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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On Different Sides of a Prison Wall, Two Women Fight for Second Chances

Consider yourself lucky if you’ve got Georgean Arsons rooting for you. Her day job over the years has been in corporate America, but her superpower is criminal justice reform work. She has advocated from her home in Sea Bright, N.J.,...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

“Both of Our Mothers Lost a Son That Day”

[UPDATE: Gary Kyles was granted a pardon from Gov. Wolf in July 2022. He is now free.] Gary Kyles has spent his entire adult life incarcerated. Arrested at 18, sentenced to life without the possibility of parole at 20. He...Read More
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Sentencing

One Woman’s Fight for a Second Chance for Her Best Friend

UPDATE: Sincere was pardoned by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and was released in January 2022. Too many people are serving long prison terms that don’t make us safer, and our laws don’t give them a second chance. Most governors have...Read More
State: Virginia
Issue: Clemency

Seriously Ill and Locked Up for Stealing 6 DVDs

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

Shouldn’t There Be a Place for Redemption?

[UPDATE: Terrell Carter was granted a pardon from Gov. Wolf in July 2022. He is now free.] Too many people in Pennsylvania are serving long prison terms that don’t make communities safer. There are plenty of people locked up like...Read More
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Sentencing

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, and a second chance come together …  Read More
State:
Issue: Reentry

Keep Them Home: Travis’ Story

At this moment, thousands of people safely completing their sentences at home are living in fear that they’ll be sent back to federal prison through no fault of their own. A memo from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Success on the Inside: A Man of Faith, Love, and Redemption

AnDreco Lott is serving a prison sentence of more than 92 years. Yet somehow, his life spark hasn’t dimmed. In fact, in the 20 years he’s been inside, his growth has been remarkable.  Read More
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State:
Issue: Sentencing

The Case for Compassionate Release as a Second Look

The compassionate release reform in the First Step Act is being used by some federal judges as a second look authority. The stories here of Jamal, Adam, Lisa, and Devon show why this mechanism makes sense and should be used...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing