Editors Notes

By Chuck Armsbury, Senior Editor

We hope you enjoy this issue and share it with someone you know. Please continue sending relevant news clippings of interest, but please be sure to write the news source and date in the margin. I can't use it otherwise. Also, some readers object to our request for PSIs, most fearing some information may be damaging or misleading. We're pretty good at reading 'between the lines' of these official documents, and this means we know when the writer 'pads' or 'hypes' a person's history. Your official PSI is never posted on the website Wall, or any place publicly at all. We use the PSIs only to verify your charges and criminal history.

In the Sept/Oct/Nov Razor Wire we printed a story on page 28 by Donna Sawyer about her imprisoned friend, Kim. Donna wrote to say that Kim has never had a positive result for any type of drug testing during his incarceration. Our article seemed to suggest he had tested positive, even though the test used did not produce a conclusive finding. When readers have comments or corrections to offer as Donna did, please write, email or call me.

A law firm in Ohio did contact me about my comments in the Sep/Oct/Nov 2000 Razor Wire concerning the frenzy of post-conviction filings after the Apprendi ruling. Though the firm was not named by me, an attorney from a firm in Ohio felt criticized in my article, called first, then wrote. Caution about spending money was my message in that piece then and is now, but I meant no disrespect for the many legal firms doing honest, productive work for prisoners, including, I'm sure, the legal folks from Ohio who took the trouble to contact our office.

Be sure to contact us if you think the RW is being censored at your prison. We have a small network of support and legal professionals who can assist us in resolving arbitrary and unlawful decisions denying the public's right to know and the prisoners' right to express.

Finally, please don't send mail to Regional Leaders if you want us for sure to see what you have sent. Regional Leaders are volunteers and may quickly get 'buried', feel 'burnt out' and then grow silent because of too much correspondence from too many prisoner writers. Many of them have imprisoned loved ones, and it's difficult enough for them to work a job, fulfill responsibilities for a family member in prison, care for those at home and volunteer for drug law reform. We never meant for that to happen to once-eager volunteers or that prisoner letters would not earn our response simply because we didn't see the writing. So keep sending the cards and letters to wintry Colville, and we'll keep the home fires burnin for ending the drug war in the near future.