Fresh Changes

Calloway refused to make photocopies [of my letters] because they, he determined, are not law work.  However, my letters ARE legal work, and deputies are allowed to photocopy it for me.  Just now when I asked Calloway for two more copies, he came back and said, ‘not allowed – unless its being sent to a lawyer.’  So I showed him the list of lawyers I was sending it to – he even recognized names on the list (he also knows I don’t have a lawyer and I need one).   Basically, they don’t want me to use their copy machine as a letter-sending machine gun against Jon Stout – but they must:  I told him, “It’s like ACSO and I have each other by the throat.”  He said, “Yeah.”  I said, “Let me go and I’ll let you go and nobody gets hurt.”  Funny, no?

I obtained my copies today, and I am mailing them to the list of layers that you gave me to ask for legal advice – and representation.

Big changes around here:  Half the toilets have never worked in D dorm…yesterday we had a plumber here.

Mail delivery is being fixed:  In the past only Sharon Price and one other person had access to the mailbox – so it had to pass by her, and it delayed delivery.  Now, all deputies can get to the mailbox.

E-cigarettes are likely to be available soon

The jail has never provided “gain time” which allow prisoners flexibility within their sentence – other counties have such a program in place.  However, Ashe County purchased this over-sized jail and has been working to keep it full.  So, despite the recommendation of “sentencing credits” by NC state officials, it was never embraced in Ashe county because “a half full jail is just as expensive to run as a full jail.”

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Jail House Rash

Make public the “Jail House Rash” that Sharon Price had been covering up.  One jailer has caught it.  When Nurse Julie quit unexpectedly, the jail had a temp nurse two days per week for a while – now another.   The news is out, and the fact is no longer denied by the jail doctor who only comes one day per week:  The doc openly suggests that the rash is caused by the air ducts that are in dire need of long-overdue servicing.

I GUARANTEE that if we could get air quality samples for mold and mites, the place will fail – it’s not that expensive.  Countless numbers of people have the rash – some are covered head to foot; the lice is another problem altogether…..

Sharon Price has not shown up to work since the day after the election.

Handwriting on the Wall

Psalm 119:126 – “They have made void the law, so it is time for you Lord to work.”  I wrote it on the wall – it’s in a place where all the police see it.  

I don’t have a NC address anymore – ACSO has made me homeless:  I was expecting some mail at my old address…I would happily fix the mess that ACSO left that property in, but my landlord may not want me there.

I’m still growing, shedding ego, in here…epiphanies of connected dots…but this body stays sick – I still have lice/mites that cause daily scabs on my scalp – out of sight due to my hair, thankfully – I am anxious to get medication for that.

Do what you can – a phone call or two to the DA/Judge/Sheriff is more powerful and effective than you might suspect – anything that may generate a phone call may help.  Thanks – hope to see you soon.

The Ashe County Skin Rash

We have had a temporary nurse since Julie quit.

Today, Frank R. Eason Jr. had a doctor visit:  Frank has only been here for a few days because he was transferred from another jail.  The doctor inspected him for lice and said, “You don’t have lice nits.”  The doctor then suggested he had “the Ashe County Skin Rash” – and admitted that most people who come here get the rash – he suspected that the problem is in the air ducts.

Class Action Lawsuit!

I purchase a full bottle of V05 conditioner every two weeks and keep my hair greased up; it helps with the lice and the mites – it’s the only thing I have found that helps.  I tried other products available on the commissary.  I had to shave off my beard – I keep my hair looking like a 1950’s ‘Greaser’ – several others just shave their head, which is not easy with the very poor quality razors we get.  We never have access to electric hair clippers. Black people use ‘magic shave’ to burn the hair off with chemicals, but that stuff hurts white folks.

A cop just looked over my shoulder…Greg Calloway is his name; he saw that I had typed ‘Class Action Lawsuit’ and said “Uh oh – class action lawsuit!”  So I allowed him to read this email – then I told him my experience with the doctor trying to give me hydrocortizone then seroquel (sleeping pills) for my rash.

Fasting for Justice

They did not wash laundry last week again.  I need another round of antibiotics; I have a terrible sore throat right now.

I am sick to death of this filthy place.  I am in a new dorm.  This dorm previously housed the females – they also had a lice outbreak.  I feel them all over me at the moment – I don’t even know if this is lice – I see nothing, but I feel them.

