More Prisoner Profiles

There is no shortage of stories of the lives that have been deeply affected by rigid mandatory minimum sentencing laws. FAMM highlights the human costs of these laws by sharing prison profiles. Read through the profiles below and judge for yourself whether these sentences seem fair.

Stephanie Troy: Making the Most of a Bad Sentence

Stephanie’s story is a messy one, reflecting the chaotic life of a drug addict. It also shows how drug-weight threshold laws can have a devastating “cliff effect” on low-level offenders. Arizona lawmakers thought that their one-size-fits-all prison sentences for drug offenses would only apply to major dealers. Meet Stephanie Troy, who received more than five… Read more »

Success on the Inside: Michael Monsivais

In prison, Michael Angel Monsivais saw a huge need. And instead of waiting for someone else to fill that need—the warden, the BOP, the government—he took matters into his own hands.  As a young man with limited economic, social, or community resources, Michael Angel Monsivais bounced in and out of the California correctional system. Eventually,… Read more »

Debi Campbell

Debi became addicted to methamphetamine in the early 1990s and began selling it to others because she thought the extra money would help keep her family together. She was sentenced to 19 years and seven months under federal sentencing guidelines. After spending nearly two decades in prison, she is a vocal advocate for sentencing reform,… Read more »

Cynthia Powell: 25 Years for 35 Pills

Cynthia Powell was not an addict. She was not a dealer. She sold 35 of her diabetes pain pills to a confidential informant—for $300. Just enough to make ends meet that month. Next thing she knew, she was arrested, charged, and convicted. Her sentence? Twenty-five years. On April 11, 2002, a battered green minivan pulled… Read more »

Calvin Bryant: 17 Years for a First Offense

  Beloved by friends, family, teachers, and co-workers, Calvin Bryant is now serving 17 years for a first-time offense. His sentence was grossly enhanced by Tennessee’s harsh and unfair drug-free school zone law. In 2009, Calvin Bryant was convicted of selling drugs and sentenced to 17 years in Tennessee state prison. He was a first-time… Read more »


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