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On March 24, presidential commutation recipients, former prisoners and their families, and advocates from around the country gathered together in Washington, D.C. for an evening of celebration and a renewed commitment to reforming our country’s sentencing laws.

  • Deborah Young, Elizabeth Berhe, and Kia Kassa
  • Julie Stewart and Sam Sheldon
  • Peyton Rivera, and Taylor Gaines enjoy Busta Rhymes
  • FAMM member Stephanie Nodd shares her story
  • FAMM member Stephanie George shares her story
  • Michael Higgins and Simeon Davis
  • Jeff Stewart thanks FAMM president (and his sister) Julie Stewart for years of dedication
  • FAMM member Jason Hernandez speaks with Cynthia Roseberry of Clemency Project 2014
  • Molly Gill presents gift to Julie Stewart
  • JeDonna Young discuses the Michigan sentencing reforms she benefited from
  • FAMM vice president Kevin Ring, introduces president Julie Stewart
  • President Julie Stewart displays old newspaper featuring FAMM member Serena Nunn
  • FAMM members receive advocacy training
  • Michael Higgins and Simeon Davis join Julie Stewart for a photo op!
  • FAMM member Luis Rivera shares his story
  • President and Founder, Julie Stewart is honored on stage with her family
  • FAMM vice president Kevin Ring, introduces president Julie Stewart
  • Frayda Levy encourages FAMM25 attendees to support FAMM!
  • Busta Rhymes pledges to partner with FAMM
  • Sandy Oglivy and Cynthia Roseberry
  • White House Counsel, Neil Eggelston, discusses clemency
  • FAMM president Julie Stewart enjoys the program
  • Serena Nunn on stage with her daughter Serenity
  • FAMM member Ernie Montgomery benefited from marijuana reforms championed by FAMM
  • Board Member, Jason Flom
  • Serenity Nunn, Peyton Rivera, and Taylor Gaines enjoy Busta Rhymes
  • Veda Ajamu joins Jen Larkin Lukawski on Captiol Hill
  • Kemba Smith and Pete Rivero enjoy Busta Rhymes
  • David Boaz and Grover Norquist
  • FAMM general counsel Mary Price
  • FAMM member Loretta Fish Liegel
  • Julie Stewart presents gift to FAMM member services director, Andrea Strong
  • FAMM member Sherman Chester
  • Surprise Guest, Busta Rhymes
  • Toni Frink advocates for sentencing reform on Capitol Hill
  • FAMM member Michael Keating


Over the past 25 years, more than 310,000 people have benefited from sentencing reforms championed by FAMM at the federal and state levels. FAMM’s evening of celebration shined a light on those who have marched along with FAMM in our fight for justice. We invite you to learn more about FAMM’s rich history and the many reforms we are proud to have had lead.

At a time when 77 percent of the public believes it is time to reform our mandatory minimum sentencing laws, we must take stock of how far we’ve come, reflect on the journey, and renew our shared commitment to a cause worth fighting for.

Join us in celebrating our 25th anniversary by following #FAMM25 on social media. Enjoy the time capsule of photos below followed by noteworthy articles recognizing our 25 years of fighting for smarter sentencing laws.


FAMM 25 in the media:

“A dozen former prisoners, including several freed from unfair life sentences after decades in prison, were guests at the celebration of last week. Miss Stewart is regarded by them as a saint, someone who gave them hope when reason told them there was none, and fought for their release.”
-Washington Times: Sainthood for a heroine

“[Former prisoners] came to Washington to share their stories with as many people who were willing to listen — journalists, activists and lawmakers.”
-TIME: What Life is Like for Prisoners After their Sentences are Commuted

“Our policy shatters lives, devastates communities and robs families of their fathers and mothers, sons and daughters.”
-Washington Post: Busta Rhymes dedicating his life to prison reform

“I have considered myself an eternal optimist but I really believe that we won’t go backwards. As a nation, we’ve reached a point of understanding about criminal justice—that large numbers of people should not go to prison for relatively minor crimes.”
-The Crime Report: ‘Sentencing the Crime, Not the Person’

“Now that there is broad agreement that sentencing reform is needed, we are fighting for much more comprehensive reforms that will impact hundreds of thousands more in the years to come.”
Washington Post: President Obama expected to grant more clemencies to federal prisoners in weeks to come

“She was an addict. Instead of dealing with the underlying proble, we simply incarcerated her.”
-Daily Signal: After 15 Years in Prison, One Drug Offender’s Search for Meaning

“FAMM believes the punishment should fit the crime, and the offender’s role — a fundamental principle that is rooted in American values. For two decades, FAMM was a lone voice fighting to change the laws that stole decades of my life.”
-USA Today: Mandatory minimums do more harm than good

“In 2007, after a long struggle by FAMM and others, the commission voted to make its guideline changes retroactive. The day of the vote, my daughter Kamille heard the news in her writing class where they had been discussing the unjust crack laws. The students and Kamille’s professor cheered. She began crying, ‘My mom’s coming home!'”
-Fay Observer: Natasha Darrington: Harsh sentencing tears families apart

“Every day, I found myself outraged and heartbroken by each new story. But I was inspired by the dignity, passion, and grace of the parents, children, and loved ones who came forward to share their stories.”
-Huffington Post: Life in prison for marijuana is wrong

“The punishment should fit the crime, but in America today, people are being sentenced to exorbitant sentences for nonviolent crimes, even minor drug offenses.”
-Hip Hop Wired: Busta Rhymes Calls for Prison Sentencing Reform


FAMM’s Accomplishments Over 25 Years:

Former prisoners share how they have benefited from sentencing reforms championed by FAMM.


#FAMM25 on social media: