Prison Cell

How would it feel to lose everything because you trusted the wrong person? Stephanie George, a mother of three children, knows exactly how this feels.

George was sentenced to life in prison in 1997 when the police found her ex-boyfriend’s stash of cocaine and money in her attic. Under Florida law, the judge had no choice but to dole out the harsh sentence because of two previous minor offenses on George’s record.

A recent NPR article reported on George’s story as part of a series on the human casualties of mandatory minimum sentencing. The article highlights the pressing need for sentencing reform in the criminal justice system in order to end mass incarceration and successfully restore nonviolent, low-level offenders, like George, to society.

As is true for George, not one of Crossroad’s students is beyond the scope of God’s grace. The more we learn about retributive justice’s toll on human lives—as this story details—the clearer we see how restorative justice and alternative sentencing best reflect this truth.

To read NPR’s article on George’s story, including her judge’s perspective on mandatory minimum sentencing, click here.