Family Perspectives

When someone is sentenced to a mandatory minimum prison term, their entire family is affected.

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 The impact of outdated sentencing laws is not only tying the hands of our federal judicial system, but also continues to have detrimental consequences on families, including… Read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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

My Story: Danielle W.

Danielle’s husband Keith is currently serving a 270-month mandatory minimum sentence. Danielle has written a book about her experiences as a “prison wife” and an accompanying blog, I wouldn’t have thought that the day my then-fiancé left home for the morning and hollered to me, “Baby, I’m gone,” that he would be gone for… Read more »

My Story: Sara S.

Sara’s father is currently serving a life sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. In May 2007, my father was arrested by U.S. marshals. They had been investigating him for over a year. There was a sealed indictment on him, and he was being charged with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine. My dad’s… Read more »

My Story: Sherrie D.

Sherrie’s son, Walter, is currently serving a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. He is scheduled to be released in 2020. When all this came about, my son had never been in trouble before, so I thought, this shouldn’t be too bad. I thought my son may get maybe 3-5… Read more »


Some of these stories have been submitted by members of the community and have not been endorsed, vetted or verified by FAMM. You can share your story here.

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