Response to the Sheriff from the First 5 Grieving Committee

[The following is a response from the First 5 Grieving Committee to the Sheriff’s reply to their list of grievances.]

May 16, 2016

To: Office of the Sheriff.

Greetings to all the Sheriff officials:

I am president and founder of the 1st 5 Grieving Committee of the Durham Co. Jail. We offer our love, hope and understanding to all who read this response. First, I like to thank the Sheriff Department for responding to our grievances!! That shows a great deal of concern on your part; again we want to thank you, keep up the good work.


As you know one of our traditions is to never disrespect an officer; we are a non-violent organization; know that we are proud of you for understanding that. However, we want you to understand we are about change and we seek to have a better work space for the working staff and a better living facility for the inmates. We feel that there is no reason why we can’t come together for this common cause. We feel that we are all on the right track. We also need the staff to know how bad we need to be heard. It’s so sad that we have to tell you that there is some serious issues here that is unbearable for our living quarters.


Again, here are some of them: over excessive bonds that adds up to be billions of dollars; corrupt cops and magistrates that works together to hold us against our will. Unjust habitual felon charges. We want an official investigation; we want the eye-witness news to be notified and we want our family and friends to be aware of what goes on in here, and we will not stop until we do, because we have enough evidence to prove all the facts.


Response to the Sheriff’s Reply:


(1) Our 9:00pm-10:45pm recreation time has not been restored yet. Our dorms (5A, 5C, 5D, 4A, 4C, 4D, 3D) are not administratively segregated dorms. These dorms are regular population dorms in which our 9:00pm-10:45pm recreation time have not been restored as of yet. Some of us can only reach our kin folk on the phone from 9:00pm-10:45pm, but since we don’t have that time restored, we never can reach our loved ones by phone.


(2) High Bonds: I think that since the magistrate office is a part of the Jail Building and magistrate office is housed in the jail, you should take part in trying to change the high bond issue by contacting the right people for us or with us.


(3) Religious Program: Our Gospel music program show is banned for us to watch it. It comes on Sunday morning from 9am-10am. The jail administration has blocked the B.E.T. Channel from coming on. Our Gospel music program come on the B.E.T. Channel every Sunday. We should not be deprived of our Christian program. They blocked the channel (Bobby Jones Gospel Show).


(4) Law Library: The inmates that is not representing themselves is not allowed to check out the law books for a period of time. They only can read them for 20 minutes a week. We should be allowed to check out the law books, so we can have time enough to read and study them.


(5) Education Program: The EDUCATIONAL initiative should be aimed at all offenders in this jail because most inmates here are repeated offenders. I think that the program would stop the revolving door of recidivism when it targets both young and old offenders.


(6) MATTRESSES: Even though some mattresses are replaced by the color blue, still there are old green mattresses that need to be replaced also.


(7) Laundry: There should be a separate day to wash the white clothes because washing the colored clothes with the white clothes makes the white clothes not as clean as they should.


(8) Health Care: The fee for non-emergency visits of $20.00 each visit and the lack of screening new inmates that comes in this jail should be a concern of the Sheriff department as well since the medical department is also housed on the 2nd floor of the jail.
(9) Spousal Contact: If two inmates are married to each other, we feel they should get a visit from their spouse while locked up. The married couple are different than just regular unmarried inmates. Married inmates should have the privilege to see each other at least once or twice a month.


-Emanuel Lennon

“We are breathing dead skin and drinking Flint water.”

I’ve been in the Durham County Jail for 50 days. I made a request on the computer that my sink did have cold water in cell #1. In Pod 5B also there are at least 3 more cells that don’t have hot or cold water. I’ve been with cold water since March 3, 2016. Today is March 28, 2016. If you put in maintenance request, they should have fixed by now. I’ve wrote the maintenance people 3 times in this matter. Another thing: some of CO have other inmates to different room so they can see the TV and everything works fine in the room that they sleep in. I asked to be moved for my cold water issue. They have not moved or fixed anything. Beside that the water in the jail after drinking it for a while leave you with a scratchy throat. It feels like you have hair in your throat. When you tell the CO, they all say you shouldn’t come to jail. Also if you leave your cup and have juice in it overnight you have some film in. Where’s the film coming from? Well, I found that the heat/AC vents have never been cleaned out. Send OSHA to see all the dusty vents in the hallways in the pods. If you go in Pod 4c near the rec yard and look up in the vents you will notice that the dust is flying down from the vent like it’s snowing. What is dust? Dead skin. We are breathing dead skin and drinking Flint water.

Also, Pod 5B downstairs doesn’t have the correct fall on the ground for the water to drain, so it flows on the ground. When you step on it, you slip, and the don’t have any wet floor sign. OSHA needs to see this. They sell you flip-flops. If they are going to sell them, why can’t they slip proof? When wash your clothing, why do your shirt and socks get taken and no one will replace them? When you tell the guards, they all have the same line: you shouldn’t come to jail. I also spent 9 days in this jail. I’m here for a probation violation. They will not give me my jail credit but it’s in the computer that I’ve did nine days. Why can’t I get credit? They just sent me a statement saying they will not allow jail credit. If I did the time, I should get credit for it!

I would like to add this jail is hurting the County of Durham. They making this gang land. From what I notice young man come in on high bonds and a court date so long that they should have time served but that’s not the case. They don’t get a court date until 8 ½ months to a year and the young men join a gang. 90% of the guys in the Durham Co. Jail joined the gang in jail. So let’s thank the jail for helping the gang population go up in our town. They done a great job with this. Taxpayers are paying for the C.O. to sit on their ass for 12 hrs. All they do is push a button. Most of them are getting payed to play poker, chess, checkers, and always Facebook. I’m surprised they don’t have hemorrhoids from sitting down for 12 hrs a day. They work 3 days that week: 12X3 that = 36 hrs of getting paid to sit down and look at TV and play on the computer. Great job. The man who shot the cop’s bond is lower than gang members and second offenders. Just thought you should know.

– S.M.