Prisoner Profiles

Many people have been deeply affected by rigid mandatory minimum sentencing laws. FAMM highlights the human costs of these laws by sharing prison profiles. Read through the profiles below and judge for yourself whether these sentences seem fair.

Federal Profiles Florida Profiles Massachusetts Profiles
Other State Profiles Released Prisoners Family Perspectives

Terrance Davis

  Because of the Drug-Free School Zone Act in Tennessee, this low-level drug offender is serving a decade longer than he would have without that enhancement. A distance of 101 feet. For Terrance Davis, that length was the difference between 12 years in prison—with the possibility of parole after serving four years—and the sentence he… Read more »


My Story: Kaylee G.

For most of Kaylee’s childhood, her father was incarcerated. She was one of the astounding 2.7 million children in the United States growing up with a parent in prison. Now she is an adult with a child of her own, and she is a passionate advocate for reform. Her father will remain behind bars for… Read more »


Mandy Martinson

Mandy Martinson was serving 15 years in federal prison for helping her dealer-boyfriend in exchange for feeding her methamphetamine addiction. Mandy’s judge, unable to go below the mandatory minimum, expressed his objection to the sentence, stating: “The Court does not have any particular concern that Ms. Martinson will commit crimes in the future.” Mandy was… Read more »


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 »


Michael Giles

      Michael is a veteran serving a mandatory 25-year sentence under Florida’s 10-20-Life law after he fired two shots in self-defense, shots that did not seriously injure his attacker. On Feb. 6, 2010, active duty air force serviceman Michael Giles was invited to a Tallahassee nightclub by a few of his friends. Giles,… Read more »


Cynthia Powell: 25 Years for 35 Pills

  Cynthia Powell was not an addict. She was not a dealer. She sold 35 of her diabetes pain pills to a confidential informant—for $300. Just enough to make ends meet that month. Next thing she knew, she was arrested, charged, and convicted. Her sentence? Twenty-five years.     On April 11, 2002, a battered… Read more »


Nichole Marie Forde

Nichole Forde’s life was spiraling downward. Abused as a child, living on the streets, two suicide attempts … When she was finally convicted of selling drugs in 2010, it might have been a blessing in disguise. Nichole needed a change. A reasonable prison sentence could have helped her repay her debt to society and turn… Read more »


Robyn Hamilton

Robyn Hamilton used drugs and had “bad thinking,” in her words, and she was caught up in a drug conspiracy that netted her a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. The judge in her trial did not want to sentence her as he was compelled. “Just so the record is clear, if the – if this… Read more »


Paul Fields

Categorized as a “Career Offender” because of prior nonviolent offenses, Paul Fields was sentenced to 15½ in federal prison on one count of growing marijuana. Happily, his sentence was commuted by President Obama in December 2016. He will be released in the fall of 2017. “Designed to punish the most recalcitrant recidivists, in reality the Career… Read more »


Weldon Angelos

Weldon was serving 55 years in federal prison for three counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and various charges related to marijuana trafficking. He was released on May 31, 2016, after a federal court granted him a reduction in sentence. Learn more from the Washington Post. UPDATE: In this… Read more »


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