Good Old Gals network & Criminals' responsibility

In California, we currently have something in place which rivals the old-boy network [``Workshops for women who own businesses provide fresh strength and skills,'' Jan. 8]. Since its inception in 1980, the Good Old Gals (GOG) network has provided women in business and politics the arena for sharing information and ideas; however, I appreciated the content of Callahan's article, since we have faced similar dilemmas with respect to having our clout underestimated. Initially, we organized as a regional branch of CEWAER (California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research), although the GOG participants are not obliged to join. More recently, we have expanded our group to include women with a wide spectrum of interests. We have been very successful in linking women in politics to women in business. The purpose of our meetings is to educate and inform one another of issues in which we share a common concern.

As a founding member of the Good Old Gals network, I would like to assure you that I am well aware of the potential power of women working together. We are not only playing the game, but also making the rules. Susanne Wilson Board of Supervisors San Jose, Calif. County of Santa Clara Criminals' responsibility

The article concerning prisons should have national consideration [``Our prisons continue to overflow -- violently,'' Jan. 9].

Convicts have been heard repeating the boast that they can ``do their time standing on their head'' -- implying that they are under no obligation to do forced labor, acquire education, or curb their hostilities.

Under greater duress are the victims of crime who have been mentally harassed, physically abused, robbed, and left to pay the bills incidental to restoring their homes and possessions, paying for professional services, accounting for loss of income, and the necessity of reorganizing their lives.

Convicts should be accountable to their victims for complete restoration to the value of stolen items. This should be true no matter whether those inmates are financially able to make restitution to their victims before the prison sentence has been fully served, or must work after release to square these monetary obligations.

Many prison tasks done by outside contractors should be made available to inmates who have established reliability within the facility. F. Pierce Sherry San Rafael, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address to ``readers write.''

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