Unity is a Must

“To conquer you must divide.” I believe the first time I quoted that my focus was only aimed at Afro-Americans. For that narrow-mindedness, I give my sincere apologies. Although my ideology was correct, it wasn’t socially correct. By me only focusing on the Afro-Americans, I’ve isolated my views on the mass struggle. In reality, I should have known better for the simple fact that the oppression and repression applied by this capitalist nation has no limitations. I should have grasped the full picture of oneness and of unity. My mind has taken the trip to Mecca, and I have realized and understand that the struggle knows no boundaries and by us fighting a well-organized system separately, we’ve already lost the war. Continue reading

This May Day: Smash the Durham Jail and Prisons Everywhere

This May Day: Smash the Durham Jail and Prisons Everywhere

On Friday, April 29, Inside-Outside Alliance and Triangle Area Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) invite you to stand in support of prisoners organizing against the racist violence of the Durham County Jail, the Durham Community’s struggle for an independent jail investigation, and prisoners on strike in Alabama and Texas, who are calling for a national strike starting September 9. Meet at 6:00 in Central Park and march to the jail. Continue reading

A conspiracy of the incarcerated

Michael Page (Chairman) states that if any of the claims about the actions and atmosphere of the Durham County Jail were substantiated—he would be totally surprised…

Let me get this straight—so it’s the members of the board of county commissioners’ belief that the numerous complaints coming from the inmates and families of inmates incarcerated in Durham County Jail are false? You mean to tell the public that different inmates of age, color, race and sex, housed in different blocks, on different floors have somehow come together in like mind and conspired to provide false claims against the jail and jailers, when these same inmates can’t even come together to agree on what TV channel to watch? Continue reading

Survey: ‘If you have money you don’t stay locked up’

How long have you been inside? This time week and 1/2

How many court appearances have you had? 1 so far.

How many times have you talked to your lawyer? None yet.

What is the situation regarding your charge? (Awaiting sentencing, awaiting trial, awaiting appearance, etc.?) awaiting sentencing.

Have you been ever been ‘disciplined’ in your time at DCDC, either individually or as part of a group? Tell about it. Last time I was here, yes. Both myself because I did not return back to my cell at lock quick enough. I was helping clean up. The C.O. told me to leave it for other people to do it. As a group, several of the inmates were acting a fool, being loud and disrespectful so the C.O. keep us locked for breakfast the next morning. 

What in your opinion are the biggest problems with the DCDC? The food is bland, no able to get to the library more, and then only have 20 minutes to look for book (one). Unless you have been locked up more than a year. 

If you could express one largest grievance, what would it be? I have two: Food and Library.

Does anyone visit you at DCDC? What are their biggest problems with the DCDC? No I have no family here. My mom and grandma passed away. My dad and sister live in other states. 

We have heard many complaints about medical services at the jail. What is your opinion of health services? This time I have none. Last time it took an act of congress to get something done, and then they charge you $10.00 if it was a non-medical emergency. 

We have heard numerous complaints about food. What is your opinion about the nutritional value and taste of the food? The food is bland and now they serve our food in styrofoam. I know some of the inmates cannot have some stuff due to allergy, medical reasons. But when we get oatmeal or grits every morning along with some type of seasons off. I know only those with diet trays get milk last time everyone got milk. 

What is your opinion of library / educational services to prisoners at the jail? We could use more time in the library cause as for myself I love to read and I can go through a book pretty quickly and unless you have been here more than a year you only get to checkout one book at a time. 

What do you think of the c.o.’s? They are doing their job. Some you can talk to. Some you can not. I myself do not have a problem with them. 

How do you get along with other prisoners? For the most part OK. 

How do jail staff affect your ability to get along with fellow prisoners? Some of the inmates might think you are an informer. 

What, if any, are some of the good experiences you have had at DCDC? It gives me time to reflect on my charges, not so much as to think what I can do different so not to caught next time. But for me, what do I need to do to stay out of jail and while I’m in here it tells me who my friends are. 

Have you ever made a complaint or filed a grievance with jail authorities? If so, what happened? While I was out I found out I have a pinched nerve in my neck. So with only one mat that is tore up and looks like it has been through the mill, I ask for a 2nd mat. I have to wait till the doctors approve it, which sucks. 

Have you ever started a petition or signed a petition regarding things happening at DCDC? No.

Some DCDC prisoners have suggested the idea of a prisoners council that would participate in making decisions about things at the jail. What do you think of such an idea? I think it is a good idea. For the ones that have been here a while. 

How could it work? What would it look like? Get inmates that have been here awhile, and lease 6 month on (unreadable) for council. As to how it would work only time will tell. You don’t want more than 6 on the council. . 

