Drug War Prisoners

Audrey Miller:

My name is Audrey Miller. I entered the federal system at the age of 32 and am the mother of four sons. I am serving a sentence of 25 years for a non-violent drug offense of which I have served nine years. I too am a victim of the War on Drugs. On entering the federal system I found numerous women that had fallen victim to the same plight.

As I served my sentence, the number of grossly unjust sentences continued. There were women who were addicted to drugs (as myself). Some were girlfriends of drug dealers. Some knew someone in the drug trade. None have been drug kingpins, but all are serving sentences in the double digits and beyond.

I am housed in FCI Danbury, Connecticut. Back in January of 1998 there was an influx of women from Corrections Washington D.C., mass numbers of women with violent offenses. To my dismay, unlike the sentences of the federal women, these women received good time days for education and other types of programs and had a chance at parole. Many D.C. offenders have been paroled since that time. A staggering number of them had violent offenses, some even manslaughter and/or murder charges.

If I could make a proposal to the public, it would be to evaluate the status of non-violent offenders in the federal system and devise a plan that would be beneficial to the taxpayers and the economy. There has been recent talk of a parole bill for federal inmates. I would like to suggest “One Shot Parole.” This could be formatted as a five year pilot program to test the results and recidivism rates. There is a great need for treatment facilities, considering the ratio of benefit to cost. It costs approximately $30,000 a year to incarcerate versus $3,000 to educate. Countless numbers of non-violent offenders would do well in society and contribute to their families and communities if given the chance.

Sincerely, Audrey Miller



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