When Thomas Jefferson said “Give me liberty or give me death,” he was NOT suicidal, and neither am I.  Quite to the contrary:  Give Me Life!  Let Me Live!  My pursuit of happiness is literal:  www.SyrianRue.org/happy

Fasting is a religious right and a spiritual discipline.  It never leads to death – rather, it leads to better health.  I will not put my life in jeopardy – at 20 days, I was never close to putting my life in jeopardy.

Brother, the idea of a hunger strike is lifting my spirits – it is literally my last recourse to this injustice.  I despise the thought of just rotting away in this filthy, disease-infested jail while I hold hope and prayers for my next court date – currently over a month away.

Administration may claim that I am suicidal in order to punish me with medical isolation.  They may even forbid me clothes with which they claim I might hang or choke myself.  Please do not allow them to do this!

Give me life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – don’t give me death.  This place is killing me.  I am anxious to experience the spiritual clarity I remember setting in after 15 days or so – maybe I will go further than before.  This is about more than myself.

Mite be Scabies

I was threatened in front of the whole dorm:  I told the jailer that this [lice] outbreak is the fault of the administration here – and a deputy went off!  Yelling and threatening to have me “sent to the hole for my opinion” – he was pissed.

The inmates moved away from the deputy and encouraged me to do likewise; they feared that I would be beaten off-camera, then accused of assaulting the jailers:  I was not even disrespectful when I stated that uncleanliness lead to the outbreak, and that the administration is responsible for the cleanliness [of the detention center].

There is plenty of debate in this dorm about mites or scabies being in here – there seems to be more than lice:  There is an unknown skin condition affecting about a third of us. One person has what several of us think is a staph infection.  Another person has a positively identified case of ringworm – and has been given the correct anti-fungal medicine for it.

After my first arrest for marijuana – my landlord told me that several of the guys he works with from this area were arrested and held for 72 hours – and they came out of the jail with lice.  This is a VERY reoccurring problem here in the detention center, and the administration has “their own way of handling it” – which some might call insufficient.

Some family members are complaining from the outside.  One prisoner here – his mother worked in another jail for McDowell County, so she called a sergeant at that county to get resources about lice outbreaks.  It was not handled properly here – when she worked as a jailer at McDowell County, lice outbreaks were handled much differently.

They made everybody strip their bedding and sit around in underwear for about five hours today – when the laundry came back, it was still damp.  There is a rumor that we will all be forced to shave our heads bald – or be moved to isolation if we refuse.  Since I have court tomorrow, I may choose isolation and treat my infected scalp properly – certainly if I am released.

We are all itching.  We constantly ask for cleaning supplies – and we are constantly denied.

No Grievances? No Problem!

My grievance was returned by Captain Sharon Price, dated Sept 18:

My request for legal reference material was responded to with “only specific information relating to your charges can be requested,” which is simply not true.  Nevertheless, I replied requesting current state and federal code, motions, and general court proceedings for reference material, plus current information regarding DMT laws:  The jail says it is only liable to give me the legal code for the crimes for which I am charged, which again is not true:  They owe defendants legal research material including case law, court proceedings, example motions, state and federal code – a typical jail or prison law library.

So, a deputy came and gave me “legal reference material” – I have been asking verbally, in writing and with grievances to get law books that will help me prepare for trial.  I was handed five printed pages of drug laws that make no mention of DMT anywhere on them.  The deputy was kind about it when I pointed out the insufficiency in what he handed me.  I had to sign that I received it, so next to my signature I put (1 of 4 requests) because the Motions, Case Law, and Federal code which I asked for were not included – and the state code that was given to me made mention of Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and MDMA – but nothing regarding DMT – so it is of little use.

As for all outstanding digital grievances:  The administration dismissed thousands of outstanding “grievances”. “Those grievances were not delivered,” was the reason given.  The jail rules handbook states that grievances should be filed on the digital kiosk.  That is were ALL inmates have been filing them since last year – none of which have been responded to – all of which are now deleted.

Of Lice and Men

Today (9/16), there was a confirmed case of lice in my dorm, “F”, that houses 20 men:  We were all deloused.  The female dorm had an epidemic lice outbreak just last month.  This filth is part of the punishment of a jail that provides no outside yard time with fresh air.

Just two days ago, there was some problem with the air conditioning system and the air became damp and muggy.  We keep a bucket in the small walking area that catches dripping water from the skylight; when it lands on the floor, it becomes very slippery.

Retaliation for Complaint to Department of Health

On August 31st, an inspection crew from the Department of Health came to the jail to conduct a surprise inspection; a day earlier, a complaint (#88808) was filed for unsatisfactory sanitation at the detention center.

The inspection crew came into Brian’s dorm – F dorm – for less than one minute, lead by Chief Jailer Captain Sharon Price.

