The pain of that green color

…With pain and bitterness, I watch the next victim in a strange green outfit be escorted to the corner cell, Number 24, to be locked up. Answering my question, “why?”, the sad latin girl told me – “I was crying – That’s all.” One year ago, I arrived in this jail myself. It was the first time in my life. Sure, I cried from fear, despair and the unknown. After a short talk with the nurse on duty, I was put in a green outfit in that damn room 24. Three days without sheets, blankets, or underwear. With bare feet, in that green fucking robe. When I questioned why they were doing this to me, the answer was “You could commit suicide – it is for your security.”

This was absolutely a rude lie: never, ever in my life, even in here, in jail, did I want or plan to commit suicide. I was not even hysterical.

Almost everyone who is locked up here for the first time is in terrible condition. No wonder: they have no experience to compare with like repeat criminals may. They are scared – and it starts with booking already. Here is a hell indeed: dirt, rudeness, screams! The absence of any elementary respect. But you don’t dare cry here. If you cry, they think it means you will commit suicide. So, the turtle suit is unavoidable. You try to talk to the CO through the door, but who cares? You could die here of a heart attack. And what? Ok, it’s not a suicide!

Where is the logic? A crying person in despair needs comfort and understanding, not a punishment (even if it calls itself “security”). A crying person is suffering in jail already! But the serge is saying “No, put them in cell 24” and putting the crying person “under observation” for at least 24 hours.. and if they got in on Friday, for three days!

An acquaintance of mine almost cut her veins in this room. She just wanted to be noticed. And they almost missed her…!

My inmates admit if you want to commit suicide, you will find the way to do it anywhere, even in cell 24. This is true! And another truth is that the crying person (in this case, a woman) locked in this scary cell is put here to be intimidated, humiliated, and paralyzed. What else could it be?

  • F. L.
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Racism against whites

(Caveat: IOA publishes articles written by those locked up in the Durham County Jail whether or not those articles align with IOA values and politics. The following article expresses an individual’s concerns, not IOA’s)

Dear friends,

As far as we know, you are trying to protect black inmates in the Durham Detention facility. Would you like to protect white ones tooo? We want to tell you about discrimination against white female inmates in this jail…

On of us speaks. “Everything started a long time ago. I had an opportunity to observe this from the beginning. My white cellmate asked the black CO to give her some toilet paper and got denied because she is white.” The IOA newsletter already published this fact – thanks! Then a lot of unpleasant things happened and I asked my black social worker what she thinks about racism against whites. She said: many many complaints.

Did you see a white member of rugbee team female?

Our black inmates use unlimited freedom even in jail: they can speak with teh CO from 1pm to 4pm while other women are locked up. They are doing each others hair, screaming, dancing, singing, and such 24-7 – always ! They don’t care if some white idiots (name for us) by them want to sleep – enjoy! I wanted to talk about this problem with many officers here, but they are always busy for this conversation.

Today, a group of white inmates was trying to watch TV but couldn’t. Black girls were especially demonstratively rude and loud. If girls of white colour would behave like that they would be locked up immediately for sure and not for 1 day.

So it was the last drop that made our cup overfull and we decided to write you.

 

 

 

‘In the Durham County Jail, private medical business is allowed to exploit the poor & impoverished inmates’

The Expanding Medical Business

The medical business spread across the country is a deadly viper lurking around every impoverished corner. It’s deadly policies on insurance spreads to every inch of every poor and uninsured individual all over the U.S. Here in the Durham County Jail, private medical business is allowed to exploit the poor & impoverished inmates from Durham County. At the moment of intake, your Medicaid is stripped from you. The longer you are jailed the more likely you are to develop major if not additional health problems due the harsh conditions the inmates are subject to. Health conditions get overlooked if they are not ‘serious’ or ‘life threatening’ or if you do not have the funding on your books to cover the $20 ‘co-pay’ charge. People are literally afraid to go to medical because they cannot or do not want to be charged or owe a $20 co-pay to handle health problems that arise within these walls. Among the many health problems inmates can develop in DCJ are high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, eye problems, UTIs, Flu and the common cold. This is due to the conditions of the inmate’s environment. The thin mat placed on the mental slab alone is enough to cause many body aches $ issues. Cold temperatures stiffen joints. The type of foods, lack of fresh water & strange, highly dyed juices cause malnutrition & UTIs. The medical unit offers nothing if you catch a cold or the flu. Canteen sells Halls & 2 Ibuprofen tablets for health issues, but that is all that is offered. Medical gives inmates Tylenol or Motrin for damn near every issue that comes to them. Here are several individual issues that have happened since my incarceration at DCJ. All are [examples] of how [Correct Care Solutions] DCJ’s medical contractor neglects the inmates:

  1. A guy requested medical for 3 days straight & was not seen until he passed out.
  2. A woman’s swollen knee, which appeared to have fluid in it, was neglected for several weeks. Once the pain became unbearable she was treated with Tylenol & a heat pack for 2-3 days. She was more than likely charged for her treatment.
  3. A woman who thought she had a UTI was turned down for the treatment because she could not pay the $20 co-pay (no funds on her books). Later she discovered her urine was discolored because of her diabetes, which was at a very high level & was developed inside DCJ. She could have died from neglect & mistreatment of DCJ medical.
  4. A young girl, age 17, went to medical due a torn hernia. She was treated with Tylenol & because the pain was so severe, she got an X-ray. Once the doctor confirmed it was a torn hernia, she was told they couldn’t do anything for her.
  5. I recently had pain in my right shoulder due to the thin mats & metal we have to lie on. I was treated with Tylenol & a heat pack for two days & was not told in the medical room that I would be charged $20. I went on a Tuesday. They stopped giving me the treatment after Wednesday evening. All day Thursday my arm continued to ache. Friday morning I discovered that I owed $17 because of my trip to medical, which I rushed to finish speaking to my attorney to go to.

