Federal Prisoners



Charceil Kellam

When Charceil Kellam was arrested in September of 2006, her family assumed that she wouldn’t spend much time in prison. She had a history of arrests, related to her decades-long addiction issues, but even when convicted, she never spent a ton of time locked up. This time, however, Charceil was indicted on federal crack cocaine… Read more »

Jaquale head shot

Jaquale Clark

When Jaquale Clark pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in 2012, she knew it was serious, but didn’t fully grasp what she was facing. “I had no clue what conspiracy was and no clue that I could spend 10 years in prison automatically if I got charged with it,” she now says. Just… Read more »

Alton Mills

Alton Mills

Update: On Dec. 18, 2015, President Obama commuted Alton’s life sentence. He will be released in 2016.  Alton Mills grew up in a rough part of Chicago, but he excelled at a time when many of his peers were struggling—he was a promising high school football star who had the support of a strong, loving… Read more »

Shirley -- 1retouched

Shirley Schmitt

For more than 50 years, Shirley Schmitt lived a quiet, serene life, raising her daughter and training horses on an Iowa farm with her husband, Lawrence. But when her beloved husband died of a heart attack in 2006, she says that “things kind of fell apart for me.” Shirley, over the course of several years,… Read more »

Melissa Trigg photo 1

Melissa Trigg

In August of 2006, Melissa Trigg entered Bryan Federal Prison Camp to begin serving 15 years for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during a drug crime, her first and only criminal conviction. “By the time I came to prison I was mad at everyone,” she says. “The only person I should… Read more »

Sherman Chester

Sherman Chester

Update: On Dec. 18, 2015, President Obama commuted Sherman’s life sentence. He will be released in 2016.  Sherman Chester is serving life without parole in federal prison for a nonviolent drug crime. His judge strongly objected to the mandatory sentence, stating: “This man doesn’t deserve a life sentence, and there is no way that I can… Read more »


Lisa Lorentz

Lisa grew up in a nice suburb outside of Dallas, Texas, in a loving, working-class home with two older brothers; her parents have been married 50 years. Still, despite this upbringing, she says she had difficulty fitting in during her teenage years. She eventually dropped out of school and obtained her GED. Lisa worked hard,… Read more »