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Thank you for the offer to send your paper to our son for free as he is in prison. We are praying God will make a way where there seems no way and send him home to us. We are old and need him home to help us; Herbert is 86 and I am 82.
Sincerely, Jessie A. McClain

Thank you for persevering and giving hope to so many. I think the word you are putting out is the truth. I am an artist and musician who also believes that people imprisoned by these draconian laws are all political prisoners. I suggest you use that phrase, as I intend to do through my music. It is absurd that marijuana is illegal and millions of pharmaceuticals with horrible side effects are not, and tobacco is not. I think that it is absurd that we are not allowed to choose what we want to do with ourselves. I also agree with your point that modern gang wars are comparable to Prohibition gangland violence. I don't buy into all the hype. The government spends billions of dollars on "anti-drugs" youth media campaigns, the true purpose being to hammer in their agenda that drugs not paid for by an HMO are evil and wrong. It is more complicated than that and makes no sense. Since when do I have any reason to believe that this government, acting so paternalistically, has my best interest and health at heart?! What precedent is there for me to believe that? I could go on and on and on but I'll stop for now.
Anyway, I would like to help if I can. Please put me on your mailing lists. Keep me posted!
Raya Salter

From: Becky Henning
Subject: Newsletter?
I have been interested in fighting against the Drug War for some time now. I first came to know of your organization by doing web searches on anti-prohibition coalitions. I also heard a lot about you through other organizations like DRCNet, MPP, & the Lyceum. I am willing to do whatever I can to help end Prohibition. Unfortunately, I do not have very much money, so I have tried to make a difference by writing letters to my representatives, and spreading the word through whatever means possible, to let people know about the atrocities of the Drug War. If you can think of anything else I can do to help, please let me know immediately so I can get started. This is a fight that I am determined to win. Once again, thank you for your help, and I hope to hear from you in the near future.

Yo!! What's up, fellow warriors for (real) truth, justice and the (former, pre-Drug War) American Way? What are youse, on the lam? I don't get no news from youse no more. Maybe my recent change of location to the AmeriKan gulag's Garden of Eden (aka Federal Prison Camp) has resulted in my being lost in the shuffle. Don't worry, these prisoncrats still know just where I! So, hey, how 'bout it? Can I get back on the your roll and receive Razor Wire...or do I have ta FUGGETABOUTIT?
In all seriousness, thanks for all that you are doing for us POWs!
Ernesto Benevento, Prisoner of the Drug War

Subject: Vigil
I have checked out all the information on your website and after much thought, I have decided that I would like to sponsor Vigils in my area. I found out about your organization while looking for information about human rights through the Internet. The reason for my interest sadly enough is the same as yours, a loved one: my 20-year-old daughter was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Up until this happened I never gave the drug laws much thought. I thought the laws where fair. Boy, was I wrong! Yesterday I read in the newspaper about a man that raped a 13-year-old girl, yet he was only sentenced to 3 years, and my daughter is facing a 6-year sentence. My daughter, Rachel has never hurt any one. Could you please send me information about your organization? I'd like to get started as soon as possible.

We think your paper is very informative and I hope some good will come from at. We have a son in an FCI who's been there for 9 years, with 4 more to go. It is a long trip to go to visit him, almost 700 miles but we try to go every seven weeks. We live on social security and that's not much when you retire at 62 years of age, but with careful planning we manage. I am 71 years old and my husband is 77. We don't look too far ahead in the future, but God willing we will live long enough to see our son come home.
Sincerely, Doris Evans

I can only say that in 17 years behind these walls I've learned there is nothing like Justice in our criminal Justice system! When I was placed in prison I earned my way. I do not say justice was not served. It was.
But what hurts my heart is when these courts put my cellmate in prison for 52 years. Sure what he did was wrong but it surely did not add up to 52 years! Not when he was only 16 years old! He has grown up around me for the last 2 years, but he is still just a kid. Is a single small-time robbery without violence reason for giving a child 52 years in prison?
I don't know why I am even writing about Kevin, but it hurts my heart to see what the criminal justice system is doing to our young people. This is just one example!
Jeffrey Snarke, prisoner in America

