In memory of Liam Callen
and Hatina Brooks
Our thoughts and prayers go
to prisoner Cormac Callen who lost his father, Liam Callen and
partner Hatina "Tina" Brooks when their car was hit
head-on when returning home from a prison visit on October 21,
2000. Cormac and Tina's 3-year old son, JaShawn, survived the
Some of us had the pleasure to meet Liam Callen last May in Washington
D.C. at the Drug Policy Foundation's annual conference. Liam
was retired director of the North-Northeast Portland Oregon community
health agency. Even with a lifetime of professional accomplishments,
he was still a father in search of answers.
Liam's son, Cormac was serving
a minimum mandatory sentence for a first time drug offense. Liam wanted to
know more about drug policies that would inflict such a harsh
and unfair sentence on his young son, depriving his grandson
of his father.
Liam had his own discoveries to share with us and told about
sharing his home with Tina and his grandson. He described Tina
as a devoted and good mother and partner to Cormac. The three
of them visited Cormac often, family bonds being nurtured in
spite of prison.
Death has shattered those plans and now who will care for little
JaShawn? It is our prayer that President Clinton will hear the
plea of the survivors of this family and let Cormac Callen go
home to take care of his motherless son.