Page 153. " Soon after I got out of lockup, Ricky transferred out to Odom Farm. "


Odom Farm was a farm that minimum security prisoners at Caledonia worked on during their time in prison.  The prisoners were used to farming the surrounding land.  While the prison is still open, the land is no longer farmed with prison labor.   


Caledonia and Odom Farm
Public DomainCaledonia and Odom Farm - Credit: © State of NC (DOC)

Submitted by student authors, Kelsey Brown and Rachel Wells         


Page 154. " My family tried to visit when they could, but it was harder for them to get down to Halifax. "


Halifax is a town and county seat of Halifax County, North Carolina. As of 2000, Halifax's population was 344 and it is part of the Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina Micropolitan Statistical Area. The elevation of the town is 125 feet above sea level, and the town has an area of 0.4 square miles. Halifax was the location of the Halifax Resolves, which was a precursor for the Declaration of Independence. Halifax County is a state leader for deer hunting and people from all over the Eastern United States travel there to hunt white-tailed deer. Halifax County is home to the Caledonia Correctional Center, where Ronald Cotton was temporarely housed during his years in prison. Caledonia is a medium security prison and has been in operation since 1892. It is located on a 7,500 acre piece of land that was purchased by the state in 1899. The prison contains a cannery that has the ability to can 500,000 gallons of crops from the prisons farm every year.

Submitted by student author, Daniel Taylor

Page 156. " After I was convicted for the second time, they appointed a guy from the appellate defender's office to handle my appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. "
Old and New
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeOld and New - Credit: David Hoffman
NC Court of Appeals
The North Carolina Court of Appeals was created in 1967. It is the intermediate court of appeals in North Carolina and was created to relieve tension from the NC supreme court. It is composed of fifteen judges who rotate in groups of three and serve eight year terms. The North Carolina Court of Appeals is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is the smaller building to the right of the picture on the left. The North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld Ronald Cottons conviction in August, 1990.

Submitted by student author, Daniel Taylor

Page 157. " Because of "family resons" with the first guy, Mr. Hunter said he was taking over my case, and that I still had another chance at the Supreme Court of North Carolina "

NC Supreme Court

The North Carolina Supreme Court was the first appellate court of North Carolina and was established in 1799. It was renamed the supreme court in 1805, and established as its own entity in 1818. It is the highest level appellate court in North Carolina and its purpose is to review the decions of lower courts in the North Carolina Judicial system. The NC Supreme Court is composed of six associate and one Chief Justice. Justices are appointed to eight year terms, and have no term limits. The first Chief Justice was John Louis Taylor, and the first female Chief Justice, Susie Sharp, was appointed in 1962. The current Chief Justice is Sarah Parker. The court's current seal and motto were adopted in 1975, replacing the old seal and motto from 1805. The NC Supreme Court is located in the Law and Justice Building in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Submitted by student author, Daniel Taylor

Page 159. " “DOC officials informed me I was being shipped out again, this time to Southern Correctional Institution in Troy.” "

The Southern Correctional Institution in Troy, NC is located at 272 Glen Road.  It houses a maximum of 216 males under minimum security and 480 women under medium or close security.  This facility offers many services to the inmates, including the opportunity to take vocational courses from Montgomery Community College.

For more information visit


Submitted by student author, Daniel Taylor

Page 165. " “My father lives in Orange County and if you need to get in touch with him you may at this address: P.O. Box [redacted], Hillsborough, N.C. 27278, phone 919-[redacted]-0438 or 4038.” "

Orange County, NC

Map of Orange County, NC
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMap of Orange County, NC - Credit: Ruhrfisch

Orange County is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.  It was originally established in 1771; however, many the boundaries were changed many times until the county we know today was established in 1881.  It has a population of about 134,000 people and is home to many major cities, including Hillsborough and Chapel Hill.

For more information about Orange County visit the county’s official website:



Hillsborough, NC

Hillsborough is the county seat of Orange County.  It is home to approximately 5,653 people.  It is a very small town only covering 4.6 square miles.  This means there are about 1,189 people living in every square mile of the town.  Due to the small size, there is little economic opportunity; 12.6% of the population lives below the poverty line.

For more information about Hillsborough visit the city’s official website:

Hillsborough, NC
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHillsborough, NC - Credit: SieBot


Submitted by student author, Madelon Wygand

Page 168. " “He had explained to me that the “motion for appropriate relief” was something the lawyers did when all the direct state court appeals were exhausted, something like a Hail Mary play.” "

Hail Mary Play

A Hail Mary play is used in football when a team is losing and the game is almost over.  The play consists of the quarterback throwing a long pass down to the end zone in hopes that one of his players will catch the ball for a touchdown.  This play has a very small chance of being successful.  It became famous when the Dallas Cowboys used it to beat the Minnesota Vikings to win a playoff game in 1975.  It got the name “Hail Mary” after the Cowboys’ quarterback, Roger Staubach, said in an after game interview that, “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.”  This term is often used today to describe a last chance opportunity with little hope of being successful.


Submitted by student author, Madelon Wygand


Page 174. " When we pulled in to West Tennessee Detention Center, Budha Belly stood up again. "

West Tennessee Detention Center

West Tennessee Detention Center is now called West Tennessee Detention Facility.  It is located in Mason, Tennessee.  It functions as a high, medium and low security detention facility for males.  The West Tennessee Detention Facility is run by the CCA under contract with the US Federal Bureau of Prisons.  The CCA is the Corrections Corporation of America.  They manage 75,000 inmates of all creeds.  They currently have 60 facilities in 19 states.

Google Map

For more information about the CCA -

Aerial view of the prison -,-89.54856276512146&z=18

Submitted by student author, Rebekah Currie