Stories | FAMM


Featured Stories

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...

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...

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...

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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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

Antoinette’s Story: After 20 Years of Silence, I’m Sharing

I started a thing recently with my son Jay for when he calls. When I pick up, I say, “Jay’s Kitchen, how can I help?” And he always says right back, “What’s on the menu for today?” Every day I...Read More
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Sentencing

When Compassionate Release or Clemency Would Mean Justice Served

John Brookins’ story is filled with pain and injustice. But more than that, John’s story is a love story, one that goes all the way back to his childhood, when he met a girl named Karen at the Salvation Army...Read More
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Clemency

The Sunshine State’s Justice Reform Hero

Since Denise Rock started the criminal justice reform group Florida Cares in August 2017, the organization has impacted reform and activism around the issue in the state in a remarkable way. Yet it got its start in the most ordinary...Read More
State: Florida
Issue: Sentencing

Matthew Rushin’s Mom Just Won’t Quit Fighting

“If anyone thought I was not going to voice my opinion and that I was just going to let my son become a statistic, they had the wrong mom,” says Lavern Rushin. “They had the wrong mom.” Lavern is the...Read More
State: Virginia
Issue: Sentencing

Clearinghouse para Liberación Compasiva: Margarita Zamora

“Tuve una infancia difícil”, dice Margarita Zamora. “Mi padre nunca quiso tener nada que ver conmigo. Cuando se enteró de que mi mamá estaba embarazada, la dejó porque él era un hombre casado. Mi mama siempre tenía muchas relaciones cortas....Read More
Issue: Compassionate Release

An Unimaginable Sentence

When Darlene Wells and Jesse Dunaway met, it was “empathy at first sight.” She was working as a nurse at the institution where Jesse is a prisoner, and he was working in the staff dining hall. “You get to see...Read More
State: Virginia
Issue: Sentencing

Judy’s Story: So Many Mothers Missing Their Sons

My name is Judy McCarroll. My son’s name is Lawrence McCarroll. We were both sent to prison for drug offenses in 1995. I was sentenced to 27 years, and Lawrence was sentenced to 33. For both of us, this was...Read More
Issue: Sentencing