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 car crash.

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.

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