Mail Call!

I am one of the prisoners of the useless war on drugs. I read my cellies' copy of the Razor Wire and was very impressed, especially by some of the children's letters. I have four children myself, and I am painfully watching their lives torn apart by what this drug war is doing. Their mother has told me she is lonely and doesn't know if she can wait any longer.
I only have a couple of years left on my sentence, and I hope to file for an early release with the court under a rehabilitation motion which the court of BOP doesn't tell you exists or is available for those with families and have clear conduct. There are many motions that we can file that the BOP doesn't want us to know about. And there are more than a few vultures around the law library who only tell you if you pay.
I would like to receive a subscription to your paper, but more so I would like for my wife to receive a copy so that she might see that she is not the only one out there going through this. I hope that by seeing your paper and reading it that it will help give her the strength to embrace and help save our marriage and our family.
I know many of the letters in your paper have affected me and many others in here. Seeing how the drug war is tearing everyone's lives up - not just our own - behind these walls and fences. Reading those letters in the Razor Wire gives my fellow prisoners and me the faith and hope too easily lost in here.
Please keep up the good work that helps so many.
Bobby E. Motz

I, unfortunately, am an inmate at FCC Coleman Camp. Although my charge is not a 'drug charge' but is a white-collar, nonviolent crime, I still feel as if my 'conspiracy' charge was wrong. My husband, who is at FCC Coleman Low, and I were dairy farmers. I was a nurse, and now we are felons. We were working hard at our business, and now we have nothing - no farm, no cows, no equipment.
Although your newspaper deals mostly with drugs, I find many similarities by comparing all of our sentencing procedures. My husband was sentenced to 20 months above guidelines on the second charge because he was acquitted on the first. Unbelievable!! I would appreciate if you would put us on your mailing list. Our daughter is also a pre-law student at Margquette University in Milwaukee and is very interested in your newspaper.
Thank you for your time and trouble. I with you much success in your endeavors to help all inmates, and I hope that when I am released I will be able to help in any way that I can to educate the public on the unnecessary incarceration of so many inmates.
Carla Lamarne

I just want to write and let you know that I am no longer in the Texas Department of Corrections. I have been transferred to New Mexico for a parole violation 15 years old. It's an old drug charge. Yet here I am - terminally ill with liver cancer - and I can't get a liver transplant till I get out of prison. But what do these people care. I'm just another non-violent offender whose misery in prison is some guard's income. This prison is so overcrowded that staff has people sleeping on floors in the gym. Since I have never harmed a soul in my life, I guess I belong here also. Enough of feeling sorry for myself. I really love your paper and ask you to send it to me here as soon as possible. I certainly would appreciate it. I wish I had one now to read. Thank you for your time and support.
Charlie Laws

This letter is for a public service notice to be posted on your website and in the Razor Wire to help locate my son, Brandon Lee Burns who has been missing as a runaway for the past year and half from Aberdeen, South Dakota. He is 17 years old now and has been missing since July 28, 1999.
Brandon got into some trouble in South Dakota, was placed on probation, which he has now violated, and is wanted by the Aberdeen Police Department in Brown County, SD. Information can be obtained from the South Dakota Missing Person's Clearinghouse, including a photo of Brandon at or from Sgt. Randy S. Majeske, (605) 626-7911 Aberdeen Police Dept.
Anything November Coalition can or will do is greatly appreciated from the heart. I'm a father who has not seen my son Brandon since March 1987. I have not even seen his image for 13 years now except for the poster picture from the Missing Persons Clearinghouse. Please help and join the Find Brandon accross America searches.
Clifton Burns

My name is Daisy Valentin. I'm a young Hispanic mother of three children. I'm trying very hard to raise my three children, but it's more than 'hard' when your whole family has gone to the other life, and to know your husband got an 11-year prison term for a non-violent first time offense. I hope that one day we could make a change for the sake of our children. Please let's become as one, and make a change for our kids.
Daisy Valentin

I am a 52-year young prisoner of the war on drugs from Wisconsin who, along with 1450 other men, is being warehoused in a private, for-profit prison in Oklahoma run by the infamous Corrections Corporation of America. I am serving my third incarceration as a drug war POW after avoiding and fighting the authorities for over 30 years.
I was totally blown away as I read a copy of the Razor Wire passed on to me by a fellow prisoner here at NorthFork Correctional facility. I have not read a newspaper instilled with such activism and quality since the early days of the great Village Voice, Beverly Barb, and Kaleidoscope, an underground newspaper I worked on which was published in Wisconsin. Reading the Razor Wire has definitely gotten my revolutionary, activist blood flowing again, and I must say it feels great to find a cause so organized.
Upon my release in 22 months, I will pass the word to my extended family and friends and hopefully become a coordinator for the Coalition in Wisconsin. So at this time I would like to become a member of the November Coalition and a soldier in the cause. I'm sorry that I cannot contribute any cash at this time because CCA does not pay much in wages, and their canteen prices and telephone costs are criminal. Nevertheless, I am enclosing six stamps to help you defray mailing costs and will send more as I can.
Finally, thank you for having the guts and temerity to publish such a powerful paper which succeeds in beating back the sense of utter hopelessness I have been feeling for years. You are a definite breath of fresh air.
Dana W. Hope

