The Felonious PhD.

White Collar Female PhD. Felon, Prison Camp, Re-Entry, Criminal Justice Reform. Women, Lesbian

Should I Feel Lucky?……

on April 8, 2014

As I was standing in yet another line waiting for the commissary to open, a woman who has been here a while began talking to me and asked me a couple of questions regarding the Sentencing Reform bills that are pending approval.  I learned quickly to never assume I know the answers to any legal questions or policy issues, so I don’t offer them when approached for answers.  Our legal system is so confusing and many of the people who have been incarcerated by the Federal System for a long time get very anxious about pending or new legislation.  So, it can be a slippery slope for anyone, especially an inmate, to give any feedback to an inmate regarding laws.

The woman, who happens to be in her late 50’s, was an administrator for a company that billed Medicare and Medicaid.  She went on to clarify her legal case and discussed how her indictment was built on the prosecutor and investigators summary and testimony that she INTENDED to defraud the government.  They then refused to bring to light that she had passed a lie detector test and quite frankly was not in the position to even bill for the services that they alleged she billed in their discovery.  When it was all said and done, she was sentenced to 152 months….yes, over 14 years.  This sentence was based on her intent to conduct fraudulent activities.

I know that many Americans say, well everyone always says they are innocent!  I have not spoken to anyone here who has said they have  not made a mistake, but most of the White collar Women in here, like myself, had no intent to commit the crimes they’re serving time for.  The issues could have easily been remedied without tax payers spending thousands and thousands of dollars for legal costs as well as the $28,000 to $54,o00 a year that it costs per person to house a Federal inmate.

When I hear about these long sentences that have been given to non-violent, law abiding, hard working, first time offending women, I silently ask myself, “Should I feel lucky?”  My 33 month sentence was the end of a loooooong heart-wrenching process.  I think at this point, I only feel lucky that I have survived.

I am thankful that some of the reform bills may assist people who were given outrageous sentences.  The pending reform bills are the only opportunity that some of the non-violent, first-time offenders will have for being free before they are senior citizens.

Please read up on these reform bills and press upon your government officials to act to pass these reforms.  Also, take some time to look at the Federal Government laws that may affect your life and your business dealings.  Some of the new legislation is requiring that the government list all of the laws and codes on their websites for citizens to have access.  I would hate for anyone else to unknowingly break a law that would lead to the destruction of their career, personal life, and finances and ultimately land them in Federal Prison.  It’s not as far-fetched as people think….I’m proof of that!

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