| Dolores Hernandez - age 48 w/4 children - 70 months
In 1997 a drug dealer who was a casual acquaintance set me up.
I was convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
| Julie Stephens - age 39 - 10 years
I was convicted of conspiracy to possess and distribute methamphetamine.
The evidence against me consisted of one phone call from a snitch
in Texas. Conspiracy laws and their mandatory sentences are outrageous
for us nonviolent offenders.
Aragon - age 28 - 20 years
I was convicted of conspiracy to possess and distribute methamphetamine
and ephedrine for which I received a 20-year mandatory sentence.
Like many other women here, several people testified against
my husband and me so they could receive a lower sentence. Due
to the length of my sentence, I will probably not be blessed
with having children.
| Judy Armijo-White - 3 children -
In November 1999 my husband and I became entangled in a police
investigation involving our daughter's boyfriend. We cooperated
with authorities completely, even though we had no information
to give or ability to help them much. Neither of us has a previous
criminal history. Even though the same charges were filed against
each of us using the same evidence, my husband was found innocent,
and I was found guilty! The system is totally incomprehensible.
|Debbie Mendes - age 42 w/3 children - 12 years, 6
I am a widowed mother of three and a first-time nonviolent offender.
I was included in a major drug conspiracy and charged with money
laundering for a drug organization. I was convicted at trial
based on false 'snitch testimony' provided by paid informants.
I'm serving time for the real drug dealers who are either fugitives
or got immunity for false testimony.
| Jackie Quarterman - age 52 w/3 children - 9 years
I was not a drug dealer but knew some people involved with drugs.
I was set up and entrapped by a paid informant I had been dating.
My two grown sons were thrown in to make a conspiracy, and we
all three received horrendous sentences (6 1/2, 9 and 16 1/2
years). The biggest tragedy in my case (besides having my two
sons in prison) is being separated from my young 12 year-old
son who is now being raised by my young, single brother.
| Anita Vasquez - age 43 w/3 children - 3 years, 9 months
I'm a first-time nonviolent offender. My appointed attorney and
the U.S. marshals told me to plead guilty to conspiracy or I
would be imprisoned for 20 years, and they would take my children
away. I had no information to give them and was sentenced to
46 months. My children have been separated, abused, and moved
three times in these two years of my incarceration.
| Barbara Johnson - age 51 w/12 children -
They used a paid informant with a mile long criminal record against
me. I lost my husband to cancer in 1996, the same year the prosecutors
hyped my state case to make it federal. They unfairly pulled
my daughter into the conspiracy and she was sentenced to 5 years
| Ramona Ruiz - age 32 w/2 children - 63 months
I was convicted and sentenced for conspiracy and possession with
intent to distribute marijuana. The evidence was a co-defendant
who lied to get a reduced sentence and got it. I am a first time
nonviolent drug law violator.
| Joan Tejada - age 54 w/1 child -
I was accompanying a friend to a location where each of us had
personal business. Unbeknownst to me, four suitcases were checked
with us holding about 100 pounds of marijuana. I opted for a
jury trial expecting justice to prevail. My co-defendant turned
government witness against me in exchange for a sentence of 18
months, and I was given almost 3 years.
| Elma Yagin - age 44 w/3 children - 12 years,
I am a divorced mother of three who is a first-time nonviolent
offender. I was charged and convicted of possession without even
knowing about the drugs! I took and passed a polygraph test before
trial that my public defender did not even use. I've been in
prison for seven years now without legal help except from other
| Crystal Nolan - age 27 w/1 child -
I was convicted in April 1998 on conspiracy to possess and distribute
methamphetamine. The only evidence on the record were phone calls.
| Barbara Davis - 3 children - 5 years
I was charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.
I was guilty of the crime and so pleaded. I was also given a
two-point enhancement for a new unloaded pistol found in my vehicle.
I am now labeled a violent offender and do not qualify for the
drug program and a possible one year reduction.
| Natalie Lay - age 27 - 5 years
I was convicted of sales of 5 grams of crack cocaine. There were
thirteen people involved in my case. Since I was one of the last
people to be convicted, my sister and I recieved the most prison
time of any other people in this case.
| Debi Campbell - age 44 w/4 children - 19
years, 7 months
I am a mother of four children and a first-time nonviolent offender.
My sentence was based solely on testimony from a government informant
who was a four- time convicted felon. I've been incarcerated
for six years and fight every day for something to change with
these draconian drug laws.
| Katrice Glass - age 32 w/1 child -
15 years, 8 months
I've been in prison for five years now, leaving my seven-year
old daughter to be raised by my mother. I was convicted of intent
to distribute crack cocaine. I received such an extreme sentence
because I refused to testify against my brother. My brother was
sentenced to twenty-seven and a half years without my testimony.
| Maria Gonzalez - age 55 w/2 children - 9 years
I am uneducated and speak no English, and so I did not comprehend
the legal process. Unfortunately, my husband, son and I agreed,
out of financial desperation, to store some cocaine in our storage
shed. I was not involved with drugs before this one time.
| Wendy Herrera - age 32 - 50 months
I was convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The amount was less than one pound, and the prosecuting attorney
told me that I would do ten years to life if I didn't accept
the plea bargain.
| Kathryn Elwood - age 27 w/1 child - 5 years
A girl who wanted to get her boyfriend off the hook set me up.
I was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and
sentenced to 60 months.
| Joan Hodgkinson - age 41 w/3 children - 37
I was originally arrested in February 1996 for possession with
intent to distribute marijuana. Federal prosecutors turned my
case over to the state, and I was sentenced in state court. After
fulfilling my state sentence in August 1998, federal prosecutors
charged me with conspiracy. I am now serving a federal sentence.
I committed one crime and have been sentenced twice. I'm a first
time nonviolent offender.
| Yvonne Stribling - age 64 w/5 children -
I have been incarcerated almost five years. I was arrested, tried
and convicted for possession and distribution of a controlled
substance. I helped a so-called friend drive from California
to Illinois and was stopped by police. I had no knowledge of
the drugs, took a lie detector test and passed. As hard as I
once fought against drugs, I still cannot believe that I'm incarcerated
for a drug crime!
Smith" - age 34 w/2 children - 12 years, 7 months
I was arrested and convicted of distribution of methamphetamine
on the word of a paid informant with a long criminal record.
I was badgered into accepting a sentence of 151 months after
threats by the prosecutor to give me life. My two daughters had
to be separated from each other. I finally got to see my youngest
daughter after two years, both girls live 1200 miles away from
the prison where I am being held.
Asch - age 38 w/4 children - 10 years
I received a 10-year sentence for conspiracy to possess and intent
to distribute. The only evidence against me was hearsay.