‘They’re trying to get over on us inmates’

May 14

What’s good IOA? Thanks for writing. Ain’t nothing changed, it only gets worse by the day. To answer your question about the whole video visitation IDK what the hell is going on. I’ve heard one too many stories. Continue reading

“being a freedom-fighter comes with its own particular vocabulary and diction”

Peace,

How are you?  I hope all is well.  I got your letter with a copy of the “Feedback.”  I really enjoyed this edition of Feedback (lol).

I don’t want to go off in a different world but I just want to vent a little bit.  Can anyone explain to me the reason for these “excessive bonds” Durham County is giving people?  Could it be that by law you can not deny a person a bond, unless he or she is an immediate danger to society, correct?  It looks like to me that the excessive bond has taken the place of having a no bond.  In reality, damn near everyone in jail has a no bondbecause the average Joe can’t post a hundred-thousand dollar bond and if he or she do post the bond he or she has to worry about the Feds coming to ask question about how they got the money.

Its the new way of holding people hostage in the blind-sight of the law.  The 8th amendment of the Constitution states “excessive bond not required.”  So, what’s making it be required?

Furthermore, how does a non-violent offense get a greater bond than violent offenses?  “It’s crazy.”  Lady justice sure is blind, she needs to retire or get her vision checked.  I believe we are political prisoners, we’re hostages held against our will, and are victims of law or victims of misused law.

We need to start protesting and agitating our local legislature to make them abolish all these racist and un-just laws.

The habitual felon law needs to be done away with, also prior record levels because it conflicts with the double jeopardy clause.

The state is adding more time to new offenses committed because of old offenses you did time for in the past.  So, in essence, I am being punished all over again for something I already been punish for.  “That’s crazy.”

But anyways, to move along, I believe words are powerful and very important.  Words alone can provide certain thoughts or ways of thinking.  We believe prisoners alone changes the dynamics of how society view prisoners.  Society has been shaped and molded to believe that all people that are incarcerated are crooks, liars, murderers, and con artists.  A people that can’t be trusted.  We believe prisoners says a lot, like, we believe that nobody is somebody, that’s someone’s mother, brother, uncle, wife, husband, etc.  That prisoners can be the next world leader.  Also, being a freedom-fighter comes with its own particular vocabulary and diction.  So, the choice of words is very important, especially, when it come to liberating the minds of the people.

Now, the subject about the black woman, I never meant to imply or make it seem that she was weak.  But to the contrary she was the strongest out of all.  She endure countless rapes, whippings, having her fetus cut from her body while still alive and having her children sold off and toss about from plantation to plantation and still come out the mother and cradle of civilization.  Of course, you going to have beautiful women like the ones that you named and the ones that haven’t even been born yet.

Also, you got to keep in mind that a lot of the slave that were already here were country born slaves.  So, most grew up knowing nothing but how to be a slave.  It was mostly the constant introduction of Africans from the on-going slave-trade that kept the seed of resistance in the country-born slave also.  For example, the Movie “Roots” by Alex Haley, which is a movie about slavery in America.  The African, Kunta Kintae, is brought on a slave ship to America from Africa and is forced into slavery.

On the plantation, he sees other slaves that begin to try and communicate with him and show him what is required of him, but the whole time in Kunta mind is how will he escape “bondage.”  The country born slaves is trying to get him to conform to their way of life which is slavery.  Kunta ended up running away twice and ended up caught each time.  Once he got a whipping in front of all the slaves, second time they chopped his foot off.  He was so strong minded that didn’t even stop him from wanting to be free again.  he didn’t even acknowledge his slave name “toby.”  he was so rebellious that his master had him whipped in public until he said his name was toby and even then he kept saying his name was Kunta.  The other slaves beg him to say his name is Toby, which he did in the end.  This is to show you a person who is educated that knows his God given right oppose to the ones that don’t know freedom.  Also, this tactic was used to put fear in the other slaves and naturally the mother pass this fear on to the children.  It was only self-preservation to ensure that her children don’t get beat or killed.  (Dang, I just realize I wrote a whole paragraph unrelated to the woman.  Its still information).  Even in the sixties, the parents of freedom fighters used to beg their children not to go bother the whites.  For an example, every time black folks riot, they don’t tear-up white folks stuff.  They tear up their own stuff.  Just like the jail and prisoners, the inmate will oppress and fight his fellow inmate for the simplest matter but the CO or the institution that is the real problem, he will not lift one finger to do any harm.

But anyways, Harriet Tubman said something back then that is relevant today: “I freed a thousand slaves; I could have freed ten thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”  That quote is so damn powerful.  That’s what we are faced with today.  The people is so damn blinded that they can’t see the enemy.  Instead of racism being in plain view they hide it because, remember, power is mostly felt, in other words, I don’t got to call you a nigger, I can just treat you like one, this goes for nigger-lovers too! (lol)

I believe we have lost sight of our common enemy, and if racism isn’t knocking at our front door, then it simply doesn’t exist.

As far as jails and prisons goes, most of the people behind the walls do not know they are slaves and are being handled unjustly because it has become normal.  it, also, stems from a lack of proper education in our homse and schools.  Frederick Douglass in his narrative didn’t have a burning desire to secure his freedom until he became “educated.”  The prison industrial complex limited information to inmates  behind their walls.  They even got a ban on certain books that they want to allow in the prison.  They reason being is to keep the people asleep!!

Therefore, education is a very important key to liberation.  And not just any education, it got to be proper education.  Information that will open the eyes of the people to see the condition that they are in and the tools to change those conditions.

As for visitation, they already installed the monitors and will start the video-visitation the beginning of next month.  I heard a few say that they were going to break the monitors but that remains to be seen.  In reality, nobody is trying to stand up for anything.  To many people are for self and don’t want to sacrifice for the collective.  I told everyone all they got to do is refuse visitation, don’t work the kitchen, don’t work in the PODS, make the CO do everything and I promise they will take that stuff out.  Nobody is trying to buck, so we will see what happens after the first visit, which probably nothing will happen.

You stand for nothing, you fall for anything.

Sincerely,

Black Holocaust

‘The only way they know they’re fine is through a visit’

How you doing?

Thanks for writing. It’s always good to hear from the outside even if it’s from a stranger. I happened to have read a magazine you guys have published that someone left behind before, and it was good to hear that people aren’t afraid to voice their opinion. About this (video) visitation, I think it’s bogus because a lot of parents come to visit their kids and the only way they know that they are fine is through a real visit. Continue reading

Video visitation: ‘It simply shouldn’t happen!’

Dear friends!

I was very glad to get your letter.

Thank you much for efforts to memorialize Niecey. It is extremely painful for me to think about her death.

Yes, I saw you many times on the streets in Durham. I used to work in one of the restaurants in downtown. But never did hear you being outside at the jail like now. I am on the 5th floor. Certainly I support from all my heart the protests against video visitation. It simply shouldn’t happen!! And “upset” about it is not enough to say!

…Thank you for your attention. With love and respect, F.L.

 

‘This damn jail is destroying my family’

What’s going on? Sorry it’s taken me so long to write back, but let’s just say I have not been myself lately. Sometimes I don’t know what or how to feel. Because I am so weighed down by personal issues and with the fact of being incarcerated for a year now. As far as this jail goes it’s still the same slave ship it has always been. These people act like they care about us, but they really don’t. They have made it much harder for our people to see us. Speaking of which, I have not seen my kids in 3 months. And that is the only way I can maintain. Hell, I have a son that’s about to be a year old, and one that’s soon to be 8 years old. I can’t take not seeing them…This damn jail is DESTROYING my family! Continue reading

A Glorified Phone Call

Pictured above is one of eight video screens installed on the ground level of the DCDF. These will be where friends, family and loved ones see the detainee with whom they have scheduled a visit. As you can see, they will speak through a telephone receiver. Upstairs, detainees will go to the visitation room, where they will sit down at one of the windows, and, instead of see their visitor at the window in front of them, will look into a tablet-sized screen and speak into a telephone receiver. As this photo makes clear, our rallying cry—“video visitation is a glorified phone call”—is spot on.

Although the Renovo (owned by GTL) online visitation scheduling system is currently allowing people to schedule video visits*, there is no word about this in the lobby at DCDF. In fact, hanging on the wall near the scheduling kiosk in the lobby, there are laminated instructions from Pay-Tel, the jail’s former telephone service provider (contract ended in June 2015). Also hanging on the lobby walls in two different places is a brochure celebrating a “Recovery Celebration” that is happening somewhere in Durham in September or happened last September (it is unclear). There is also no word about the fact that the Renovo system was “upgraded,” meaning that people with older operating systems on a home, work or public computer, or on a personal device, can no longer use the online system to schedule a visit, and therefore must schedule at the lobby kiosk.

Sheriff Mike Andrews and DCSO spokesperson Tamara Gibbs have claimed that video non-visitation will make for a safer environment and will save the county money. They have made this claim without ever saying how (and media has not forced them to provide reasoning, despite the fact that it is a preposterous claim). The online scheduling system does suddenly show wording about purchasing visits, internet visits, and the possibility of video nonvisits having a cost (see screenshots below). As always, changes are made and detainees and their families are not informed about them.

The station pictured here, and the seven alongside of it, are undoubtedly objects worthy of our unmitigated wrath and fury. In the great and long tradition of Ned Ludd, these machines should be summarily and swiftly smashed to bits or simply pulled out of their docking stations and trashed. But, even if that is done, we must remember, it is not the machines that are really the problem, nor are they the most suitable targets of our wrath. Rather, it is what the machines represent: a belief on the part of those in power that they can justify the increasing degradation of detainees and prisoners and their loved ones. Andrews, who never shows his face, and instead sends his lackey, Paul Martin; Couch, the interim detention director and so-called head of security; and the county commissioners, especially those who approved the video visitation plan (Wendy Jacobs, Brenda Howerton, Ellen Reckhow). They must be held accountable.

*We invite folks to share any and all information about experiences they have had using the scheduling system or with the video non-visit terminals. Share to our Facebook wall, as a comment on this blog, or via email (insideoutsidealliance@gmail.com)