Letters to MotherJones

An arresting feature
Re:“Debt to Society: The Real Price of Prisons”
7/12/01

I was very impressed by the new “Debt To Society” feature. I thought it was fantastic. I did a research paper a few years ago on incarceration, and would have killed to have found a centralized feature like this, with powerful articles from Governor Gary Johnson, Jesse Jackson, etc. The atlas, too, was easy to use and provided information in a visible, useful manner.

Trey Lyons
Washington, DC


 

The cocktail saved my life
Re:“Viral Load”
7/09/01

I read your article concerning some scientists claims that there’s no connection between HIV and AIDS. As an individual who’s diagnosed with AIDS, I can attest that these guys are full of it.

I did not contract AIDS because I was consuming the cocktail. Rather, my ravaged body was brought from the brink of death by these drugs.

I was once a 190-pound, athletically active, healthy man. AIDS turned me into a 120-pound, barely breathing carcass who couldn’t walk. In a very short time I went from climbing mountains on weekends to being carried from point A to point B. Food became something to throw up.

The cocktail saved my life. I am not anywhere near where I once was, but now I weigh 150 pounds, I can eat, I don’t have to worry about losing control of my bladder and bowels. I can hike (on good days). I can work a few hours a day, walk my dog, care for myself and my home, and be in pubic without looking like a dying man. I am still here to raise my daughter, and I could live long enough to see her graduate from college. Three years, three months, and seven days later, I have hope because of the drugs that those scientists say kill people.

These nay-sayers are contributing to the spread of this plague. Their behavior is irresponsible and criminal.

C.S.L. Mathis

 

Where wardens rule their way
Re: “Steeltown Lockdown”
7/9/01

I worked for CCA for six months in Holdenville. The people there were desperate for jobs. No one was trained. Prisoners filled the place in a matter of weeks. I quickly learned that I could trust the inmates far more than the guards — who’d turned into power hungry testosterone-filled idiots. Despite the state laws, wardens rule the prison their way, answering to no one. Moreover, our Department of Corrections doesn’t care.

S. Stone