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

Oliver B.’s Story: Prison Is the Wolf That Scatters Sheep

My brother has served 25 years of a mandatory life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. John is now 70 years old with no prospects of being released. The impact of outdated sentencing laws is not only tying the hands of our federal judicial system, but also continues to have detrimental consequences on families, including… Read more »


Chris Young: “Barely on the Totem Pole” and Life in Prison

The judge at Chris Young’s trial described his life sentence as “way out of whack.” The absurdity of his punishment is matched, though, by the fierce passion for self-improvement and education that drives Chris now, even as he is doomed to die behind bars. His is a remarkable story.  There was something unusual going on… Read more »


Katie Hoyle: A Second Chance at College … And Life

Four years ago this month, Katie Hoyle finally walked free out of prison. Now, she’s planning to walk across the stage of Iowa State University in the spring of 2018 to receive her college degree. Almost 25 years ago, Katie Hoyle headed off to the University of Iowa for freshman year. She had ranked fourth… Read more »


Calvin Bryant: 17 Years for a First Offense

  Beloved by friends, family, teachers, and co-workers, Calvin Bryant is now serving 17 years for a first-time offense. His sentence was grossly enhanced by Tennessee’s harsh and unfair drug-free school zone law. In 2009, Calvin Bryant was convicted of selling drugs and sentenced to 17 years in Tennessee state prison. He was a first-time… Read more »


Sara Moore: “A Great Little Kid”

  Sara was so far into her drug addiction that nothing mattered. Not friends, family, or work. She sold drugs out of her apartment and was arrested, and because she lived in a school zone, her sentence was much greater than it would have been otherwise. She knew she was in a school zone, she… Read more »


My Story: Cassie M.

Cassie’s husband Chris is in prison for six years on a wire fraud charge. They married just months before his incarceration, and the years since have made her an outspoken and fearless advocate for criminal justice reform. She shares here the roller-coaster of emotions that families of prisoners go through. “Happy Thanksgiving.” That was the… Read more »


William Forrester

William Forrester became addicted to pain medication after surgery. In the fierce grip of his disease, he obtained oxycodone with a fake prescription. He badly needed help with his addiction; instead he is now in state prison for a mandatory 15 years. “The pain never seemed to go away, no matter how much medication I… Read more »


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 »


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 »


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