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Title Letter from a Nassau County Jail inmate
Object Name Letter
Scope & Content Dear Billy:
Here is a symposium of the situation as it exist at the Nassau County Jail.

--Discrimination in Housing-
The first thing I would point out is that the jailor makes no pretentions about discrimination in the housing of the inmates. Black inmates are housed in what is call the "Black Bull-Pen" which consist of 8 beds/shower and 2 toilets. This cell is located in the west rear of the jail.
The Whites are kept in other parts of the jail which provides for a trustee cell, a large Bull-Pen, similar to the Black Bull-Pen, also adjacent to the Black Cell, and a two part cell which consist of 8 cells in each part. This section is located in the South rear of jail. Whites are also housed in cells, downstairs rear of jail.
The results of discrimination in housing causes over crowdedness at times. It also causes drunks and inmates serving jail sentences to be locked in with felonies.
Another grevious aspect of discrimination against Blacks in the Nassau County Jail is that which allows the White inmates that have been sentenced to jail terms to sleep in unlocked cells and to exercise while doing light chores around the jail. Whites aregive this privilege almost immediately after sentence, while Blacks remain locked up until within 2 or 3 days before their time is up. Some are never placed on trustee status. One existing case is that of Albert Holsendolph. He was sentenced and locked up with us the 24th of September on a 30 day jail sentence. He remains locked in the Black Bull-Pen as of this writing-Oct.11, with only 7 days left. Other s that was treated this way (but are gone) were O. Dean Lee, Willie Lockhart, Cecil Steele, and many more.
I believe it is against the Florida Statues to house misdemeanors with felony prisoners.

While the food itself provide a fairly proper diet, it is ill prepared and improperly served.
The Main Courses consist of Beans, Rice, Slaw or salad, Biscuits, eggs, and grits, which is served for Breakfast and Dinner, with 2 sandwiches for lunch.

Inmates in the Nassau County Jail are provided no form of recreation other than what a few of them can provide for themselves. Such as radios or T.V.
The Jail has no kind of Store or Commissary from which inmates may purchase such items as shaving goods, writing material, or candies, ect.

--Medical Provision-
I have been locked up for over 4 months during which time I have suffered severe headaches and shoulder pain (Bursisitis). Still I have not seen a doctor or nurse in all this time even though I've asked to see one.
On the other hand I have seen several white inmates at the very instant they indicated some sickness or ill, carried to the Hospital.
If there is a doctor assigned to the Nassau County Jail, none of the Black inmates knows about.
I have been given aspirins and other pills for relief of colds & sinu.

--General Maintance of jail-
I entered the "Black Bull Pen" June 10th, and found a faucet running full force in the cell. This faucet has run this way for over four months!
The Blankets in this cell have been here for nearly a year without having been washed. The cell next to this one is void of water or shower.
In the Summer, the temperature reaches nearly 95 degrees inside, yet the inmates in the Black Bull Pen are without the benefit of any means to combat such heart. No fans, or aid conditions, though there are a few fans scattered throughout the jail in white cells.

--Visiting accommodations-
Visiting hours are on Wed. & Sunday for one hour, on those days. Nevertheless, by the time the visitors or "processed through", they only have, on average about 25 min of actual visiting time.
During the visit, the visitors must stand huddled around the outside of the cells with no means of seating. Women carrying children in their arms must stand while holding them since no seats are available.

The conduct attitudes and disposition of those in charge here are generally that of indifference. There is nothing in the jail program that is conducive to rehabilitation of prisoners.

Look Billy I will get with you when I get out and with my nature(?) we will work this out in details and get some copies and present them to the right people.
I have been busy working on my case and don't have time to finish. O Patters(on)??
Catalog Number 2009.021.001
Collection AIMH
Accession number 2009.021
Caption Letter from Nassau County Jail inmate
Number of images 5
People Billy
Patterson, O.
Search Terms Nassau County Jail
Subjects Criminals