t even documented’

To whom it may concern,

My name is Deontae Richardson and I don’t care if you use my name. First off, let me say I personally work in the Durham County Jail kitchen and the infestation of fruit flies is getting out of control. I am ServSafe Certified, and I know that it’s against health regulations seeing these bugs flying and landing and crawling on the food people is going to eat. And the only thing I’ve seen was it get fanned like we’re at a cook out–it’s ridiculous. They came and sprayed, but it was a half job, because for one they’re still there, and it’s picking back up.  Continue reading