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...
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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,...
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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,...
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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...
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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.

 

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Rick Turner

Rick Turner: Lost in the System

Last year, one of the jurors in Frederick “Rick” Turner’s trial talked to the Washington Post after Rick’s sentencing hearing. “Mr. Turner has a problem, he made really bad decisions. But do I think he can be a productive member...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing
Anye Young

Anyé’s Story: Speaking Out and Breaking a Vicious Cycle

My name is Anyé Young and I am the child of a prisoner. I was born in Greensboro, N.C., and now live in the Washington, D.C., metro area. I am currently 17 years old, a graduating senior in high school,...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Kerry’s Story: Father and Friend

UPDATE: Erik was released in February 2021 through a resentencing to time served. Kerry Weyant’s son Erik is living the nightmare that is Florida’s 10-20-Life mandatory minimum. Erik was sentenced to 20 years for firing a gun into the air...Read More
State: Florida
Issue: Mandatory Minimums

Matthew Charles: Saved by the First Step Act

Matthew Charles’ life has seen some extraordinary turns recently. After spending 21 years in prison on a 35-year sentence, he was released in 2016. He walked out of prison with nothing, but soon created a full life for himself. It...Read More
Category:
State:
Issue: Sentencing
Charceil Kellam

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...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing
Chad Marks

Success on the Inside: Chad Marks

At age 24, Chad Marks was sentenced to a 40-year federal mandatory minimum sentence. The prosecution offered him a plea deal that could have resulted in a 10-year term if Chad would admit his guilt. Instead, he went to trial,...Read More
Category:
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Ashley Renee 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...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Success on the Inside: Jorge Maldonado

UPDATE: Jorge was released in November 2021 after serving his sentence. I still think about wrestling. I watch it here in prison every Monday and Tuesday. I wrestled for over 25 years, in many countries. You can see my videos...Read More
Category:
State:
Issue: Sentencing
Ainsley Woods

Ainsley’s Story: The Value of Speaking Up

UPDATE: Ainsley’s husband Jeff was released to a halfway house on February 26, 2019. “I’m never getting married again,” I told my lawyer as we walked out of the county courthouse. I was feeling free and at the end of...Read More
State:
Issue: Reentry