Drug War Prisoners

Tammie Francis:

Doing okay by the grace of God

It is September 2003, and I am in FCI Danbury, Connecticut. I have been incarcerated for approximately 11 years. I have no release date. I have a life sentence. I never foresaw this as my life.

This life sentence emanates from having two prior drug convictions. I came under the Three Strikes ruling. This was the case though for my first two offenses I received probation. In one case the vehicle in which I was a passenger was registered to someone else. In the other case the home where I was babysitting was in someone else’s name. At no time was I convicted with drugs in my personal possession.

I did not immediately digest my life sentence. I believed it was so unwarranted that my attorney would have it overturned. Yet as the years passed and I was behind bars, or rather behind razor wire, there was no change in my sentence. I had a great deal of time to examine my relationships with family and friends, my career interests, and most importantly my relationship with God.

There were a multitude of diversions when I was in the free world. Though I was raised in a strict Pentecostal church, I was not giving the church or God quality time or attention. Now I have a daily Bible reading schedule that helps me cope with life and accept my fate without the anger, hostility, and hopelessness that I have seen in other women who are incarcerated.

Mind you, I do not believe my sentence is written in concrete. By the grace of God it can change in a heartbeat.

This lady from Louisiana is doing okay by the grace of God. As one of six children in a poor household with an abusive father, I learned early how to cope in difficult situations.

Tammie Francis



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