Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Letters From Readers

More On Plight Of The Young

This letter is in response to a letter to the editor printed in the September issue of the PLN, titled "Plight Of The Young. "

The thing with brother Barry Massey, in particular - the U.S. judicial systems sanctioning of his life sentence without the possibility of parole for the killing of a Tacoma man - will never be understood if we leave it to emotions (or our subjective feelings). For years now, many state legislatures have been passing statutory laws that permit the courts to try, convict and sentence youth offenders (of Barry Massey's age and the like) to prison for life (or a practical life sentence). Some think that the legislature's action in this respect is chiefly caused by the public outcry for severe penalties to punish youths who commit gruesome crimes.

Very few (if any) individuals see the drive toward severe penalties as it relates to youth offenders as a part of the state prisondome's scheme to privatization. I think it is. I think that the trend toward privatization of U.S. prisons represents an acute crisis in capitalism. And, if I'm correct, the capitalists are banking on using some of the exact same elements of the community (and work-force) of the past who helped developed it in a desperate attempt to help salvage it at all cost. Slave labor and child labor did as much to help develop capitalism as the labor and wealth of the proletariat. The state is not as concerned with condemning Massey as an individual, as it is in exploiting him as a worker (state slave). I hope that PLN will consider doing a piece on this subject sometime in the future.

A.C., Angola, LA

Says He's Capitalist, Likes Us Anyway

I would like to introduce myself. I have been imprisoned in the federal system for over five years. As defined by Ed Mead, I am of the bourgeois class. To better understand my position, I am having my organization, The League of Rights, send you a book entitled The Score that I authored. Since my imprisonment in 1986, I have been transferred 30 times, I have been imprisoned at 18 different federal prisons, and I have spent over 900 days in the hole. All of this time I have accumulated 40 boxes of legal materials that the feds must store for my research. The above described " diesel therapy" is for my jailhouse lawyer work. I agree with Ed in his article Class Implications that "one simply cannot make meaningful progress by devoting her or his limited resources to merely getting individual prisoners out of prison."

While I do not agree with all of Ed's Marxist philosophy, I do admire PLN's efforts and the way it is put together. I should be out in two months and if your team is willing to accept financial help from a bourgeois, I will be happy to be of assistance to your team.

R.S., Marianna, FL

Sneaky Rejection Method

Greetings and best wishes to you from the dungeon at Pelican Bay. I am writing because I did not receive my September PLN. My friend Glenn said he saw my name in the issue, so I am wondering where my copy is. I am having some trouble here with [the cops'] brainwashing tactics being used by these jarhead pigs on me. You know the oppressor. I have found a few items of mail (mostly political) that have turned up missing in the last few months. If you can send another September PLN I would appreciate it. The paper usually arrives in the first or second week of the month. So I have waited an extra week. I have my pen heated up and would like to write something for you. Please give me a topic and number of works, and I will expound.

I celebrated Attica Day in quiet prayer and respectful reflection. I stalled in my cell and thought about the brothers who stood up. I am currently amongst a mostly conditioned crowd. But I am resistance to the bond and maintain my beliefs, values and dignity.

T.F., Pelican Bay, CA

[Editor's Note: Copies of the paper mailed to prisoners at Pelican Bay have been returned to us because the prisoners' cell Number was not included in the address label. We will be challenging any rejection on such outrageous grounds.]

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login