“They covered up my dad’s death, and they got away with it”


Daughter of man who died one year ago in jail custody speaks out

January 27, 2016

As has come to light, Matthew McCain is not the only person to have died while in custody at the Durham jail in the past year or so. According to the Herald-Sun, the sheriff’s department has said two people died in the jail in 2015. We have not heard anything about one of these deaths. However the facts surrounding the death of Dennis McMurray last January are as sickening as what happened to Matthew McCain last week. Continue reading

‘They waste money by throwing people away like broken toys’

Hi (IOA),

They took —- to prison on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving..which made Thanksgiving Day for me very hard. I cried for two days.

People just have no idea how hard jail and prison is for the family also. My heart is broken over our mean and cruel system where instead of helping all these people with counseling and teaching them trades for good jobs… Continue reading

‘I pledge allegiance to…white supremacy’

an observation from outside the jail

Last week (Monday, Nov. 23) I was at the jail in the evening about 7 pm when a group of what appeared to be detention officer recruits came marching out of the front of the jail. Although they were trying to appear in-step, they weren’t that crisp. Perhaps it was because they were in shirt-sleeves and the temperatures that evening were in the 40s. Perhaps it’s because they are new. Perhaps it’s because secretly they all think it’s ridiculous. Continue reading

‘It is not costing Durham for my son to get these pills he needs’

the following is written by an inmate’s mother and was sent to sheriff’s department staff and the chair of the board of county commissioners, Michael Page. Chairman Page’s response follows.

Before coming to Durham County Detention….(my son had been prescribed) something for Reflux/heartburn called Omeprazole.

When he came to Durham County Detention (Facility).they began giving him something different. It wasn’t helping him like the Omperazole did. But they told me I could bring the Omeprazole to him. He had an order for it. Then he was taken to Guilford County. He has continued to take them and said they helped. Continue reading

Windows to the World

during a friday protest

during a friday protest

the following was written by someone outside the jail.

by J.S.

On any given day, at almost any given time, you might see someone outside of the Durham County jail waving, signaling or otherwise communicating with a person inside the jail. If they happen to be lucky enough to be on their ‘walk,’ the person might be in the large full window at the end of their pod. For the rest of the 20 hours of the day, the person is confined to their room, and the window of communication is a thin, rectangular one that is at the high up in the room. Communication by the people outside is full of love, sadness, information, sometimes anger or regret, but it is almost always spirited and emotional.

And to think, if it were entirely up to the sheriff’s department, the county, and others, this communication wouldn’t happen at all. Yes, deputies do occasionally try to tell people they cannot wave or signal to people inside the jail. But if they tried to entirely stop it, they would spend their time doing nothing else. Continue reading

We need an independent investigation—ASAP!

by Cynthia Fox


As-Salaam-Alaikum (Peace Be Unto You)

Hi, I’m the parent of an inmate in the Durham Co. Jail, who has been incarcerated for over two and a half years.

I am so very disgusted with the so-called policies and protocols implemented at the Durham Co. Jail. People (inmates) are still sick and hungry! The $20 fee to see a doctor is a big joke since they only administer aspirin for everything! Continue reading

‘What they are trying to do is torture to these people’

this first appeared in our print publication, feedback, volume 9.


by Dora

I first became aware of the lock back, sometime in March. Because my dad had, had court that day, and when he was brought back to his cell, everyone was locked up. It was bad. It is bad.

As far as what people inside are doing to resist the conditions, I have heard that some inmates create chaos in there. Some have even tried fighting the guards to try to do something about it, and others do as they are told to try to see if that helps better the conditions and situations. But nothing seems to be helping. Continue reading

Prisoner’s Mother denied visitation because shirt is “too revealing”

I came up here at 5 o’clock. I’ve been coming since March when my son got in here and I’ve never been told any rules about what you can wear and what you can’t. They waited until 6 when it was visiting time. The officer who signed me in should’ve told me, but he just let me through. So, it was six o’clock and they called my son’s name, and I go up to where they let you in and the woman up there told me I couldn’t go in, that my shirt is too revealing. It’s 99 degrees! It’s the hottest week of the summer. I’m wearing a tank top, but I didn’t think my shirt was too revealing or anything.

I think it’s a big bunch of B.S.!!

Linda, Durham prisoner’s mother

Vague rules, arbitrarily enforced, make for unhappy parents, loved ones and friends. Another parent recently told us she was denied visitation because she left the waiting area to check to see if she got a parking ticket. No one ever told her she couldn’t leave. If time is money, as they preach in the business world, prisoner’s families have as much time-money stolen from them as anyone in ‘free society.’