Judy McCarroll -- #08864-424

27 Years -- Heroin Conspiracy

I'm writing you with a cry for help. I am 44 years old, and incarcerated at Tallahassee FCI. I have been incarcerated since 01/23/95, along with six co-defendants. We were all charged and convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin. This is the first time I have been in prison, and the same is true of my son. We were never given a bond; it's murderers and rapists that get the bonds, and are given a lot less time.

There was no violence in our case. We were all sentenced under mandatory minimums. The way I see it, when we walked into the courtroom, we never had a chance.

I was sentenced to 27 years. As badly as I want my freedom, that is not what I'm focusing on right now. My concern is my son and all the young men and women in prison; they are our future. My son, Lawrence McCarroll, one of my co-defendants, was sentenced to 33 years.

I am so worried about my son because he only has one kidney. He had one removed when he was 7 weeks old. At that time, the doctor told me that he might need another kidney when he reaches the age of 25. I pray that nothing happens, because I found out that the BOP doesn't allow transplants, even if you have a donor.

Last year he had to have surgery to have kidney stones removed. At this time the doctor found out that he had an aneurysm in the artery of his right thigh. Now he has to have surgery to remove the aneurysm and to replace the artery with a plastic one. This is dangerous. Lord only knows what must be going through my son's mind. He knows that an aneurysm can burst at any time. I pray that my son will be all right. I have faith in God, and I know that God will be in surgery with him. Another worry is that in the BOP you don't get proper treatment. I'm trying my best to stay strong, but it is hard.

We lost our appeal, and don't have money to hire a lawyer to help us with our 2255. It's so sad that the judges hands are tied, and the prosecutor can take your life away, destroying so many lives. Not only do the people in prison suffer, but also the family members. I want my son to have another chance in life; to be healthy, to get his freedom back, to go back to school, to get a good job, and to give me grandchildren.

As I read the Razor Wire I was really touched. Chills went through my body and tears came to my eyes to know that so many people are out there trying to help us, and trying to change the laws. It's given me greater hope. Deep inside of me I feel a change is coming. To all the drug offenders, just hold on, you can make it. Just hold on, a change is coming. God knows we need a change.