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December 22, 2004 - (US Web)

A Holiday Message from Martha Stewart

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Dear Friends,

When one is incarcerated with 1,200 other inmates, it is hard to be selfish at Christmas -- hard to think of Christmases past and Christmases future -- that I know will be as they always were for me -- beautiful! So many of the women here in Alderson will never have the joy and wellbeing that you and I experience. Many of them have been here for years -- devoid of care, devoid of love, devoid of family.

I beseech you all to think about these women -- to encourage the American people to ask for reforms, both in sentencing guidelines, in length of incarceration for nonviolent first-time offenders, and for those involved in drug-taking. They would be much better served in a true rehabilitation center than in prison where there is no real help, no real programs to rehabilitate, no programs to educate, no way to be prepared for life "out there" where each person will ultimately find herself, many with no skills and no preparation for living.

I am fine, really. I look forward to being home, to getting back to my valuable work, to creating, cooking, and making television. I have had time to think, time to write, time to exercise, time to not eat the bad food, and time to walk and contemplate the future. I've had my work here too. Cleaning has been my job ­ washing, scrubbing, sweeping, vacuuming, raking leaves, and much more. But like everyone else here, I would rather be doing all of this in my own home, and not here -- away from family and friends.

I want to thank you again, and again, for your support and encouragement. You have been so terrific to me and to everyone who stood by me. I appreciate everything you have done, your emails, your letters, and your kind, kind words.

Happy holidays,

Martha Stewart

P.S. I thought you might be interested in the brief my lawyers filed with the Court this afternoon.

 This is a personal statement from Martha Stewart. It is not issued by or on behalf of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

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