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I Got Published!

April 2, 2008 -- Santa Fe Reporter (CA)

Unlock The Truth

Since Dave Maass' article, "Inside Out," [Cover story, March 19] was published last week, I have received calls asking what people can do about the incarceration pandemic in the United States. Yes, we have the highest per capita incarceration rate -- in the world. TWO MILLION plus, each year. As a society, we have moved from the presumption of innocence to the assumption of guilt. I can't count the number of times I've been told that if one is arrested, one must be guilty. Habeas corpus effectively disappeared a decade agolong before anyone realized it was happening.

The euphemistically named WAR ON DRUGS was the first never-ending, failed war. And the house of cards it was grounded on was also fear.

What can you do? Educate yourself. Don't believe the "spin" associated with prisons and prisoners. Go to your search engine and keyword "wrongful convictions" and/or "prosecutorial misconduct." You will learn that our "justice system" isn't just.

Once you know more about what is really happening -- contact your elected representatives. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has only Congress as its overseer; and Congress hasn't been watching. After all, felons usually can't vote. Contact Sen. [Jeff] Bingaman and Congressman [Tom] Udall, ask them what they are doing about prison issues.

Offer your support -- time and money -- to organizations that are working on prisoners' issues. Locally you can contact Mara Taub, of the Coalition for Prisoners' Rights at 982-9520. Mara and her group of volunteers have been publishing a newsletter for more than 30 years on a shoestring budget. They can use your donations and your time as a volunteer.

Nationally you can join The Innocence Project at You have probably heard some of their success stories, innocent people freed after serving decades of time.

The November Coalition at, whose "members educate the public about destructive, unnecessary incarceration due to the US drug war, and advocate for drug war prisoners."

The American Friends Service Committee at has many valuable articles, including Bonnie Kearness' landmark "Torture in US Prisons," a must-read.

Thank you to Mr. Maass and the Reporter's editor and publisher for allowing this article to be done. And thank you to all who have supported us during these grueling six years.

Sabin Bailey, Santa Fe

February 3, 2008 - Erie Times-News (PA)

Home Monitoring Worse Than Prison

In response to the article about Erie County's increasing use of home confinement via electronic monitoring (Erie Times-News, Jan. 22), one is forced to recognize the genius of the scheme.
With the vast majority of people incarcerated today as a result of victimless, non-violent drug crimes or technical violations of parole or probation, the state has terrorized defendants enough so that not only will they opt to literally become prisoners in their own home, but also pay for the privilege.

I lasted about three days with an electronic bracelet on my ankle before returning to Erie County Prison. And I was happy to do so, because I was no longer tagged like an animal and forced to see my own home as a prison.

I would do it again, too, because nothing illustrates the abuse of power by local authorities, from police to probation officers to judges, like forcing an otherwise productive, working, taxpaying citizen to sit in jail for a few months and be fed, clothed, sheltered and cared for by the taxpayers.

If taxpayers knew fully well what petty things send a person back to jail in Erie County at their expense, they would be outraged.

Jeremy Fowler, Erie, PA

May 16, 2008 - The Tampa Tribune

Blame The War On Drugs

Regarding "Parents Blame Police In Death" (Metro, May 12):

It is bad enough that this poor girl volunteered to go undercover for the Tallahassee police in the hope that they might then leave her alone.

What is worse is that the parents and their attorneys, the Tallahassee police and online comments fail to understand the cause of Rachel Hoffman's death. Some of them blame the Tallahassee police; some, the girl's naivete and for not following police directions; some, for her getting involved in illegal drugs in the first place. They're all wrong.

I blame the drug war, the public policy that causes more societal damage than it prevents. Or are we to believe that killing the Rachels of the drug war is the price we must pay to "fight drugs"? I think not. I think there is a better way.

John Chase, Palm Harbor, FL

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