‘We made ourselves obsolete’

The whole concept of marching and protesting is only a facade. It’ll never produce long-term results, only a temporary pacifier. The only way to fight against this type of injustice is through the local elections. You see, our people have a misconceived notion when it comes to the voting process. When it comes to voting for the president, we’ll show up in record-breaking numbers, but when it’s time to vote for local officials from the governor down to the district attorney, the majority of us won’t lift a goddamn finger! I mean, how can we a people be so misdirected and irresponsible? We made ourselves obsolete by neglecting to use our voting powers within our local governments, and as a result, our local governments can treat us in any manner they see fit without the threat of any political backlash. This is why the cops can kill us and get away with it, and why the courts can unjustly give us 100 years! It makes no goddamn sense!

Sorry it took so long to write back.

Forever fighting,

N.S.

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‘We stand for something that we don’t even practice’

November 10, 2016

IOA

It’s been a long time coming but I know change gone come. We just have to come together as one. What’s up IOA. I haven’t been avoiding you guys or nothing. I wrote under a friend’s name as I didn’t have any stamps and I’d already sent three free letters out. Tears of an Inmate in volume 23 is my poem, but that really doesn’t matter. I’m doing fine, still stuck behind these walls. The question about the national anthem protest really made me think and before I give my opinion on the matter I want to point out I am not a racist. I have a loving Caucasian family that I love and adore, but honestly I stand strongly behind Kaepernick (and others who follow). Why stand together for a national anthem when we’re not a nation. We’re divided—if it’s not blacks against whites, it’s the government/politicians vs. the civilians. They’re a bunch of hypocrites. We stand for something that we don’t even practice. And, YES, black lives do matter. The government / law enforcement shouldn’t be able to just shoot down our black youth and get away with it because they run things but expect the country to feel remorse and sorrow when someone strikes back and kills a police officer. Don’t get me wrong—violence doesn’t solve everything, but those victims have families, too. The officers that are committing these murders should be treated the same way as a civilian, not a minor slap on the wrist—make them sit in jail two and three years. And to the young black men today: stand up for more than a color or a hood. Stand up and be somebody. Chase your dreams, because a lot of the stuff we choose to do only leads down a road to hell. Why continue to let a system that doesn’t like us continue to run our life when we can make an easy change. It’s there, we have to want it. I’m not above anybody. I’ve been sitting in DCJ for going on 3 years now and it’s been a living hell not being able to come and go as I want, being away from my family and friends and being told what to do by another man. If I learned two things, it’s: 1. I’m not built for a life in jail behind bars. I know I’m way better than that. 2. I now know there is change in me. I want better for myself, how about you? Continue reading

‘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

‘The world is watching and this is only the beginning’

This letter was returned to the sender for no reason back in early September. He re-sent it with another letter.

 

Power Comrade

After reading the last edition of feedback my current situation changed. I was placed in solitary confinement for an altercation with another detainee, for which I was given 30 days. Everybody except myself looked at it as if it was a bad thing. I don’t look at things one-sided. As I said after reading feedback, and observing what’s been happening lately as far as the killings of black men and the police, and observing my surroundings in here it seems like people are numb or they just don’t care. 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

‘They use violence to subdue us but we wrong for using violence back’

The following letters came to us late last week.

Here is Genapher’s note of explanation: The one letter was mailed out on 11/9 and returned to me 12/22. The other letter was mailed out on 11/25 and was returned back to me 12/22. They say the address was wrong when I know it was right. Hope y’all had a good Christmas. Please don’t give up protesting. Continue reading

‘As I was sitting on my bunk:’ a call to freedom fighters

Hey–,

Never mind nothing written on the back here, I didn’t have any more paper. Also, never mind that I didn’t reply to the letter you wrote back to me. This letter and poems you’re receiving is pre-written and my most talented work of art. We’ve been talking for a while about this new revolution that we’re in the process of producing. We’ve also chatted on the idea of a new social class (I like that idea the most). Continue reading