Mail Call!

I've just finished my reading of another inmate's Razor Wire September - November 2000, and I'm writing to laud your publication and to request that a free issue be sent to the names I've listed at the conclusion of this letter. I'm currently incarcerated by the BOP at FPC Nellis and enrolled in RDAP; it's been a long and winding journey, but it's almost over for me - April 2001!
I want to thank all the wonderful, caring people who help build TNC to enlighten the citizens of our once free nation about the erosion of their freedoms caused by the hoax the government calls "The War on Drugs".
The media has helped escalate our police-state mentality with its sensationalized coverage of the violence that occurs when gangsters make a profit off peoples' vices. It's great for ratings, and then our "tough on crime" lawmakers use this to convince the nation that more laws and stricter enforcement are necessary. There are over 3 million books of laws in the library of congress! Still think it's a free country?
Add to all these evolving laws the evolving and/or regressing mindsets of governmental agencies: FBI, DEA, BATF, IRS, INS, EPA, etc. who feel they need at least 12 heavily armed combat ready agents to arrest any one person they target as a dealer or part of a conspiracy. Our government is no longer capable of resolving a custody case without the presence of 100 plus stormtroopers and support teams! We are teetering precariously close to a true police state, and yet way too many in the public still seem unaware and undisturbed by this development.
Sincerely, Greg Villalva

Dear Razor Wire
Please send me the next issue. I hear it's hot! I will be sending you a donation soon. Thanks.
Very truly yours, Charles Michael Kee, prisoner of the drug war

My name is Garald Alexander. I am currently incarcerated at Walton Correctional Institution in Florida. I am serving a natural life sentence, although I am not in prison for any drug laws, I have been receiving the Razor Wire for a little over two years, I really enjoy the newspaper, and I pass it on to help educate other prisoners.
As I write this letter I would very much like to comment on the wonderful job of staff, editors, printers, and the rest of the people that make the Razor Wire possible. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
Oh, and by the way, whatever happened to Coalition for Prisoner's Right's newsletters? That's how I found out about your newspaper, through them. I only wish I could send money or stamps or some kind of donation. But here are some Jubilee Justice Petitions; I will continue to do all that I possibly can in support of the Razor Wire.
Sincerely, Garald Alexander, Prisoner of the drug war

I just received the latest issue of The November Coalition's Razor Wire, and as usual you folks have done a wonderful job of presenting the majority opinion to the masses. I was very impressed with the turnout of all the vigils across the country and the participation of the many that came to help and to just be a part of our struggle.
As usual, the many articles and letters give strength to us in the inside, and we draw inspiration from the many success stories that you print. At the heart of this issue were the many letters from our children out there who need their mothers and fathers home. It's heartbreaking to read them and then relate without pain to my two small children at home waiting for me.
I have not written since I lost my son several months ago when you were so kind to print the poem I had written in his memory. My heart still aches and always will, but I have resumed the fight and wanted to send along to you these recent newspaper clippings taken from the local newspaper to add support to the ever growing medical problems we are having within the system. My message to all brothers and sisters who are prisoners of this so-called war on drugs is take heart and don't give up. Only losers quit, and only quitters lose.
Gary J. Cates

I'm a federal prisoner at the FCI Forrest City Arkansas under the care and custody of Janet Reno, Kathleen Hawk-Sawyer, and Warden Marvin D. Morrison. I was sentenced to prison by the honorable Jean C. Hamilton, for the Eastern District of Missouri, St. Louis, on January 18, 1996 for a charge involving methamphetamine; for 10 1/2 grams less than 13 grams, I was given the weight of the whole conspiracy, which was 10 pounds. I was later resentenced for one pound from 15 years to 10 years with 5 years-supervised release.
My offense was a non-violent one and my first drug conviction. At the time of my arrest/conviction, I was raising a new born child, 3 month old; my wife left me with the boy to raise, but I gave my son to my mother to raise, which she was more than happy to do. Now my mother has less than a year to live. She has lung cancer, one lung already gone.
I have written to the judge in my case seeking a temporary release. However, I have not been given a decision on this matter. What I would like to know is can your Coalition print my letter asking the judge to release me so I can help care for mother and find a suitable house for my little boy? I am his sole provider now; he needs me at his young age, almost 6 years old.
I'm not trying to make my case something complicated; it shouldn't be construed that way at all; I only want to be there for my mother, for her remaining days on this earth, step in for her and find my son a home. Once this is completed, I will be happy to return to prison to finish out my sentence.
Cordially yours, Gutonu V. Zamarripa, prisoner of the drug war

