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Gwen Levi And FAMM: A COVID-Era Case For Compassionate Release

Gwendolyn Levi, 76, has resumed serving out the balance of her 24-year sentence for drug dealing in home confinement.
Gwendolyn Levi, 76, received help from FAMM to resume serving in home confinement the balance of her 24-year sentence for drug dealing.(Credit: FAMM)

Today on Midday, a conversation about prison reform.

In March 2020, as the COVID-19 crisis began and as part of the CARES Act passed by Congress, Attorney General William Barr allowed certain low-level offenders to serve their sentences under home confinement, a move intended to decrease prison populations and cut down transmission of the coronavirus.

For 76-year-old Gwen Levi, who had been incarcerated for 16 years on a drug dealing conviction, this opportunity allowed her to be with her sons and care for her 94-year-old mother. She also became a volunteer with several prison advocacy organizations, and she went back to school to better her skills for a life outside of prison walls. While attending a computer class, she thought she had permission to turn her phone off. When officials couldn’t immediately find her during that class, she was sent back to prison.

She’s back home now, continuing to serve the remainder of her sentence under home detention. She joins me to talk about a new threat that she and other prisoners face of returning to prison…

Also joining us is Kevin Ring, a former congressional staffer and federal lobbyist who served 16 months in federal prison for his involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal in 2011. He is now the President of FAMM, Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

Listener questions and comments are welcomed.


A note about a benefit concert that’s happening tonight (Aug. 17, 2021).

The singer-songwriter Carly Troyer has assembled a group of women performers who will sing to support Turnaround, Inc., a local organization that works with survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and human trafficking. Turnaround provides therapy services, case management services and crisis response. The concert is called “Sing Out Against Domestic Abuse.” Carly Troyer will do a set, and she’ll be joined by Kate Fleming, Mia Ye, Little Lungs, Janet Herbert and Katyrah Love. The show is at 7:00 tonight at the Recher Theater in Towson. For more information, click here.

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Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is a contributing producer for Midday.