“I hope the Durham Association of Educators, along with Alerta Migratoria and IOA will coalesce to pressure the Sheriff to bring in educational opportunities beside GED for these up to 24 years old”

Dear G___, ___, and the IOA Family,

Got your letter today with copy of July 17 Feedback enclosed.  Thanks a million.  I enjoyed reading both.  Wish I could have appeared at that meeting with you guys before the City Fathers/Mothers (smile).  I wish even more for the ability to take and send pictures of these trifling meals ABL provides us.  Portion sizes are ridiculous!  My 5 year old grandson would be truly upset.  It’s even worse when they provide meals in the 3 slot styrofoam trays like they did for lunch and supper today.

For lunch we had sloppy Joes.  They (ABL) half filled one of the two smaller slots with meat sauce, put cole slaw in the front large spot, french fries in the 2nd smaller slot and added a bun.  For supper we had apple sauce in one of the smaller slots, baked sliced potatoes w/ very sparse ground meat (probably leftover hot dogs from July 4th) and a piece of bread.  We are all praying they get ousted next month.

I can hardly wait to get out to help join in this fight!  Too often detainees will get out of jail and/or prison and soon forget about the many injustices they’ve had to endure and that those left behind continue to suffer.  Reminds me of how Pharoah’s cupholder forgot about Joseph for some years until Pharoah needed his dream interpreted.  This thing is very personal with me and I will not forget.

Court went well on June 14th.  The Superior Court Judge denied all of the Sheriff’s attorney’s motions filed against me (motion to dismiss my complaints, motion to transfer my case from district to superior court).

We now head back to District Court on July 21st and I am gearing up for it.  Anyone off that day is welcome to show up.  If anyone does come, sit in the gallery on the side opposite of law enforcement.  I have subpoenaed several Sheriff’s deputies and police officers and two magistrates to testify and none will like being there (smile).

I had some rather nice court victories last month.  Back in 2012 three teens stole my Chrysler Sebring Convertible, went joy riding to Granville Counting and coming back, were seen and chased by Wake Forest Police in Capital Blvd.  They wrecked and totaled my car, unknown to me for several months later, they racked up $488 in tolls.  NC Quick Pass tried making me pay it and I refused.  Then they added on processing fees and civil penalties and sent a collection agency after me in Dec 2016.  They even blocked my vehicle registration (which is moot because I’m still in jail).  That did it so I filed a petition for contested case hearing in the NC office of administrative hearings (OAH).  Long-to-short, I won the case last month.  I state spent well over $5,000 trying to force me to pay $488 plus $232.00 in penalties.  That is so irresponsible of them.

I filed a petition for appointment of new defense counsel in Durham Superior Court on Feb 6, 2017 but Durham Officials ignored it after I even made several inquiries about it.  In such cases a person can petition the NC Court of Appeals for what’s called a writ of mandamus to compel state actors to perform a duty owed to them.  I did it and the court of appeals granted me petition on June 26th and I went to court yesterday where a Judge remanded my sorry lawyer Woodrena Baker-Harnell, over the Asst. DA’s (Cynthia Kenney) objection and I now await the appointment of new counsel.  I also got a bond reduction petition filed and to be heard this month.  The AOA also offered me a plea deal for 23 to 30 months that I declined.  I’ve been in here 22 months on this illegal charge and I will fight it to the nth degree or until it is dismissed.

I also filed suit last month against the magistrate who issued the illegal warrant for my arrest.  The hearing against her is to be made public and should take place sometime in August.  The ADA is miffed about that, too.  I – DON’T – CARE!  They trample all over my rights but want me to practice stoicism and not complain.  That will never happen!

The jail’s new, overpaid administrator, Colonel Prignano is not worth the almost $100k he is paid.  He obviously knows nothing about how to effectively manage the jail’s mostly young populace.  I and others have written and tried talking to him about making the 6pm local news and 6:30 world news mandatory.  For some unexplained reason all TVs are turned off at 6:45 pm and we are locked into our ells for the night.  However, shift change is not until 8:00 pm.  It is so annoying to be watching the world news only to have the TVs turned off in the middle of it.  Prignano’s reply to us was: “I don’t care about the TVs.  They could take them out of the jail as far as I’m concerned.”  Really…?

A few years ago some really gung how law and order state legislators felt the prisons were too plush, too soft on crime.  They felt prisoners were being rewarded to be able to lift weights and watch color TVs.  So they contemplated introducing a bill to ban weights and TVs from all prisons.  That sparked a quick from prison administrators, who told the legislators they would resign if such an act became law.  Why?  Because prison administrators know that weights help burn off stress and overactive testosterone, and TVs is one of the most effective control devices in prisons.  Those legislators quickly demurred.  For Prignano to discard our request in such cavalier manner speaks to his lack of experience.  His position ought to be eliminated to start with.  Why would a jail of 550 people need a colonel making 97,800 a year plus a major and several captains all making over $70,000 a year?  It’s insane and is a waste of tax dollars.  One captain for each shift could effectively run the whole jail as is done in many jails statewide.  The Sheriff’s budget is overloaded…at the top!  Prignano is a mere puppet, good ole boy, who does whatever Notorious Andrews tells him to do.  I guess that’s why Andrews did not want to hire and administrator from outside his department.  All this cronyism is state and federal government just makes my stomach want to throw up!

The youth in here have nothing to do during lockback but yell back and forth to each other, bang on doors, table, sinks and windows while rapping, much to the dismay of their neighbors who are trying to read, think, or sleep.  They need educational outlets badly.  I’ve always heard that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.  Prignano could care less.  He is in it for the paycheck and nothing else.  I hope the Durham Association of Educators, along with Alerta Migratoria and IOA will coalesce to pressure the Sheriff to bring in educational opportunities beside GED for these up to 24 years old.