Many inmates are in DCJ right now because the law enforcement are lazy & are always reaching to make cases. Durham deals with a high level of petty crimes & they fill the jails to the brim with petty criminals or low level crimes or people who are not even criminals. Then, to add injury to insult, the inmates’ medical needs are neglected! I am not sure if it is because I am not from down here or what. All I know is that to many people are far too accepting of the injustices in Durham County & all across the country. Something needs to be done & just must be served!

– Conscience Mind

“This jail is getting worse by the day”

Dear C—-,

How’s it going? Me? Sitting in this shit hole taking it a day at a time trying to stay out of the way and keep my head up with faith and prayer. I’ve been in here going on 14 months for murder awaiting a good plea so I can move on and put this hell hole behind me. I’m on lock back doing 20 days for having pain medication for my gunshot wounds during a shakedown. Sgt. Cole that works here took an extra mattress from me that I have medical paperwork for just to get a reaction out of me hoping to send me to the hole. I give respect to everybody that works here even when they don’t deserve it and most times it seems like its hopeless. I’ve been coming in and out this jail since I was 16 years old, I’m 29 years old now, that’s 13 years and it seems as if this jail is getting worse by the day. We don’t get let out of our cells on time, canteen comes late most days not at all and we get little to no respect. I know that this is a punishment and all but we all are still human beings and the difference between us and everybody else is that we got caught. I don’t like the way the female inmates only have one pod and the way they get treated.

“Honestly, I don’t hate them”

God Bless

What’s up C—-,

Well as you know I am a inmate in Durham County Jail, I’ve been in & out jails & prisons since I was 16 years old. I’m tired 36 years young ready to break the chain. Durham County has been good to me programs, loving nurses, caring officers. I value my life, and some times I get hot headed, can be mean, and I will fight when coming off the streets on drugs angry I’m locked up. I don’t blame no one but myself. Sometimes officers can be uptight 0-tolerance meaning they’re not going to take any shit. Their jobs consist on protecting inmates & detainees making sure everyone’s safe, and jail is ran in a orderly respectful manner.

Sometimes officers aren’t so good we argue, come to a standoff of power & pride. They should be professional at all times, but they are only humans. These last two incarcerations has been hell officers has been mean to me, and I have said mean things and talked some shit but only after the way I been treated. I think the DO’s seek revenge. I must de-escalate these problems. Honestly, I don’t hate them, like I’ve been in some fucked up situations. Some DO’s take the time to listen to my problems, all DO’s aren’t bad, crooked, or corrupt, cool with the old school players new jacks just like these street punks in jail I pray for every one don’t want to fight or be misunderstood.

Closing I just wanted to share my feelings about some things I don’t want any trouble for the good DO’s just making sure I’m not hurt and the DO’s that are mad hopefully they will try to get over whatever I said or did. Cause I’m by myself here powerless under the officers will. I’m leaving Durham whenever I’m released on a quest to get a better life. I wish you the best. Keep doing what you’re doing for yourself cause we can’t change everyone, but we can change & control our actions, neither one of use should live in hate so let’s forgive & pray for those peoples that just don’t understand us hope to hear from you shortly. Stay strong.

Exodus 20:1-17

Hebrew 9: 11-15

Revelation 21 & 22 ch.

‘[T]he system paints a picture like we are monsters and not human’

Thank you for your letter. It gave me some hope, because I was loosing it. My son Amir was born today at 1:56am, so I am happy, but I’m hurting on the inside because I’m not there to hold him. I am supposed to go to court on April 3. I would love for you to be at my next court date. I would love to attend [IOA] meetings and support IOA in any way, because the system paints a picture like we are monsters and not human. I love the idea about abolishing bail because it’s outrageous. I never had these charges before, but my bail is $255,000, which I would never be able to post. All I want to do is be productive in the world by working – if I get a job – supporting IOA, and raising my son, but I don’t know how this will play out, but I hope and pray they give me another chance. Lord knows I will not come back here. This is not the place I want to be, so please help me before I lose it. I like to cook so can you send me some material on that, and something about success, and how to progress in society. Thank you again for listening to me. I really appreciate it. Please continue to pray that I get thru this and another chance, so I can be a father – that’s the most important thing I want to do. Please.

Thank you.

Life

At times I’m stressed,

oppressed and I digress only

to become depressed,

pain not

for the benefit of gain, for

all in vain have I slain

the memories that haunt this

troubled brain,

love in my

heart, yet inside my blood

is blue, like sad jazz

songs that you know are true,

oh. . . what to do. . . what to

dooo,

When you live you die slow,

each day the more know,

and end the end you still go.

I wish to be a bird to only

fly away, to run astray,

to live for only a worm, nest

and the sun to rise the

next day

 

By:

Wallace Eubanks