My name is Jim Danforth, and I am from Spokane Washington. In 1987 I was caught with a .22 pistol and given a sentence of six months in the Spokane County jail for possessing the gun. The parole board for Washington gave me 36 more months for the parole violation "felon in possession". While serving the 'violation time', the federal government ordered a detainer (a legal hold) to be placed on me. I was then sent back to Spokane and went through a trial that Laurel and Hardy would be proud of.
My jury was out a whole 16 minutes. You may have heard of Judge Quackenbush. This wise man saw fit to label me as career criminal and thereby benefiting me with a 15-year mandatory sentence. Then he enhanced again and proudly gave me the career offender title also. He gave me 9 1/2 more years to increase my sentence 292 months. So when everyone was through giving me time, I received a grand total of 334 months for a 22-hand gun. I grew up on the streets of Spokane, and I did get into trouble. But my crimes were nonviolent crimes, 2nd-degree burglary mostly. I did my share of time for those too.
I have been in FCI El Reno now going on nine years. I have a daughter living in Spokane. She was 8 years old when I fell; now she is 20 years of age with two daughters of her own. I have not seen her or the granddaughters since I have been here because of the high cost of traveling from Spokane to Oklahoma. I know no one in Oklahoma; so I have had no visits in nine years.
I am writing this letter to inform the people everywhere that we need to bring back something like parole in the prisons. I really feel that with my peculiar background I would have been paroled a long time ago if there was a system of earned release. I would have been able to see my daughter grow up and play with my grandkids. But for12 years now I have seen only the walls grow higher between my daughter and me.
She, to this day, does not believe I only got caught with a .22 handgun. She says no one gets that much time for just that. Yes, the wisdom of young people, and she is so right - no one should. In 1998 we had more Americans behind bars then on active duty in the armed forces. The time to act is now.
Bring back parole so that most prisoners can improve their lives while confined, and hope reasonably to again see their families.

My name is Jimmy Rouse, and I'm currently in Craighead County jail on a drug charge. A friend of mine sent my name along with others, and I got the Razor Wire in the mail today, and as I read this paper, I was overwhelmed by the ways the government has tried to keep the drug war active. I had no idea it has gone this far.
As of right now I cannot afford to donate any money, but I would like you to sign me up as a member. I do feel in my case that I will be judged unjustly because I am an addict and not a pillar of society. I would like to bring to your attention the injustice in this state prison also. Certain prisons here in Arkansas do not provide adequate medical facilities and rehabilitation for the growing drug problems and drug addicts here in Arkansas.
Thank you very much for letting me read and enjoy your paper, and I hope you will let me keep getting it.
Jimmy Rouse

My name is Sylvester Flowers. I'm in the new Hanover County Jail awaiting sentencing for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. I found a sheet from your newspaper in here, and it impressed me greatly that someone cares about the P.O.W.s in this so-called drug war. I'm from a small town where I'm surely not the only one ignorant of the atrocities going on in the federal courts every day. Please help me to enlighten them by mailing an issue of your paper.
Sylvester Flowers

Surely God will place your names atop the list of those who care, and will deal with each and everyone accordingly. I am on my way (again) to some (hell on earth) prison in Texas. I have a new 10-year sentence for trying to steal cigarettes to support my crack addiction. I am not denying guilt, by a long shot, but I still wonder why I wasn't offered treatment? Could it be because I'm a three-time loser? All of my other convictions were drug related. I don't suppose it could be because I couldn't hire a big time lawyer or the fact that all of my sentences are from the same county in Texas.
By the way, I'm a white male 42 years old. Been addicted to different drugs and alcohol since I was 12. I've been on the Oprah show and Inside Edition. In 1980, some friends and I stole an air conditioner to buy beer. I got three in T.D.C. While there, I was placed in the position of "dog boy". I was bitten over 300 times in a six-month period, and on one particular day, right after filling a lawsuit, I was bitten 56 times and almost died.
I carry scars on my body and on my mind. Unless you've been there or had a loved one there, you won't understand. It's like being put in a cage and carried off to another county where all human rights are non-existent. I hate so much to go back there, but I'd rather be there than on the dope. I cry for my poor old mother who has to watch her addicted son leave again for hell. I pray to God every day that she and my old man will live till my release. Ain't that a damn shame?
Toddy Munsinger