Below is a brief letter from a prisoner in the Durham County Jail. As they explain, prisoners at the jail have effectively been on lockdown for roughly 23 hours a day, sometimes more, since March. An ad hoc coalition of family members of men and women on the inside, the Inside Outside Alliance, and other anti-prison folks has stepped up to fight this lockback. There have been two demos at the jail, as well as a protest that briefly disrupted the County Commissioners Meeting yesterday. Those in protest have vowed to continue their weekly demos at the jail (every Friday at 6pm) until the lockback is lifted. More news can be found at amplifyvoices.com.

DCDF has become Guantánamo Bay. Since the beginning of March 2015, the inmates have been locked back 24 hrs to 48 hrs. We only get out for two hrs to take a shower, make phone call and do all other necessary errands. Now-a-days whether you are on disciplinary lockback, the detention officers do whatever they want to do. Because nobody ever bothers to look at the grievances page anymore.

Most of the complaints for last year are still open, which means nobody here ever read them. If you tell D.O. that you will file grievance, they tell you to go ahead. One even wrote down his full name and told me to try my luck. I did write a complaint about him but I guess I ran out of luck, because it’s still open after almost two months. The DCDF motto of being guilty until proven innocent is ridiculous. As if keeping inmates 48 hrs without showers is not enough, they went ahead and took all the books and reading materials from us, except the Bible. Imagine being locked up 48 hrs without books to read. We are being treated as terrorists at DCDF. All our rights have been taken away.

We no longer wear our shoes. Why? Because they were taken away. They took all shoes at pod 4D. The rest of the jail still has their shoes. The reason is that 4D always kicks at the doors. They did kick at the doors because they couldn’t let us out for three days. Now I know why some people turn to Islam and follow Jihad. It’s bullshit like this.

Thanks in advance. – E. P.


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