What circumstances on the outside led to you being locked up? How common do you think those kind of circumstances are?  Lost job and place to stay. Too common. 

What have you noticed about being inside (who is here? Why are they here?) Mostly young black men, and some latino, some young, some old. In my pod there is 5 white guys here. As to why, mostly drugs, armed robbery, b &e. 

In your opinion is there a relationship between race and incarceration? What is it? In here it seems that way. Cause there is not enough education for the young people. 

What does social class or economics have to do with getting locked up? Those that are lower middle class or lower seem to be the ones getting locked. Cause if you have money you don’t stay locked up. 

What do you think is the point of jail? Prison? The justice system? What do you think people on the outside think about people who are locked up? It is supposed to help rehabilitate people, jail that is, with short term crimes. But now it is a money maker. Prison, somewhat the same as a jail but on a larger term scale. Except for those that commit violent crimes and for these that commit murder I believe in the death penalty. The justice is not perfect. But does need work. If you can afford a good lawyer you can stay out of jail. 

What do you think are the possibilities for living in a different kind of world, and how do we get there? Till people can get past skin color not going to happen!!

Locked back for disrespect

What’s up,

The name of the sergeant (who beat on me) is Sgt. Black.

Yes, I hear some of the banging and yelling (at demonstrations) and the signs to think about when I was on lockback for 25 days. That is when I saw you all in front of the DPAC building. Some of y’all was in the street when the fire truck was trying to get by. Anyway, thanks for the books you sent me. I’m almost done with Precious. I’m sorry about not writing sooner. I just paid for a pencil so I can use it in my room from an inmate… Continue reading

Where is the judicial economy in that?

An old addiction got the best of the writer and ensnared him in the law’s web. Despite intense pressure and a bleak future, he won’t give in to the state’s power, and keeps on rebelling.

 Hey man! Great 2 hear from you… I received two letters from you this week. The first had a questionnaire enclosed…Can you send 10-12 of these and I’ll get the guys to fill them out! Also got stamps, it will help me write all these agencies for our attack on PayTel. Aramark commissary is NEXT! One at a time. I can possibly ‘tie’ the pencil rule into the phones like this: Both the cost of phone calls and regulation of pencils hinder our right to due process by impeding our access to courts, contact with legal representation, and chilling our sense of privacy of correspondence by having to write in the dayroom under camera and other prying eyes. No, that won’t work…best to leave the phone issue by itself, right? Of which I ask you to go to WalMart or follow directions from the PayTel website and put a $10 credit on your phone. Why? Because it gives you “standing” in the inevitable lawsuit. You will have been affected by the PRICE GOUGING and UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE. This goes out to anybody at IOA who have either put PayTel on their phone or bought an inmate a calling card.

Lawyer came Sunday and it’s official. The state’s plea offer is 144-185 months (12-15 ½ years). Total theft and damage of the new charges is under $1,000. So where is the judicial economy in that? My lawyer says drug court is out of the question. The ADA wants me to do active time.

My original charges that I was in here for last year I still have not been to trial on, and the 12-15 ½ years includes those (that I’m not guilty of!) and the pressure from that episode is a major contributor to my relapsing!! They have no compassion. If I do not make bond I will spend the rest of my life in prison, basically.

…For now, I’ll work on the complaint against PayTel.

                                                                                                One love,


Police terror outside, medical denied inside

Hey (IOA),

I must say that I was surprised to hear from you out of the blue. It was an answer to one of my prayers. Because I truly need someone on my side. I have been in prison for over half my life but for some reason this time is different. I asked God to help and he is. I know he is because the proof is in your letter. Continue reading

“From the top to the bottom”

Dear ______,

I hope you are in good health. Thank you for the books (by way of Internationalist Prison Books Collective), _____, ______, and _______. I know I’m going to enjoy reading them. Reading is a way for me to escape this sad place. Continue reading

Being in 23/1

We venture to guess many people would be surprised to hear there is solitary confinement at the Durham County Detention Center. The writer sends his message from there. He alludes to the mysterious death of Terry D. Lee, who died in segregation unit in March of this year.


Hey buddy, how’s your day or shall I say afternoon? I’m depressed as usual being in 23/1. It seems every inmate corresponds to you end up in the hole. 🙂 I’m a die hard IOA fan-LOL-I guess.

Hey, my pals who have no money wants you to write to them and help them with their struggle. ______, ________, _________, ________: my fellow friends in the seg unit in Durham County Jail.

Please send some great books. I have finished the others (from Prison Books Colllective).

Oh, by the way, thanks for the last books and put my fellows names down for books. The names above will write to you and speak about seg unit. It’s really bad back here in the hole where inmates have suspiciously died and passed away.

Please write to the guys I’ve gave you the names of above. They don’t believe me when I talk about you (all).