Families: Durham detention policy 'inhumane'
Posted April 17, 2015
Durham, N.C. — Families of some inmates at the Durham County Detention Facility protested Friday night against a new policy they say is unfair and inconvenient.
Sheriff Mike Andrews described the change in how inmates get their exercise as a step to prevent violence.
Inmates are allowed two hours outside their cells every other day to make phone calls, exercise, watch television and to congregate.
During any given two-hour period, eight cells are open, and detention officers vary which eight cells are open so that inmates can't form consistent groups, Andrews said.
Family members claim that the policy isolates inmates and a further limit on reading and writing materials is damaging to inmate mental health.
"While this is less time than the detainees previously had to congregate, the time provided for the detainees to be out of their cells greatly exceeds that required by the North Carolina Administrative Code," Andrews said in a statement in response to the protest.