Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact


Book reviews

Light Among Shadows

In October 2000, The November Coalition received the Letelier-Moffitt award in Washington, DC from the Institute for Policy Studies. The award honors Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt, two IPS colleagues who were killed by agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1976.

The book Light Among Shadows; a celebration of Orlando Letelier, Ronni Moffitt and heroes of the human rights movement, is available from The Institute for Policy Studies at or write IPS, 733 15th Street NW, Suite 1020, Washington, DC, 20005-2112. Ph: 202-234-2382, Email: Cover price $25.00

From the book:
"Love and honor all people who suffer under repression. Know one's deeper motives for doing this work, and continue to study history from diverse views. Be prepared for sacrifice of old ways of thinking and doing, and stay flexible ideologically. Identify white superiority as a dynamic feature of racist repression driving foreign and domestic policy. Act as if there will be no tomorrow, as if humanity hangs in the balance, and be scrupulously honest and scientific in consideration of developing new support for the human rights movement. Wherever you may live, be involved in your government." - Nora Callahan, Executive Director, The November Coalition

Busted: Stone Cowboys, Narco-Lords and Washington's War on Drugs

Edited by Mike Gray (Author of Drug Crazy)

Thirty years ago Richard Nixon called drugs "the modern curse of youth" and launched the modern "War on Drugs" as we know it. Thirty years later, even the conservative National Review has said, "The War on Drugs has failed." Spanning three decades, Busted tells readers why; charting the violence, chaos, and corruption that the War on Drugs has spawned. It includes frontline reporting from all over the world, literary journalism, public records, and provocative commentary from the left and right.

Rolling Stone's P. J. O'Rourke writes, "Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.... Prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could."

Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment

Edited by Marc Mauer and Meda Chesney-Lind, just published by The New Press, reveals how the two million imprisoned Americans and their families are being punished by factors well beyond incarceration. Leading scholars and advocates explore the far-reaching consequences of thirty years of "get tough" policies on prisoners, ex-felons, and families and communities. The contributions in Invisible Punishment define the boundaries of a new field of inquiry concerning the impact of American criminal justice policies. For more information and to order, call (800) 233-4830 or go to:
$26.95 / Hardcover / 1-56584-726-1 / 368 pp

For more information about The Sentencing Project, contact (202) 628-0871 or

November Coalition Member Accomplishments

Mark Ingraham's niece publishes award-winning novel

By Nora Callahan, Executive Director, The November Coalition

Mark Ingraham was in his third year of imprisonment when his sister, Martha Christman, moved from Eugene, Oregon to her mountain home not far from Colville. Martha called me after settling in. She wanted 'safety valve' retroactivity, reform that might set her brother free. It was excluded from the crime bill last millennium, due to Moses (aka Charlton Heston) taking to the television to warn that 16,000 drug dealers would be loose on the streets if it passed - sentencing relief for first time offenders would benefit future offenders, not our brothers.

November Coalition was a small website with crude graphics, an emerging concept when Martha and I met for the first time. After our first visit, Martha's son, Ian Christman, an accomplished graphic designer created our logo and graphics. Martha began developing displays to use in public education, and didn't miss an opportunity to take the booth she made to public gatherings in the northwest. I had someone local who understood my passion and agreed to help begin a national organization.

The role of drug war activist crowded her schedule. A spring visit with Mark would wait for summer. Mid-summer came, and Martha and her daughter Jill left to visit Mark. I was unpacking, having just visited my brother Gary. Martha, Jill and Mark were not able to have their visit, nor any since. While they traveled to see him, he died. We shared our grief in the pages of this paper, now years ago.

To honor Mark Ingraham's life, and his sister Martha's commitment to launching this organization, and her family's sacrifices, we share the joy of announcing her daughter Jill's first published work - Winner of the Associated Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction. To honor this book, readers should know that it was the most fascinating story I ever read. If you are eager to read a compelling true story this winter, Darkroom is recommended reading.

Darkroom: A Family Exposure is Jill Christman's gripping, funny, and wise account of her first thirty years. Although her story runs the gamut of dramatic life events, including childhood sexual abuse, accidental death, and psychological trauma, Christman's poignant memoir is much more than a litany of horrors; instead, it is an open-eyed, wide-hearted, and good-humored look at a life worth surviving.

Through a shifting narrative of text and photographs, Christman explores the intersection of image and memory and considers the ways photographs force us to rework our original memories. Darkroom is a page-turning and disturbing journey that begins with an older brother's near fatal burning and progresses through a counterculture childhood; it slams into a young adulthood of love, literature, drugs, death, and therapists, and ends soon after a beloved uncle bleeds to death in a federal prison while serving a ten-year sentence for growing marijuana.

Never sentimental, Jill Christman is brutally honest and surprisingly funny. She deftly blends narrative, quoted materials, her uncle's letters, and her father's photography to create a family saga that is both heartbreaking and exhilarating.

Darkroom: A Family Exposure by Jill Christman
Publication Date: October 14, 2002
ISBN 0-8203-2444-2 / $29.95 hardcover
264 pages / 21 B&W photos / Memoir
CONTACT: John McLeod
ph: (706) 369-6160 · fax: (706) 369-6162

Visit the Journey for Justice archive!

The Razor Wire is a publication of The November Coalition, a nonprofit organization that advocates drug law reform. Contact information:
795 South Cedar - Colville, Washington 99114 - (509) 684-1550


Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact