Federal Prisoners


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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 »

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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

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 legally keep from giving it to him.” Sherman has already served over 20 years in prison at… Read more »

Chris Best in front of a mural he painted at FCI Greenville. (Courtesy of Chris Best)

Christopher Best

At the age of 22 – a time when most of his peers were just starting their careers – Christopher Best was branded a career criminal and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He was arrested in 2006 on federal drug charges: conspiracy to possess with intent to… 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 »


Ashley Keeton

In 2011, three days before Christmas, 23 year-old Ashley Renee Keeton was worrying about being able to put toys under the tree for her four young children. Wanting to make some quick cash to buy gifts, she decided to take a risk—she agreed to deliver a large quantity of marijuana for a drug dealer she… Read more »

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Ronald J. Evans

Ronald Evans was just 16 years old when he joined the conspiracy that would result in his being sentenced to life in prison. Raised by a single mother in a Virginia public housing project, Ronald had difficulty in school, and, as a young teenager, began getting into fights and associating with drug dealers in his… Read more »