Hello friends, I just wanted to let you know I am still happily receiving the Razor Wire and continuing to be impressed with your articles and efforts. It is very encouraging to realize there are now so many people who realize what is going on and what needs to be done.
As I get each issue, I am compelled to cut out several standout articles that really move and mail them home to family and friends. I would send them entire issues, but I know that they are so occupied by the fastpaced busy life style of the "free" world that they might just glance over the paper and miss some of the most important points. But rest assured I always pass an issue of the Razor Wire around the cellblock to other prisoners before I cut out any articles.
Anyway, keep up the fight!
Jack Doss, prisoner of the drug war

I sent an envelope full of blank copies of "A Petition for Justice in the Spirit of Jubilee to President William Jefferson Clinton" to my family in Reno, Nevada. (With "Petition" spelled 'Petitition'.) You should be receiving several filled out petitions. A happening that took place while my daughter was contacting folks to sign forms may be interesting fodder to encourage others and identify who could be our fellow advocates.
Last summer my eldest daughter Kim and a couple of her friends put together a garage sale in her up-scale Reno neighborhood. They placed a stack of JJPs supplied by me next to their cash box. During the sale they were able to get 25 signatures from those people who actually made purchases. The girls did not attempt to gather signatures from people who were only digging through their old junk. My daughter explained that the 25 signatures made up close to 80% of their paying customers.
Before being sentenced to prison for a nonviolent drug conviction I was a lifelong businessman. I HATE GARAGE SALES! It was a bone-of-contention for me when my neighbors turned our quiet neighborhood into a commercial zone on a Sunday afternoon on a day that I was seeking peace and tranquility. I may have made a wrong judgment of those hordes that blocked my driveway and filled our street like a mad bunch of "Macy's White Days" buyers picking over some next door resident's clutter. But, hey, they just might be the silent majority that finally says: "Enough... let our neighbors go."
Here's a thought. November Coalition could put together a garage sale package with signs reading "GARAGE SALE/with arrows pointing" and "GARAGE SALE HERE" that includes a November Coalition packet.
We are asking patrons of the legal brothel my family operates on the outskirts of Reno to sign petitions. They have not been as successful with the percentage of signers when compared to the garage sale. Of course that's possible because many of our brothel customers prefer anonymity.
I also write a column for a weekly newspaper published in Virginia City, Nevada. My column "View from the Inside" includes my historic memories, local human-interest stories, and local political and Drug War opinions. My weekly column is receiving positive reception to those Drug War articles I submit.
Thank all of you for your efforts on our behalf.
Keep up the fight
Jay Regas, Prisoner of the drug war

I really enjoy it, glad my old man brought it to my attention and to his mother's; he got a 22-year sentence with no evidence, just a snitch. He's 40-years-old, never in trouble before, always helped toys for tots, muscular dystrophy, etc. Helped everybody, lost his house, trucking business, tree farm, everything! He started when he was 17 years old. I am in Minnesota, and he's in Michigan. I go every month; he needs that, and I do too.
Now I work at McDonald's, don't make much, and I have a 16-year-old daughter myself. It's not easy. A nightmare, he has a daughter, 12, whom her mother has turned against him, and all his so-called friends are not there for him anymore. He never did drugs or anything bad; now we just take it a day at a time.
I'm enclosing a petition for now and more to come later. I will enclose a few stamps, all I can do for now. Keep up the good work. I'll keep praying, for all men and women and families in our situation,
Sincerely, Shirley Kessel, Bob's old lady.

To the wonderful people who organize and send the Razor Wire to the public and prisoners.
I am currently in the Florida Department of Corrections and would like to become a member of the November Coalition. I was recently given a copy of the Razor Wire by a friend and read it from cover to cover I received so much legal advice that I was amazed. I am not in prison for a drug charge, but other inmates are fighting the same battle with the "system" as non-violent drug offenders.
I was sentenced under Florida's habitual offender statute, a legal hook to incarcerate a person for an extended period of time due to other offenses he or she may have committed in the past. I was given three times the amount of time I scored under Florida's point system. We all fight in our own way the injustices prisoners suffer daily. I fight with every legal means available. Under Florida's current system I had a non-violent charge but could still be labeled as a habitual violent felony offender because of a prior conviction.
If more people and organizations would speak out for the rights of prisoners, maybe something will be done someday to end the injustice of justice. I understand that the prison systems throughout our country are a necessary evil, but how far do we let the evil grow before we try to stop its growth? We could not function as a society without law enforcement and prisons, but where do we draw the line? Does the person arrested for dime "rocks" deserve 20 years in prison? Does the person arrested with two small marijuana plants deserve to serve 5 years in prison?
Well I'll close for now; thank you for your wonderful publication, and remember we all fight in our own way, hopefully one day the tree will bear some fruit for our common labors.
Thomas Phillips