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Stories

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Diane’s Story: I Moved 180 Degrees on Compassion

Diane has been a part of the FAMMily for years now. She is a tireless advocate for her husband, and she is a source of...
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Compassionate Release Clearinghouse: Damiene Lewis

On April 24, 2020, Damiene Lewis was granted compassionate release and sent home. “That’s a huge blessing,” he says now, from his mother’s home in...
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Jomari DeLeon: Pressured Into a Terrible Decision

Jomari DeLeon made two drug sales over 24 hours, making less than $200. Kingpin? Hardly. Yet this first-time offender was sentenced to 15 years. Even...
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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...
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When Addiction Leads to 30 Years Behind Bars

“I am not saying that I am innocent. I did some really foolish things and failed to reach out for help for my addiction. I broke my mother’s heart.” Celeste Blair’s path from childhood trauma to addiction to prison is...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

How an Unloaded BB Gun Got a Teenager 33 Years

15 – Nick Robinson’s age when he was arrested 17 – Nick’s age when he was sent to an adult prison 33 – The number of years of his sentence 28 – How old Nick is now 2037 – The...Read More
State: Virginia
Issue: Sentencing

My Ah-Ha Moment Around a Tough Topic

Andrea Strong has worked at FAMM practically since day one. She is our Director of Member Services, and over the years she has talked to countless families with loved ones in prison. She knows firsthand the pain of having a...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Heather’s Story: We Need Help, Not Shame

My name is Heather Wagner, and I have been married to my husband Larry for 19 years. During our marriage, my husband has battled a debilitating addiction to pornography. Larry was molested as a child and suffered childhood trauma that...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Advocacy, Family, and Faith

In September of 2020, Danica Acebedo Jucutan posted this happy message on the “FAMMilies in Action” Facebook page: “I just wanted to share that after the many nights and days of researching, crying, complaining, giving up … things got better....Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

The Crack-Powder Disparity: It’s Time for Justice

In 2010, the Fair Sentencing Act reduced the crack-powder disparity in sentencing from 100:1 to 18:1. Lawmakers acknowledged that crack cocaine is no more addictive than powder and is not more likely to cause violent crime. Also true is that...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

The Need for Oversight in Florida’s Prisons: Stories From Affected People

Florida’s prisons cost taxpayers $2.5 billion annually, employ tens of thousands of people, and are responsible for the lives of 90,000 incarcerated people, yet lack independent oversight, transparency, and accountability. Here are a few of the stories from people in...Read More
State: Florida
Issue: State

The Need for Oversight in Arizona’s Prisons: Stories From Affected People

Arizona’s prisons cost taxpayers $1.3 billion annually, employ thousands of people, and are responsible for the lives of 42,000 incarcerated people, yet lack independent oversight, transparency, and accountability. Here are a few of the stories from people in prison and...Read More
State: Arizona
Issue: State

Retroactivity Needed Now to Right an Unfair Sentence

Brian Keys is ten years into a 15-year sentence for selling drugs in a school zone, his first felony. Remarkably, he now has the support of the judge who sentenced him, plus the sheriff of the county where Brian was...Read More
State: Tennessee
Issue: Drug-free school zone law