‘What’s wrong with that picture?’

I’m doing good, thanks for asking. I’m really glad you all have reached out to me. To tell you a little about myself. My name is Niajel Slad, 24, and I been in the Durham Co. Jail since Aug. 26, 2015. Mind you, when I found out I was a suspect, I turned myself in. Even though the lack of evidence, my bond is 3 million. The media and police said a lot of inaccurate things about me. They treat me like a monster. Continue reading

‘Something gotta give’

Thursday 6/9/16

Hey —

What’s going on? How are you doing? Fine I hope and all is good and well with you and IOA family and supporters. As for myself, I’m okay, I guess being that I’m still breathing. I want to apologize for not responding to your letters sooner, but I’ve been going through some things. Things that probably 95%, if not 100% of us Durham County Jail Detainees are going through that involves the court system. Things like:

  1. Being held under outrageous bonds (ransoms).
  2.  Not hearing/seeing attorneys for months at a time.
  3. Being held for bogus charges (He say/she say/word of mouth).

Continue reading

this jail is nothing more than a dressed up trash can

Dear Amplified Voices,

It’s been sometime since I’ve written to you guys, and it has been such a disturbing setting within this jail AKA Prison as usual. It appears that as little things change and not even for the better per se, the more things get worse. We had a visit from an unknown lady that was supposed to be from the inspection department. What she inspected would need to be called basic observation. She didn’t look into the cells. She basically did a walkthrough with the Sgt. displaying a slightly grinned face, asking general questions and not much expecting. This Detention Center is a serious joke that isn’t even funny. You can even be in the right when it comes to protocol and discipline and you’re still made wrong due to the fact that the Lt., Col., Sgt. and officers all lie for each other, eliminating any chance of justice for the inmates, because of the allegiance that they have amongst the officers. No matter how the spokesperson for the jail tries to dress-up allegations that are factual as to the operation of this jail and the conduct of the officers, it’s nothing more than a dressed up trash can.

They have brand new bed mats that are not being given to the inmates, resulting in 95% of the jail sleeping on deflated or badly cracked open mats with you already having to sleep on a slab of concrete. The cells are filthy beyond what an inmate can clean. There is green corrosion all around the water faucet and it has no filter. We even sometimes have to bathe in cold water. Medical is still charging $20 for a head ache pill if you happen to need one. They also pass out medication whenever they feel like it. Just the other day everyone who received morning medication received them in the afternoon. Today, Wednesday, May 25, around 4:30pm, an inmate was denied access into his cell to use the bathroom being made to hold his urine, all because the officer refused to do his job. As the inmate vented about it they locked him back. Upholding whatever the allegiance is amongst officers.

I even heard a female Sgt. joke about an inmate that attempted suicide, laughing, saying that’s what he gets. This took place at between 5:00-5:15pm Wednesday, May 4, 2016, and the Sgt.’s name is Robertson. She lacked consideration for the inmate’s attempted suicide jump. Whether or not this man decided to jump off the balcony or not, it shouldn’t be made into a joke. I heard her making these jokes while I myself was in medical and she was awaiting assistance from medical for the jumper. And I must state when I make my allegations I use dates and time for specification that if ever an investigation is done, surveillance footage and audio can prove I speak the truth. And it will also help narrowing down locating the date and time on that specific allegations. Because as we know within this jail it’s not what you know it’s what you can prove, and I always provide proof.

Also, whoever is in charge of the distribution of the food here really needs to look into how the funds are being spent and what we’re being fed. It’s absurd. Rotten oranges, leftover rice, and other items from days before.

It seems to me that this jail is all about whatever funding it’s getting instead of the professionalism that’s required. Some one else with the correct mind-set should be put in charge of this jail, because it’s just not being run properly. Point blank. There’s also crooked activity going on inside this jail. As far as what the state itself wouldn’t tolerate but they demand that we should follow their rules. Yes, we should conduct ourselves appropriately and very much safely also with respect. However, the employees should live up to these standards as well. If the state of North Carolina and the Sheriff’s Department choose to really look into how this jail is run, it would be very obvious change is drastically needed immediately, unless they just don’t care to acknowledge the problems. And why they wouldn’t shows that justice is something that is dying within this jail and the state of North Carolina as a whole. The power is within the people so says the Constitution of the United States. But when the people do speak collectively our voices fail to be heard. We’re said to have unalienable rights, yet these rights are laughed at and frowned upon. We have freedom of speech, yet our voices are silenced. I believe that right is right and wrong is wrong. But when you ask us to uphold the law, yet the lawmakers twist the law and fail to uphold it themselves, then how can justice ever prevail? It can’t. Cause we are being overlooked, silenced, frowned upon, and laughed at. As the people spoke of in the United States Constitution, together we stand, divided we fall. So tell me state of North Carolina, when will you abide by the laws you enforce? When will you act fairly regarding situations that deserve your true attention? When will you no longer ignore the issues that reside right next door to your court house or does your neighbor not have to abide by the laws that govern this land of Durham NC? So far the actions of this jail and its officers as well as the court that neighbors this jail are a complete disgrace. I guess nothing else matters, not unless the dollar that has no value isn’t involved. We’re just left as chattel with no voice, no rights, no respect and no one who cares. Shame on all those who make the law yet don’t follow it.

Sincerely,

Tony K.

P.S. Please send the feedback. I’d love to read what others have to say. I also would write more but I’m limited with stamps. Please use my name and letter for all that Amplified Voices stands for. I will participate in all causes related. Please keep in touch.

‘Officers taunted me to kill myself’

May 4th 2016

IOA

Sorry it has taken a while to respond to your letters. I’ve been going through some personal issues lately, but to answer your question about us getting three hot meals instead of sandwiches, I’m honestly kind of glad. I was starting to get fed up with those dry-ass sandwiches every night, but as my fellow inmates said, they don’t give us a good enough portion to fill us up… 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

‘It’s the little things that get a smile on our faces in here’

5-5-16

It was great to receive your letter…it made me laugh. I was thrilled to see the pictures of Edward Crawford in Ferguson. Thank you guys! It is yet another dreary day in the pokey. I was startled today when I opened my lunch tray to the scent of real meat! Although you could tell it was a hamburger patty of mostly soy, I could see, smell and taste hints of meat. Most likely it was road kill of an unknown variety and not beef. Maybe it was bison? Maybe it was skunk or even turtle meat. Continue reading

So, which one are you…?

4-21-16

How are you doing out there? I hope yall doing ok and the movement is great, too. I got that mail last week sometime, the feedback I like. Oh, I got them books and that booklet, too, that’s talking about the deaths, too, need more booklets like that for everyone to read. I got to say yall doing a great job about putting out there. Us in jail love yall for that, too. I’m doing ok in here, just taking it one day at a time, too…I’m going to say that the jail and court system is fucked up, too…
I’m really ready to put this all behind me and to move on in life, fuck jail and prison, they do you wrong when you in the inside, smh. It’s a lot of people who be reading these feedback and like them. I be talking to all my friends in here, and they be thanking me for putting them on to yall and I know there is more…I also got a few d.o. who be reading these and they be loving, too, smh. Continue reading

‘It’s messed up when you see people treated like white man’s pets’

What’s up in and out. My name is Donavon Bright along with my cellmate Curtis Jackson. We want to speak out about all the things wrong about this jail. From the molded bread they feed us, to the now COLD shower water, power surges, crooked, hateful d.o.’s, and even the dirty mold-infested showers and cells. This is no way to live. 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