My boyfriend of 9 years and stepfather to my two sons, ages 13 and14, is presently serving 22 years in a federal prison. He was convicted on a conspiracy law & possession & distribution. I too was charged with the same, after being questioned by the feds and giving them too many "I don't know" answers. Three days after this questioning I was indicted. The conspiracy charge was dropped after I reluctantly agreed to cooperate and go to the grand jury. I was threatened with losing my kids and my house, not to mention life in prison and up to $6 million in fines. I pled guilty to possession and distribution, went to jail, did my time and have been back home and back with my kids for 6 months.
I have had a extremely difficult time accepting all this. My role in the crime was "driver only". I drove my boyfriend to the post office where he was picking up the drugs. I had no previous record and they wouldn't even offer me an aiding and abetting.
Well, I'm always in the struggle these days. I am working full time, trying to manage my home and teen-aged boys. I hate myself for what I had no choice but to do. I have no dignity or self-worth. I am on anti-depressants and live in mental anguish.
I can't afford to donate for two weeks, next week's check is already spent on overdue bills but will happily send what I can with money out of the paycheck after that because I feel your publication is about the most worthwhile thing I can spend my money on.
Always in the struggle,
Karla Davis (another victim in the war on drugs)

My son is in a federal pen in Florence Colorado. He found out about your publication from a friend. He was sentenced to life without parole on a conspiracy charge. All the witnesses against him had been arrested on drug charges and served no prison time.
One witness, who was a reputed long-time drug family member from Columbia, was given $68,000, a house, and an American social security card for testimony against my son.
Bill Plunk, father of a POWD

From: Karen
Subject: WOD
I received the Jul/Aug razor wire paper and I almost cried when I read some of the articles. The government is really pitiful.
I had written to you about my arrest on drug charges in February. Just wanted to update you on my sentencing. I got lucky; very lucky. The judge gave me 2 yrs. unsupervised probation. I just have to pay my fines and stay out of trouble. The articles I have read really scare me. They may come back and get me with conspiracy. I think I would just die.
I had local police stop me for an expired tag and he said, "I won't give you a ticket for your tag if you can give me the name of a drug dealer" I couldn't believe what he asked me! The police here are obsessed with this meth thing. If I can be of any help, please let me know; I really want to help. I have an ex in prison in Oklahoma City. He is there because of drugs. Tells me there are more drugs in the place than out on the streets. Now that is scary. I also know someone that never touched any drugs in his life until he spent 13 months in an Oklahoma state pen.

I am also a nonviolent war on drugs prisoner with three small children. Accepting my outrageous sentence is one thing; accepting the fact that my children and family are, in essence, serving the same amount of time is yet another. Reading all of the stories, tragic and supportive, I realize that this abuse of our justice system is not going unheard.
Thank you for your time and the interest in something so meaningful to so many.
Darren Thompson, POWD

Dear Comrades,
I am a fifty-five year old African/American male, presently held captive by a federal system that's constitutionally out of control. After recently reading your publication for the first time, I'm encouraged to know that the 'essence' and 'spirit' of civil struggle remains alive. Your forum provides an education/information channel for reconstructive dialogue, and effectively establishes a vocal, socio/political, platform for more meaningful activism. I am now, therefore, experiencing a rare level of elation and enlightenment, which had become almost oblivious to me under these present conditions.
I encourage your ideologies, applaud your efforts, support the movement, and am committed to your sense of struggle.

Jesse Lamont Kithcart, POWD
From: Linda Cruce
Subject: the war on us!
The war on drugs is nothing short of inhumane. The way the drug war is fought is criminal in itself. This waste of human life and the ruin of countless families is an American disgrace! Imprisoning people for drug problems is cruel and unusual punishments. Give killers, child molesters and rapists 10-life sentences! As with any war there are always innocent victims: in the drug war they only get about 10% of the real bad guys, the rest are innocent or lowest-level offenders. I don't know how people sleep at night knowing that this is happening. These people have families that love and miss and grieve for them as well. I pray for release for all innocent or low-level offenders. I CARE!

Subject: Drug War
From: Teresa Miller
First I would like to say thank you, and keep up the good work. I am writing on the behalf of my father. He is serving a sentence of 168 months which is unfair.
I have three kids and have to try to explain why "paw paw" won't be coming home soon. My father is a great man, the best in my book. He is my life. I will never give up hope. He was placed in Forrest City AR, not to far from his family. Now he has been moved to Texas where it is hard for our family to visit him­­just another example of how the federal system is ran. I send my prayers out to all the families, God bless.

