Two months after watching her twin sons, Lamont and Lawrence, graduate from Howard University, Karen Garrison was in a Washington, D.C., court, watching as they were convicted for crack cocaine possession.
The year was 1998, and the sentences were 19½ years for Lamont and 15½ years for Lawrence. While the conviction time was in line with Washington’s mandatory minimum law, Garrison says that, considering it was their first offense, the sentences were completely out of line with logic.
That’s when she decided to take action. “I thought getting involved was for lawyers, not for an average person like me,” says Garrison, a former cosmetologist who quit her job to work full-time to get her sons’ sentences reduced. “It took me seven or eight years to realize that no one cared about the sentences my sons received but me … I was all they had.”Getting involved is absolutely, without question for "average" people. Karen and her sons are just three of many inspiring examples of FAMM members and their ongoing quest for justice. They're the reason we do what we do. People in prison are real, normal people -- people just like your fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, coworkers, friends, and neighbors. Their lives have value and meaning, and they deserve punishments that are humane, fair, and give them a second chance.