Later that evening, in front of several inmates, Captain Price by-way-of Sgt. Calloway threatened to punish Brian with administrative segregation for causing trouble with Department of Health.

Over the holiday weekend, the press made an inquiry to Captain Price about the complaint.

On Tuesday, September 4th, Brian was charged with three more felonies in two more cases.  Brian now has a total of SIX felony charges pending against him in four separate cases.  His first hearing for these three new charges is scheduled for Thursday, September 6th.*

Here are the additional charges being brought against Brian as retaliation for filing a complaint with the Department of Health:

  • 3501      Felony MANUFACTURE SCH I CS                      90-95(A)(1)
    (a) Except as authorized by this Article, it is unlawful for any person:
    (1) To manufacture, sell or deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, a controlled substance;
  • 3522      Felony FELONY POSSESSION SCH I CS           90-95(A)(3)
    (a) Except as authorized by this Article, it is unlawful for any person:
    (3) To possess a controlled substance.
  • 3515       Felony PWIMSD SCH I CS                                  90-95(A)(1)
    (a) Except as authorized by this Article, it is unlawful for any person:
    (1) To manufacture, sell or deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, a controlled substance;

 

* On the 9/6 docket, Brian’s cases appeared in the “Add-on” docket – a special, last-minute docket the court produces which is not widely available.

Rampant Filth & Disease in the Ashe County Detention Center

The jail is very dirtyit has been unclean and mismanaged for a long time.  There is currently an outbreak of ear infections and skin infections.  In my dorm of 20 men, five have ear infections (including myself – I need antibiotics – external antibiotics failed so now I am on oral antibiotic ‘sulfamethoxazle’.

The skin conditions are even more numerous.  The nurse, Julie Foster, (a kind person) is busy.  She often prescribes an antihistamine first, fruitlessly, then external antibiotics mostly fruitlessly, then amoxicillin or the thing I am on are taken orally.

There is a lice outbreak in the female dorm.

OVER HALF THE DORM IS SICK.  I put in a request to waive the $20 nurse visit fees during this time of epidemic sickness in the jail.

I would push to get the Dept of Health to investigate the jail beginning in Dorm ‘F’ where air samples will fail.  However, I cannot do those things myself.”

*************

“Many inmates with infections do not want to pay medical fees. Given the current epidemic that the nurse Julie Foster does recognize, most medical fees are now being waived in “F” dorm.  It may be a combination of two problems:  Bacterial, and a form of scabies.  We need the Dept of Health to inspect whether the cause is from the water, food preparation, or air ducts.

Julie Foster is working to solve the problem while Chief Jailer Captain Sharon Price is working to conceal the problem, angrily denying facts of liability in the presence of myself, the nurse, and guards. 

F dorm is housing mostly inmates from Cauldwell County, and predictably they show signs of infection, digestive disorders, and skin conditions within 10 days in the facilities.”

***************

“In F dorm, there is a permanent puddle under the common sink.  The painted cement floor is very slippery when wet.  I saw 60 year old Kevin Drew slip and fall – he was hurt for a week.  The skylight also leaks when it rains.

Thick dust clings to every vertical surface – walls and pillars – 15 feet high.  Filth on horizontal surfaces – especially in the air ducts – is even thicker accumulation.  It appears that the ventilation system is badly in need of service.  Ventilation and temperature are affected by closing the food trap near the door:  It has been closed to punish us for reaching out the hole to obtain sheets and bedding.  Closing the trap door restricts air flow and raises the temperature.

We also have been punished by being forbidden access to the broom (someone misused the broom handle to lift water bags).  There is no trash can in the dorm. Sometimes there is a trash BAG, but sometimes there is even no trash bag and trash piles up in that spot.

If there is ever soap at the sink, it’s only because an inmate put it there.  Most often there is no soap at all because prisoners use it to wash clothes:  The weekly laundry service is often delayed and always smells musty, inspiring inmates to wash their clothes by hand.  Occasionally there are gnats in the shower area. The mop is only available every few days. Disinfectant spray has only been brought to the dorm 1 time during my stay.

The jail issues a denim outfit for inmates to wear.  Inmates must rely on care packages, usually from friends and family, to obtain things like socks, underwear, or a shirt.  The jail issues an inmate ONE single denim outfit, creating a crisis when attempting to obtain clean laundry – inmates can’t go naked while their clothes are being washed, so many prisoners simply do not wash their clothes, and some wear bed sheets while awaiting clean clothes – an incredible liability in a place where fights break out frequently.”