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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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

Lynn’s Story: Be Strong, Get Educated on the Law, and Be There for Them

Malcolm is my only child. He was always a nice, mild-mannered, easygoing boy. Every holiday when he was a boy, we had our favorite tradition. I would tell him, “Oh, we’re going to go on a little date.” I would...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

A Second Chance, Boundless Energy, and Joy

After passage of the First Step Act, Lisa Kuffel was granted compassionate release after serving 31 years of a 53-year sentence.  Read More
State:
Issue: Compassionate Release

He Went Into Prison a Healthy Man. Now He Weighs 110 Lbs.

My name is Mary Buffaloe and I’m 65 years old. I live in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and I’m a customer service representative for the University of Pennsylvania Heath System. My brother is Raymond Calliman, and he’s serving a life sentence...Read More
State:
Issue: Drug-free school zone law
Steven Hawthorne

“What’s Your Legacy Going to Be?” A Second Chance at Life

Steven Hawthorne’s story shows how second chances make sense. When he got his second chance and was released from Illinois state prison, Steven started building a productive life of service — and he hasn’t stopped since. Right now, there are...Read More
State: Illinois
Issue: Sentencing

A Second Chance So Dahvon Can Be “Part of the Solution”

Too many people in Illinois are serving long prison terms that don’t make communities safer, like Dahvon Wilson. There are plenty of people locked up who do not pose a risk to public safety, yet languish in prison for decades...Read More
State: Illinois
Issue: Sentencing

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, who do not pose a risk to public safety yet languish in prison for decades...Read More
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Sentencing

Allissia’s Story: “I Don’t Deserve to Die”

Too many people in Arizona are serving long prison terms that don’t make communities safer. There are plenty of people locked up who do not pose a risk to public safety yet languish in prison for decades, some of them...Read More
State: Arizona
Issue: Clemency

“A Good Man!” When Sentencing Enhancements Add 45 Years

“My roots weren’t strong, and when the storms of life came, I couldn’t hold on,” says Charles Scott, currently serving more than 51 years in federal prison – 45 of which are “stacked” mandatory enhancements.  Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing