Sentencing News

FAMM has resources and contacts to assist the media with reporting on mandatory minimum sentences and their effects on the country. Media inquiries should be directed to


May 31, 2017

Tampa veteran’s mother fights mandatory minimum sentencing

Originally published 4/13/17 at WTSP A quarter century – that’s what Phyllis Giles’ son is serving, not in the Air Force where Michael planned to retire, but in a Florida prison. Michael Giles’ family is fighting Florida’s state law mandating minimum sentences. Giles is now six years into his sentence that advocates call unjust. Thursday,… Read more »

May 31, 2017

Residents pressure Sanchez on criminal justice reform

Originally published 4/14/17 at Jamaica Plain Gazette Residents pressured local state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez to take action on criminal justice reform at a public meeting last month on Mission Hill. Sanchez held the meeting to inform residents in his district about the results of a community survey he recently completed, and to answer questions from… Read more »

May 31, 2017

Among Delinquent Teens, Whites More Likely Than Blacks to Abuse Hard Drugs

Originally published 3/17/16 at Northwestern Now Abuse and dependence on “hard drugs” (cocaine, hallucinogen or PCP, opiate, amphetamine and sedatives) are less common among delinquent African American youth than those who are non-Hispanic white, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. The study offers the first comprehensive picture of drug and alcohol abuse and dependence… Read more »

May 31, 2017

New law would help mitigate time spent in jail due to unpaid fines

Originally published 4/12/17 at The Berkshire Eagle Defendants who can’t afford to pay court fees or fines would be able to perform community service to cover their debt instead of serving jail time, under a bill Gov. Charlie Baker filed Tuesday. The legislation would address a practice known as “fine time,” in which defendants who… Read more »

May 31, 2017

Has a bold reform plan helped to shrink Philly’s prison population?

Originally published 4/12/17 at Back in January, Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield was undertaking a radical experiment in criminal-justice reform from the otherwise drab confines of an 11th-floor courtroom in the Criminal Justice Center. There were no major criminal cases on her docket — just addicts, small-time drug dealers, and a man accused of… Read more »

May 31, 2017

Jodi Richter

Jodi Richter was sentenced to 15 years for her minor part in a drug conspiracy that involved more than 500 grams of methamphetamine distributed in North Dakota, Minnesota, and elsewhere. Her story—with its myriad threads of addiction and mental illness and the lengthy sentence that came at its end—is at once complicated yet all too… Read more »