Pubdate: Fri, 08 Jun 2001
Source: Wilson Daily Times, The (NC)
Copyright: 2001 Wilson Daily Times
Author: Dale Hill


As an inmate in the Federal Prison System, I try to stay up to date
with current events by reading the newspapers daily. Lately what I
have been reading alarms me. I hope that it concerns you as well.
President Bush is asking Congress for $4.66 billion for the Federal
Bureau of Prisons. William J. Bennett thinks it's time to intensify
the war on drugs. Then I read where the Drug Enforcement
Administration office out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been caught
falsifying arrest reports.

Americans! Are we fighting the Drug War to the best of our ability?
We've been engaged in it since the Nixon years. It is pretty obvious
we can't incarcerate our way to victory. Would our tax dollars be
better spent on treatment and education?

I'm no expert, but here's my opinion after eight years of
incarceration. I see a lot of 18-, 19- and 20-year-old young men come
into the prison system with sentences of 10 years of longer like
myself. Most are nonviolent, low-level drug offenders. And like
myself, the reason they're caught up in the drug lifestyle is because
of their addiction. One of the easiest ways for an addict to supply
their habit is to deal drugs, or some other means of crime. I'm not
saying we're right by doing so, by no means! But is it justice when
people that have an addiction get lengthy prison sentences, when all
they really need is treatment?

I'd like to close by saying, yes, I'm guilty of breaking the law of
this country, "which I regret."

Please, people, let's reconsider the way we're fighting this war on

Dale Hill

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