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John Darin Erp

I am a 22-year-old currently serving a 5 year sentence in Montana's state prison system. I was arrested, convicted and subsequently incarcerated while attending the University of Montana. I was convicted of the victimless crime of possessing 3 grams of cocaine. My life has been reduced to a 6' x 9' cell, at a cost of $80,000 and rolling.

I have been paroled twice through a prerelease center. The first time I got a good job working at a regional hospital. My parole was revoked for the offense of alcohol consumption. I had 2 beers, and for that, I was sent back to prison. The second time I was paroled it was revoked when I failed a urine test. I had tested positive for marijuana. Abstinence has not been my forte, but I certainly don't believe that either of those offenses should bring imprisonment - the harshest form of punishment aside from execution, but it looks like our congress has that in mind, and not too far in the distant future.

I urge everyone who stops at this website, to take a sincere interest in learning more about the policies of our State and Federal government. Examine them closely. What could possibly be productive about sending a peace loving, educated youth to prison for years at a time? It certainly does not provide "rehabilitation," nor is it humane or cost effective. If you are sick of wasting your tax dollars on incarceration - then realize that the government is abusing you by locking up low-level drug law violators. If those wasted dollars and time were focused on true criminals, your neighborhoods and America as a whole would be both safer.

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