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Letters From Readers

Hey - I got issue #2 of PLN tonight. I read the article on sex offenders and thought it was excellent. Not only was I not offended, I agree with you 100%.

Look - we all have our prejudices as to what is an "okay" crime and what isn't. I don't think the views on such things have really changed much over the years. But what I see as the single most damaging aspect, that which blocks progress for the good of all, is that people can't (or won't) set aside their petty judgments and differences to unite in a common cause.

I have to say that the one good thing (other than winning) that came out of the [cross gender] search case here [at Purdy] is that 95% or more united on a level of commonality that overcame the bullshit. That's too rare.

Constantly I hear people talking about how fucked up everyone else is in this madhouse, and many times I have had friend, close friends, look at me in silence when I say isn't it a shame that we waste all that energy and focus on each other instead of directing it where it belongs.

On that level I can neutralize anything. I don't care what a person's crime is. We're in the same boat. Of course there are other levels to deal with on a day-to-day basis, but you put that shit aside to accomplish a thing.

Rapos, rats, punks, heavies, recluses - we are all prisoners. Some will never be close friends, but there is no way to improve our lot if we can rise above these differences if necessary. I saw them put it aside once and hope to see it happen again.

--Woman prisoner at Purdy


I like your newsletter. It is badly needed. If I get this job I will be able to help you out financially.

What you wrote about sex offenders was good. I want to share something with you from the book Victims No Longer by Mike Lew. It is a description of the power involved in the sex offender dynamic.

He says that perpetrators of such crimes seek to achieve power so as to avoid further victimization. In a world divided into victims and perpetrators, abuse can be interpreted as power. The only way of masculinizing (empowering) himself seems to be by turning someone else into a victim. As terrible as it feels to be an abuser, it feels like his only possibility of leaving the role of the victim. And he never wants to play the victim again.

I have no doubt that [the foregoing] is much of the reason why so many child abusers are found to have been abused themselves.

-- Prisoner's wife, Kent, WA


I've already sent a book of stamps to the outside address of your `zine. I thought it was a fine issue - liked the blend of legal decisions, first person stuff, and interesting facts. I think the `zine will work for both those inside and out, can be read by both.

--Out-of-State Reader


Here's a bandwagon I'd like to see a few hundred people jump on: If you would look at our [Washington] state constitution it says that conviction shall not (a mandatory term) work a disadvantage of property. Following that, somewhere in RCW 10.01 there is statutory authority for "remission of restitution." Up to 80 percent of all prisoners are indigent and yet are shouldering a [financial] burden of sometimes thousands of dollars which are automatically inflicted upon conviction by the sentencing court. Here lies fertile ground for a flock of PRPs and a chance for the not-too-well-off prisoners not to face going back to the joint for failure to pay what he does not have.

--Shelton Prisoner, Wash.


Not more than a few days ever go by without some resident coming up to me and saying his public pretender didn't (some major malfunction) at trial, or that he was coerced into a guilty plea because he would get a higher crime charged and/or six times the guideline range if he didn't play ball. "All the better to build five new prisoners with, my dear," said the wolf. Oh how I wish the Union of Soviet Washington could adopt restructuring and openess, and to have a new two party system like Russia instead of just the G.O.B (good ol' boys).

--McNeil Island Prisoner


Here are some stamps. Keep up the good work with the newsletter, and keep me on the mailing list.

--Ex-Prisoner, Olympia


Recently sent stamps to the address in Seattle in order to get a copy of the newsletter. I'll support it any way I can. It's great that something like this has started. Keep `em coming. We need this paper.

--Shelton Prisoner, Wash.

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