The Human Dog Pound

When I look out of my cell, I see other inmates standing in the door looking out their window. We look like animals in the pound waiting for someone to take us home. When we hear keys we stand at the door. “Come get me, come get me” is the way the faces look in the door. Continue reading

‘If we weren’t down here doing it, they would have to…’

6-8-16

Hey, my name is —, but you can call me Blaze. Well, first off I want to say nice to meet you and yes I will be writing you a lot since I got your letter. I have seen a lot of things, so let me get started. Yes, use the name BLAZE in the letters (newsletter or in the IOA booklet–Thanks!!) Well, I worked in the kitchen here at DCJ and I seen things down there that wouldn’t have known if I did not work, such as: Bugs (gnats) flying all in the kitchen, in the food when it’s on the line to serve for the inmates, in the juice that the inmates drink, and when you tell the d.o.s or the Ararmark people that’s in charge, they say ‘you are in jail,’ and I say ‘what’s that got to do with it–these are still people’s food. Then when the inspection people come in they try to make us scrub and clean heard as hell to cover up the REAL PROBLEMS in the kitchen and if we try to talk/tell the inspector people what’s going on or try to show them anything they will get mad, look at us funny or worse FIRE US. that is crazy, it’s like they don’t care about us (Well, I know they don’t) Then they always pass inspection I don’t know how, has to be some under the table stuff going on or something, because the kitchen here is nasty. Mold on the walls, covered with paint, but you can see it and tell. Then it’s this lady down there named Pam who work for ARARMARK, too, she thinks she can talk to you any type of way, curse at you and think just because  you are an inmate and working in the kitchen she can do that and you just supposed to sit there (SMH). She knows if you say anything back, and she tell the man who hires you to work (Tyler) it’s over and you willl be fired and that’s not fair. That is why people don’t be wanting to come to work like that in the kitchen because she talk to you like you ain’t shit because you in orange/in jail. It is one new lady down there in the kitchen and she so sweet, kind, respectful, never get loud with you or curse at you, we need more people like her. First shift work from 3:30 a.m. or 4:00 till about 10:00 a.m. Working hard as hell, never get no good food for working, thank you or non-thing, just the same food as the inmates and a bye? Second shift work from 9 or 10 a.m til 6 or 8:00 pm, working like slaves while Aramark sit on they AZZ and talk shit to us workers all day. If we weren’t down here doing it, they would have to, you know? If they had more people down there like the New Lady and gave us different food, then the inmates, then more people would want to come to work…That’s it about the kitchen part.

Showers: These showers here are the worst and the water is, too. It’s rust, mildew all in the shower and bugs flying in the shower and in the pod. The water don’t even be hot most of the time (4 real)…How do you take a shower with Dial Antibacterial Deodorant soap and get out the shower still itching and bumps all over your skin, chest, back, stomach? The water got to be dirty, then when you drink the water out your sink it feels like something in your throat/mouth. We need all this stuff I talked about to change. Please help. Thanks I.O.A. Thanks 4 the support/help…We need it.

Blaze, till next time

‘Everything associated with this jail is a mind battle’

Hey! What’s going on?

I don’t know if you have paid close attention to my letter I wrote about me being an analyst…it was even posted in this month’s feedback under “Point Blank Period” in association with the inside information about Brother McCain’s death and the severe head injury he experienced. I mentioned how the Durham County Jail’s staff would meet the demands being made but also unequivocally cause conflict in the meeting of these demands to continue an uproar in the jail, because its result would boil down to what’s more important. Continue reading

Durham utilizes crime, poverty and despair to tear at the infrastructure of America

4-18-16

Hello,

This is Jason L., sorry I haven’t had the chance to write you as often as I would have liked to. I’m trying to work my time away and I am within 24 days of release from this God-forsaken hellhole I have been caged up in for the past 13.5 months! I would like to express my thanks to you and all of the people out there fighting to have voices of men and women trapped here for various insufficient reasons. Also, thank you for posting our letter in this last issue of “feedback.” Continue reading

‘We all matter, not just those in higher positions in life’

What’s going on —,

This letter here is in regards to all inmates, the signatures are in accordance with those who are in full agreement of the “First Five Grieving Committee of the Durham County Jail.” The 2nd letter to whom it may concern is not based according to thoughts or opinions, it’s based according to outside resources and research done in accordance to the agencies or departments stated. This letter was written and prepared by —. We’re supporting him in agreement. We would  LOVE to see this taken seriously and put into investigation on such governmental officials. What needs to be done NOW!!!!, which would be nice, is them stepping up and proving all of us in Durham County Jail wrong. I would also love it if you would post this on your Facebook page and tag it to my page. Thanks for all your support. Stay in touch. God Bless You All, IOA. Continue reading

‘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

‘IOA: Fight til you can’t fight no more’

Greetings to IOA,

Content!…This is the first word of this letter I insist on stating. I’m Christian and a firm believer of being content. I received your first letter and my apologies for taking so long to respond. Under my circumstances I have been seriously practicing what I preach to set an example for others around me that complain about everything inside or outside the jail. According to my beliefs which it says in Phillippians 4:11, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances,” and also Hebrews 13:5-6, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” and because of this I refrained from writing. My God is a God of Love, Justice, Peace, Happiness and everything Good. So on behalf of my Brother through Christ our Savior, in whom I actually grew up with as we went to United Pentecostal Church, which is now First Pentecostal Church located on Carver St., from childhood to adulthood, and God allowing me to be present at his “Homecoming” to Heaven, my condolences to Matthew McCain, but I disclose to those who know or who may not know details about his death. Continue reading

‘I watch inmates rush to take plea bargains’

3.16.16

First off I would like to thank you for writing me and for your concern in DCJ. I have been here for a while and being locked back 16 ½ hours a day can drive me crazy at times. On top of that they run the A/C all year round and only give us one blanket and yes, it’s freezing like hell. I’m not understanding—we already locked up, what more do they need? Continue reading

‘It’s like telling these doors to open themselves and let us go’

(Note: the date on the following letter is correct—the envelope had multiple post marks, and seemed to have been opened before going out—editors)

Feb 3, 2016

IOA

I’m doing ok, just another day in jail. Thanks for writing. I don’t really know too much about the death of Matthew McCain, but I know the guard that was working that pod (Erick Boria) the day it happened is very lazy—all he does is sit at the desk either reading a book or looking at TV. He doesn’t do his rounds every 15 minutes like a lot of other guards here. Continue reading

‘Canteen items are outrageously expensive’

2-12-16

Hello —

Thank you for taking the time to write me back. All of the inmates here in medical pod 3C south appreciate your individual and the collective efforts put forth by Inside-Outside Alliance. We have not heard anything regarding the recent death of Matthew McCain. We were all shocked and saddened by the news. Our prayers go out to his family.

A little about myself. I feel like I’m the youngest person in the entire jail, yet I am 18 years old. I have been here for 10 months with no end in sight. Continue reading