If You Don't Read This, You Are Only Hurting Yourself by Kay Lee

If You Don't Want to Go to Prison, Pay Attention.

It's not enough to just obey 'the law' anymore.

Did you know that it took the United States 200 years to lock up its first million prisoners? And it has only taken 10 years to lock up the second million?

I know why the numbers are so overwhelming...

It's the same thing that's causing the people in prison to eat less, go without, and be abused by under-educated, undertrained 'guards'.

And it's the same thing that's making so many innocent people have to live the same nightmare as the guilty -

It's the Drug War.

Human Warehousing is the direct result of Mass Incarceration which is the direct result of the long-standing Drug War.

I've spoken to several groups working exclusively on Innocence in Prison. They tell me the rates for possibly innocent people in prison are as high as from 10% to possibly 25%.

Whether accused of being a murderer or a drug user, one quarter of the people we are so harshly punishing could be innocent of the charges they were arrested for!

That really scares me - One out of every 33 people I meet (statistically speaking) is entangled with the legal system.

Out of that 33, one out of four are possibly innocent.

Eight of the 33 people suffering society's 'cure' didn't do anything wrong!

I'm not good at math, but by my figures (counting me, my children and grandchildren), statistically speaking, two of them could be destroyed by the law even if none of them ever break the law.

The mistaken charges against my two hypothetically arrested grandchildren could be for anything; 'planning to overthrow the government', child molesting or, more likely (I would hope), pot possession.

'Statistically speaking', two of the people I treasure most could be forced to live as animals, work as slaves, and cry for freedom.

These figures mean one thing:

The sheer numbers the laws against non-violent activity are sucking in has caused a serious breakdown in the triumph of justice for everyone. We pay for supporting these laws in heartbreaking ways.

The Great Wrongs are multiplied by human error.


Was it Stone Phillips who reported that there had been 5,000 cases of mistaken identities from a year's worth of eye-witnesses?

The number of prisoners who were sent to prison on the testimony of one eyewitness, even when other evidence did not support their guilt, are growing.


In their intense efforts to make the drug war top priority, the Law allows certain citizens to break the law in exchange for their help in trapping other citizens who may or may not be breaking the law. They are called "Snitches" or "Narcs", and can be the source of many innocent people being crippled or destroyed by the 'system'.

Drug War Laws allow cops to arrest you and courts to imprison you with no drugs in evidence.

The Drug War Forfeiture Laws allow cops to keep money they get from seizing 'suspects' property. Soon departments begin to depend on the seizures to by their new toys and cars. Good enough reason to bust anyone.

I don't know the figure for last year, but the year before that, about $540 million dollars worth of stuff was taken from people who were never charged with a crime. (It took an average of two years and more lawyer fees to get their stuff back.)

Once arrested, particularly for drug charges, the accused almost always plea bargain guilty, forced by intimidation and threat, and often on advice from lawyers who are gleefully cashing in on the numbers of cases they can squeeze into their appointment book.


A typo is so easy to make when you're deluged with work. And with two million prisoners, and another, what? 52 - 56 million moving through the system - paperwork that is vital to the human being is rushed through by overburdened clerks and low-paid temps who don't realize - nor care - that each stroke of their keyboard can have serious consequences in someone else's life.


I have sat in courts just to see what's going on. I see the 'public pretenders' stagger in, each with a two foot high pile of files that he obviously scanned for the first time minutes ago in the hallway.

I see them stand to represent people whose names they have to refer to the file for.

I've seen the well-dressed lawyers who neglected to interview or subpoena witnesses, or file paperwork in a timely manner. They usually have spent the past few months avoiding the client, and taking on more people's cases than they can possibly effectively council for.


If you resist giving up all your rights with a plea bargain, you find yourself in a hostile courtroom where the judge restricts the 'Telling of the Truth", the juries are seldom instructed properly, and the verdict is possibly 25% too often guilty.

The words the judge and your lawyer exchange as they battle for your life are repetitious in case after case, recited rapid-fire, seldom varying, all you have time to understand is "You are hereby sentenced..."


So when errant guards go around pepperspraying for pleasure, over-utilizing isolation and the 'goon squads', writing bogus DRs and throwing away grievances, often adding untold days, months and years to a man's sentence, they need to remember that one out of 25 of the people they hurt are more innocent than they are!


We are busy people. We don't have time to research every policy, every law, every mistake that destroys good people.

We are good people, but sometimes we support policies because we've been fooled by the 'Smoke and Mirrors'... the propaganda, the manipulation of faulty numbers and bogus research. Sometimes we make mistakes.


So, think about it. And when you begin to feel the fear that I feel, write a letter to your representatives, with a cc to the editor of your local paper...and don't forget to save a copy for your grandkids -

Let them see how you stood up for truth and common sense, so they'll be able to do the same for their offspring!


Kay Lee, MTWT
Pacific Institute of Criminal Justice
1868 San Juan Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94707

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