A lot of Hispanics are bilingual.  Few US citizens speak any Spanish.  I would have love taking Spanish clases these past 22 months in here and several Hispanics would love taking English classes.

I will pass the word around and look for good candidates to correspond with members of the Durham Association of Educators.

I am able to use my GTL prepaid phone card to call you guys sometimes.  Is there a good contact # and time to call?

You all take care and continue the good fight.

Love in Christ,

K.O.

PS: I’ve heard other officers say that Ms. Officer Snipes informs certain jail officials the names of detainees who correspond with IOA.  Snipes is a trip.  She and officer Richmond open and read all incoming (and some outgoing) mail.  Neither are certified to do so.  They gossip to other staff about what they read, too.  Neither of them should be touching any mail as they are not certified!

‘They always cry it’s a security concern when they don’t want to change for the better’

Hey J & S,

I hope y’all don’t mind me responding to you both in a single letter. I have just completed putting final touches on a petition for Writ of Mandamus to be mailed to Durham District Court in the AM. Trying to level the playing field keeps me wide open in here!

I can hardly wait to get out of this awful place. I am 65 years young. There is much work to do in the realm of jurisprudence for the offenders and the courts to get the playing field leveled and reduce crime.

I am going to seek a Soros Justice Fellowship when I get out to conduct a study in Durham, Wake, Guilford, and Mecklenburg jails and courts to see just how effective their court appointed lawyer system is and how justice is meted out in these courts. I’d like to compare the plea deals offered by those various DAs for similar offenses committed in those 4 counties. If I get a justice fellowship, I could then hire a small staff and have other non-profit agencies help me to extend this study to all 100 counties.

The courts need someone — a serious watchdog — looking over their shoulders, as District Attorneys. Continue reading

‘They try to punish you for little things…’

April 21, 2016 (received May 19)

Dear —

I’m doing good, keeping my head high. I’m ready to go home, this ain’t no place for anybody, they treat us like animals and talk to us any type of way. They crazy how they let that wonderful man (Matthew McCain) die. They don’t want to be doing they job.  Continue reading

‘They sell dreams, then provide a system that jails and enslaves’

the following is from a Durham man recently moved to state prison.

Hey –

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

‘Don’t believe everything the pigs say’

11-18-15

First off, let me say thanks for saying Happy B-day. I really appreciate it. But nah, we been coming out 9-12:45/4-6:45, nah don’t believe everything the pigs say cause most of it BS. I’ve been here 5 and a half months and I’m not hearing nothing from my lawyer and I haven’t been to court in 3 months. I’m hoping and praying for probation, but it’s gonna be a lot, but it’s better than this shitty place. I should be getting out soon, though. I don’t have bread/money on my account to get stamps, but I’ll send it soon as I can.

Same struggle! TEB, aka Speedy

Let’s Roar Loud and Clear!

Nov. 6 What’s good, Me nothing much, just building and maintaining. I peeped the new issue, it was GREAT! I liked your analogy, the lion that sleeps, Ima use that from now on, that’s my title, my religious name was good but now I need some of that rebel energy, and anybody that knows me will inform you that’s my personality. I was thinking of something though maybe like a committee, a big town meeting you should demand a sit down with the mayor, if declined: an all out mass protest!! Non-stop rebel energy. That one event could cause mass media coverage! It could make history. You never know–look what MLK did back in the 60s. Why can’t we go harder than them, we’re fighting for the same thing freedom! Oh, I’m not asking for help on my case, I kinda got that down pat, lawyer or no lawyer. I just need y’all in the trial room. If that jury sees a support system and the IOA Brotherhood: 1. I’m going home fo’sure 2. It shows there are no limits to our spirit. 3. It shows a real alliance…To the party matter, it needs to be a party to get into the widestream america we’re not stopping in Durham, this is just the BEGINNING! We’re not gonna stop in america…In ten years, if we get the right voices, the right courage and fully organized we can be walking up the steps of the white house, ah, wouldn’t that be beautiful, this party would look like the struggle, the wise, the old, the minority, the forgotten, the felons, the young, and the working class, the 90%. We would be organized, operated as one, there would be 5 heads of the committee, one for each section: hispanic/ Black /white/ old/ young. 5 major voices to speak for those who they represent. All at one table coming to one agreement to bring to the bosses, congress, supreme court, governors, etc. We will engage everybody equally with love, peace, truth, and justice no matter who they are and the only goal we want is true equality, not the ‘throw a bone at the lion just to get it to stop roaring’ like they’ve been doing these past 50 years. It’s been going on too long, let’s roar loud and clear. We will uprise, overstand, and overachieve. My kids will see this utopia we speak on. As long as 2 or more come in the name of god we shall make progress. Until then, keep fighting!

The Lion that Slept, part 1

Ever since a cub, this lion was strong as he could be.

A natural born king, oh so great was he.

But without reason to protest, he ate and slept, not knowing how much he could change.

Until one day a bee passed by, “Oh, lion you could do so much more, you sleep? Oh why, oh why?”

“Move” the lion roared. “I sleep and live my days, lay in the sun, and hunt my prey.”

“But what about your brothers in the zoo,” the bee protested. “Will you not save them, is there any courage in you?” The lion began to ponder at this issue at hand, he shook his mane, awakened, roared, and took a stand. –MMS–The lion that slept!

Striving together

Hey,

I’m doing well considering the circumstances. How are things progressing? Yeah, I just had a birthday. I’m — years old…Thanks for wishing me a happy birthday, it’s much appreciated and very welcomed. My (family member) speaks so highly of everyone striving together in IOA. I’m very thankful for all of you, words cannot explain but maybe through our endeavors we can encourage one another. Continue reading