It is a great inspiration to me to keep on going knowing that there are people out there who still believe in rehabilitation and who are against long, mandatory prison sentences.
We need rehabilitation homes, treatment centers, halfway houses, and education to help us get started in a job so we can take care of our wives and children. We need to attend groups or get counseling to help us stay off drugs. It doesn't even take a third of the cost for a new prison to get some of these projects started in our communities.
So, I'm asking all who read this, please, please, write to your legislators or call them or go see them. Let them know how you feel and which way your vote is going to be cast if they don't act in a responsible way. Get involved for the betterment of everybody, especially our children.
Valerie Deltoro

I just finished reading the latest Razor Wire. It's just great to know that more and more people are starting to see that prison cells are not the answer. We are people that need some help such as treatment and counseling. I only wish I could have the chance to be in treatment, instead I received 21.8 years federal time and 20 years state time.
John Driskill, POWD

I wanted to tell you how much your paper has helped me. I thought we were the only family going through this hell the government has condemned us to. It helps to see we are not alone. I pray that someday soon I will read something in your newspaper that will bring our son home again.
Mrs. Delola Shaw, mother of a POWD

From: Donna McNelly
Subject: 250,000
I read your message in the Jul/August 1999 issue of The Razor Wire concerning the statement by Bob Weiner, a spokesman for Gen. Barry McCaffrey, saying the reduction of the prison population by 250,000 is 'the guts' of a new White House policy to be announced later this year. I would be anxiously awaiting the details of this policy but actually, I'm terrified about it! Since the only new policies to solve the Drug War problem have been more harmful to the prisoners and their families in recent years my first thought was­­Oh my God, they're going to execute 250,000 prisoners! I hope the ONDCP will reveal the policy before the end of the year and that hopefully it will be something good.
I have fought this battle since my son was arrested in January 1998 and am so tired. I've learned all about the Drug War and how it's fought, how a person is guilty until proven innocent, hearsay evidence is fine, conspiracy laws which lump you in with people you've never seen or heard of, plead guilty or go to prison for unbelievably long times, snitch on someone (lie if you want) and serve less time etc. etc. etc.
If I sound disillusioned and bitter it's because I am. I have lost every bit of patriotism and pride I ever had in my country. I guess it's not my country destroying all of these lives and families - it's the politicians. What do we have to do to make them wake up and see what they are doing?
Keep up the good work with November and best wishes and good luck for your brother.

I'm a friend of Donna Mcnellys. I unfortunately learned about the injustices of the drug war first hand also!! My brother is facing a sentence of 10-LIFE (and they want the most) on a drugless drug conviction, on testimony of people who were caught red-handed making and selling drugs (and will be out in 2-5 years, doing the same thing) meanwhile my 37 year old brother sits in jail awaiting, might as well be a death sentence for absolutely nothing.
Donna and her husband were at my brother's trial, even though they know me they do not know my brother. They've heard his name because we are all from the same area. They said they wanted to see if he would be proved guilty. Donna wrote Jerry Costello, it was the most pathetic mockery of a trial and that it was hard to believe that this could happen to someone in the United States. Absolutely no evidence! His son graduated from High School this year, top of the class, his dad missed that. My brother's daughter turned eleven on July 6th, he missed that. He turned 37 (in jail) May 24, we missed that.
They want to give him more time than a killer, or child molester. What can people in control be thinking? Only someone who has went through this nightmare can know the shock of such injustices,. We didn't know this wickedness went on, the grief is almost unbearable and people don't believe a word you say, they think you're lying for sure because after all that's their brother and the government wouldn't allow this to go on.
Innocent people and lowest-level offends are doing the inhumane mandatory minimum sentences. This is such a waste of human lives and the ruin of countless families, that it's absolutely sickening. For the most part the way I see it, the conspiracies are of and by the feds on innocent or low-level offenders for personnel gain, makes statistics look good, good for re-elections, etc. Most of Americans want to blame everything that goes wrong in the world on drugs, a plain case of ignorance and overkill. I don't think most of them, who could change things care because it won't happen to someone they love. Let's face it if my brother were rich and famous he sure wouldn't be in jail. I think justice is only for those who can afford it anymore! I'm bitter and angry that this could happen to anyone, mostly common people! Thanks for listening!