Lisa Jackson -- 88979-071

24 Years -- Crack Cocaine Conspiracy

Lisa Jackson with her family
I am a first-time, nonviolent offender. I am 39 years old and have been incarcerated since 1992. I'm the mother of five children who have been parentless for the last ten years. My children now are ages 10 through 16 and have been separated since my imprisonment. Three are in the Miami area, and the other two reside in the state of South Carolina with my sisters. They have suffered greatly during this ordeal.

I am not claiming to be a "perfect person;" however, I don't believe justice was served when I was sentenced to twenty-four years. I admit that I had a personal drug problem that I denied for many years. As the record in my case clearly reflects, the government had no evidence to convict me other than the words of their "star" witness, a confidential informant whose testimony can only be classified as hearsay. Even the DEA agent in my case was unable to testify as to my participation in the conspiracy. He stated, by affidavit, that his star witness' testimony was false. The agent must or should know that he was further perpetrating a fraud by bolstering the informant's false testimony.

Among more than 15 co-defendants, I received -- as a first-time nonviolent offender -- one of the longest and most severe sentences with my one count. Due to inability to offer the government any information, I can't even remember how much time they offered me to take a plea and testify or give any information about my sister or any drug related criminal activities in the South Carolina or Miami area. I honestly believed, being innocent of the charges made against me, that no jury would convict me.

Lisa Jackson with her family
Since day one of my confinement, I have sought only to improve myself emotionally, spiritually and educationally. I have exhausted the counseling resources available to help me deal with separation from my children, gaining a much stronger view on life. I have completed numerous parenting classes and seminars in order to be fully equipped upon reuniting with my community and earned my high school diploma and some college credits. I've also learned several vocational skills for viable employment during my terms at Unicor Industries. I am an intricate part of the church's choir and bible study group here.

Today many women and men in my same situation wait on the public to persuade our leaders to choose a wiser course than the one we are on.