This too shall pass

04/03/2017

Included with this beautiful drawing:

Please,

Ebony Fields was in the STARR program in Durham. She was transferred to Wake County for about 50 days. She knew Uneice “Neicey” fennell who died here in Durham at the jail on Marc 23rd. Ebony drew this in her memory and asked me to forward it o you for possible publication in the IOA.

Thanks so much

Epson_04162017_115252

 

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‘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

‘Because we need things, we are “needy”‘

this letter was also sent in October.

Hi,

Thanks so much for the books and letter. I’ve gotten your letter I didn’t write back b/c I just don’t know what to say. I hate it here. I’ve been here 18 months, seen a lot of stuff that human beings shouldn’t have to deal with: being told to piss in the shower because they don’t want to mash a button. The way we are talked to–here’s the thing: everybody in this jail is going through something, some more tragic than others and they don’t need this jail b.s. in their lives. Continue reading

INHUMANE

this letter was sent in October.

Hey —

Hope you’re doing well. Well I just wanted to write back to let ya know how things are going around here…I asked for toilet paper one day and the c.o. told me NO because she didn’t like me and because I was too white! Really. I put a grievance in on her and nothing was ever done. I still have an open grievance from May about an officer that told me to piss in the shower because she wouldn’t pop my door unless I was gonna stay behind that door. Sick, right? And the other day I saw an officer and a young girl, a minor, age 16, get into it. Continue reading

‘I’m not a half person’

10-3-16

Dear —

Thanks for writing to me. It took me a long time to write you back cause of my mental health and medical problems. Right now, as I write to you, it is very much a hard struggle. I don’t want my name in the feedback, only my initial L.

These are the things I want talked about. One, I’m not a half person. I’m like the singer Usher. If I’m gonna tell it, then I’m gonna tell it all!

1.) Bed bugs, or some kind of bugs I’m not sure. Now I don’t know what this meant, but before they did it I kept complaining. These bugs were eating away at us. But n-e-ways, over the weekend in the women’s pod of 5D (maybe the whole jail), Mr. Ham and his supervisor gave “everybody” brand new washcloths, towels, 1 sheet, blanket and laundry bag! Continue reading

‘Something to make the time go by’

Thank you for all that you all are doing for us. It really means a lot to know that it’s some people out there in the world that cares about us. The woman’s pod is still the same. They could at least let us have a radio or something to make the time go by. Also, some board games and some uno cards–anything is better than nothing. Other than that there’s nothing else, just a shout out to my peeps in 5D: SC, GBae, Gooch, Pinky, Rd, BL. To everybody else, keep y’all head up.

‘What don’t kill us only makes us stronger’ 

How is it going, World, and my brothers and sisters here in D.C.J.? Me, I’m ok, taking it one day at a time. I’ve been here 10 months, praying when I go to court I’ll be going home. Nothing has changed in the women’s pod. There’s about 47 of us in here, maybe even more. Well, now we can’t watch BET, MTV, VH1, anything like that. They put a block on it. Me, myself I get along with all the c.o.’s that work in the women’s pod. I try to keep the peace in the pod. Already don’t want to be here and I sure don’t belong here. At least we get 3 hot meals now. They could let us have radios, something, anything better than nothing. Yes, it still is cold in here, sometimes it be freezing. One thing I can say is that me and my friends are here for one another. Shout out to Jessica W., Alezai C., Olga L., Ashley G. I mean that’s what we got to do is be here for one another and don’t bring each other down. I love you all. Keep your head up. This will be over soon. What don’t kill us only makes us stronger.  –Melanie B.