Stories - FAMM

Stories

Featured Stories

Free to Succeed: Ernest Boykin

“2027” is written boldly on the back of Ernest Boykin’s phone as a reminder of the year he would have been released, had he not...
READ STORY

A Lifetime of Remorse and Service to Others

Too many people in Pennsylvania are serving long prison terms that don’t make communities safer. There are plenty of people locked up like David Mandeville,...
READ STORY

When a Second Chance Means Powerhouse Advocacy

There’s nothing romantic about prison. But here’s a FAMM story that’s undeniably romantic. It’s about what happens when fierce advocacy, Fantasy Football, 35 birthday cards,...
READ STORY

A Racist Disparity, the EQUAL Act, and One Man’s Redemption

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced the disparity in sentencing for crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses from 100:1 to 18:1. But true justice...
READ STORY

Motivating everything we do here at FAMM are real people—prisoners, families with loved ones locked up, returning citizens—who experience firsthand our broken criminal justice system. When FAMM started more than three decades ago, it was the stories of these people that defined our mission and our work. And that hasn’t changed.

On this page, you’ll find many different kinds of stories, featuring people of all stripes from all over the country. Each and every one of their stories shows in sharp relief the problems with bad sentencing laws and prison policies. We hope that these stories educate and inspire you, just as they do for us.

 

  • Clear Filter

Free to Succeed: Fulton “Mr. Wash” Washington

Almost as soon as he entered prison for a mandatory life sentence on drugs charges in 1997, Fulton “Mr. Wash” Washington got to work. He didn’t know whether or not he’d ever have an opportunity to join society again as...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Free to Succeed: Peter Ninemire

To hear Peter Ninemire talk about his decades-long career in social work and addiction treatment, you’d never know that in 1990, he was number three on the state of Kansas’ most wanted list, or that a year later he’d be...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Free to Succeed: Naomi Blount

“Over the years, I have written my obituary numerous times,” says Naomi Blount. “I never thought I would ever be coming home.” That’s because in 1982, she was sentenced to life in Pennsylvania state prison. She was 32 years old....Read More
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Clemency

Free to Succeed: Javier Reyes

Javier Reyes was three years into a 25-year robbery sentence when when Leroy Staley – a supervisor of recreation at a federal prison in Yazoo, Mississippi – asked him a question that would haunt him for days: “Mr. Reyes, have...Read More
Category:
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Free to Succeed: Cecilia Cardenas

My name is Cecilia Cardenas, and before I tell you anything about me, I want to make one thing really clear: The biggest misconception about former prisoners is that we’re still living the lifestyle that got us into trouble and...Read More
State:
Issue: Reentry

Free to Succeed: Mandy Martinson

When a second chance means a chance to work hard to regain a profession lost and be there for a dying father … Mandy Martinson never thought she’d see the day when her father would be walking her down the...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Free to Succeed: John Gargano

John Gargano graduated from New York University in May 2021 with a 3.91 GPA. Like a lot of recent graduates, he wasn’t sure what was in store, but he hoped to return to the restaurant industry, where he’d enjoyed the...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Free to Succeed: Ernest Boykin

“2027” is written boldly on the back of Ernest Boykin’s phone as a reminder of the year he would have been released, had he not been granted compassionate release. “Every day not behind the fence, every day that I’m free,...Read More
State:
Issue: Compassionate Release

Free to Succeed: Stephanie Nodd

Stephanie Nodd loves her job. She’s an inventory specialist at a trucking company, Action Resources. She recalls how happy she was in her interview to hear her future boss say, “Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody deserves a second chance.”  Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing