‘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

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‘Things changing slowly but surely’

1/2/16

What’s up IOA

One day I was out for my 1.5 hour walk and I realized something…Everybody looks forward to mail and visits. When it’s all said and done I know I and have seen people cry after a visit. It’s people in here that got kids out there in the world that need them. It hurts me real bad. I really do feel for them. I hate seeing people sad. I hate that we all in here hoping and praying that we get a letter or visit or money on our books. I wish/want better for my people. As far as myself go, still trying to shake the fact that I’m still in my room, still locked back/admin. Hate this place. I’m not an animal. Officers come up to me a lot and tell me they hate the way they be treating me and it’s officers that be like they know I’m not the person they trying to make me out to be. I’m really a good-hearted person if you took the time to get to know me. Continue reading

‘Let’s pull this humongous tree by the root’

Hey brother,

I apologize about the other individuals that I promised to send toward you (with drawings), let’s say “I tried.” But to try is to fail, and with no super code that’s what I did. I am currently inside the hole for getting into a confrontation with someone twice, if not three, times my size. But that shows people I fight and stand for what I believe in.  Continue reading

‘I can’t even give a name to it…’

Jan 1st 2016

IOA

First off I want to thank you and all those that has been protesting for us every Friday. I also got in the window New Year’s Eve to watch you guys march. I honestly don’t know where to start! After reading the newsletter from the other inmates they pretty much narrowed it down. Continue reading

‘The people believe with all their hearts that they need the system to survive’

from a “convict” in a state facility.

Hey (IOA),

How is it going? It’s funny because I’ve been here now for about 2 months and I’ve finally settled in so I was going to write you to say hi and see whats going on and all of a sudden I get a letter from you.

First off, I’m doing good, I mostly live inside my head because it is the only place “they” cannot affect. I stay busy by working out, playing soccer, volleyball or basketball and I read a lot. I also just recently got a job in the kitchen on the morning shift. I make 40 cents a day I think, the highest paying job in there is $1.00 a day so what people say about slavery is correct. We get to eat a little extra but if you’re like me you take as much as you can, fuck them. If I get caught they will probably fire me, but I won’t get caught. Lol. Continue reading

Captain says: Speak English or not at all!

2-25-14

Hi, _____,

I know it has been awhile since hearing from me…Hey, though I’m far away here in Elizabeth City, NC, my hope is that you all are still able to help a spanish gentleman here, as well as all Hispanics locked up here with me. This man is Hispanic, lived in Durham, the western part. His name is N—- The administration here has taken him to solitary lock up twice for speaking spanish to other Hispanics. That’s all he’s done. He was locked up today for doing the same things in the prison dining hall at supper time. He was having a conversation with another Hispanic while eating, and a real arrogant, prejudiced captain, who goes by Captain Blow(e), told him to either speak English or nothing at all. When N—- ignored him, the captain said to him, ‘Look at me when I’m talking to you!!’ N— still refused (or didn’t understand), so he was put in handcuffs, hauled off to solitary confinement. A Black gentleman, a Captain Stokely, was the first captain to lock N—- up for the same thing. He was let out into population 30 days later. Now, he’s in again. Captain Blow is a caucasian (white male). Abuse of authority, here, racism, gross feeding, harassment, bogus disciplinary write ups, are all regular things in here where I’m at. So, today I was speaking with another Hispanic housed with me in the same dormitory and I told him I’d try to get N—- some help, a voice hopefully that will call here and speak to the prison superintendent about what’s going on here. His name is Mr. Taylor. Taylor. This incident is racism.

I’m asking you to call here or something, to help N— and other Hispanics like him. —-, Captain Blow carries himself daily in a threatening manner to all of us. Constantly abuses his power.

Also, the food that we’re given here is undercooked, raw, cold. The bread is mice-bitten. You’re given 5 minutes tops to eat your food. If you’re not finished, you’re threatened, yelled at, etc. There is in place here a grievance policy. To no avail!! No complaints by us are considered worthy to be addressed. Whenever we do complain to staff (officers) about their treatment towards us, we’re told by them, ‘If you don’t like it, write it up!’ knowing it will not go far. A voice is needed. These complaints are real!! The kitchen overseer here allows food to be served to us that is raw, cold, old, and at times the same meal is served 3 times in 5 days. In my closing: Thanks to all the I.O.A. affiliates for your continued support there in Durham, wherever!!

V.B.

Horrifying stories are part of the territory when talking about jails and prisons. But the writer, who was in Durham previously, pleads for folks on the outside to do something especially about the punishment for a prisoner speaking Spanish. Not obeying orders–likely because he didn’t understand them–resulted in Jose Ocampo being murdered by Durham cop R.S. Mbuthia. In this case, with the orders being arbitrary and racist (to say nothing of illegal), it lands a prisoner in solitary confinement. Call or write Pasquotank Correctional Institution and demand a an end to this English-only practice and a censure of Captain Blowe:

Felix Taylor, administrator

(252) 331-4881

527 Commerce Drive 
Elizabeth City, N.C. 27906

‘That was really unfair’

Dear (IOA), EPSON MFP image

Hey! How are you? I’m just getting off 25 day lock-back. There was a guy who kept running his mouth about the military. I am a Operation Iraq Freedom vet. We were playing cards. I told him about 20 times to keep quiet about the military. He is a 16 year old kid. I got up from the table and accidentally hit my cup. It landed in his lap. Continue reading