Double Standards for Female White Collar Offenders?

WomenOverIncarcerated.org, a new judicial advocacy group, initiates a study that sheds light on severe sentencing disparities for female white collar offenders.

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Danbury, CT (PRWEB) July 08, 2014

A recent study conducted by CultureQuantiX for WomenOverIncarcerated.org revealed that a group of 29 women housed at the Danbury Federal Prison Camp For Women (featured in the hit show "Orange Is The New Black") received 300% (480% for African Americans) greater sentences than white males who committed the same or similar crimes, bringing light to huge gender disparities in the U.S. judicial system. The organization believes the disparity in women's sentencing will prove to hold nationwide. (Study available at http://voicesbooks.com/?p=305)

It is a well known fact that men are often highly rewarded in the world of business, earning substantially more than women who perform the same exact tasks. According to WomenOverIncarcerated.org, a new advocacy group created to bring awareness to the rising epidemic of women serving excessive sentences, it is a less publicized fact that men also benefit from being punished significantly lighter than women who are convicted of the same or similar white collar crimes.

In collaboration with WomenOverIncarcerated.org, a group of Danbury female prisoners initiated a sentencing disparity study to expose disparate treatment they received and to advocate for justice in the U.S. judicial system. WomenOverIncarcerated.org believes that everyone who reads the report will agree the results are shocking! All of the females, some codefendants of males who committed the same exact criminal conduct, received extremely lengthier sentences than their male peers. The pattern held steady throughout several U.S. District Courts in the nation.

Even though white collar federal sentences are supposed to be derived based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which is largely driven by loss amount, the results spotted sentencing disparities in several districts. Males such as Negroni, sentenced out of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, received a 9 month house arrest sentence for a wire fraud scheme that resulted in a $41 million loss; while females such as Sichler, sentenced out of the same court by the same judge, received a 4 1/2 sentence for a wire fraud charge that resulted in a $2.3 million loss. (See U.S. v. Negroni 08-cr-550-4-WJN and U.S. v. Sichler 10-cr-00258-WJN)

"The white male lawyer and mortgage broker, who instructed me on what to do, both received 2 year sentences while I was left to serve over a decade behind bars," states Jamila T. Davis a 36 year old bank fraud offender serving a 12 1/2 year sentence for allegedly victimizing the now defunct Lehman Brothers Bank. "While not one white male Wall Street Banker has paid the price for their actions that spiraled the 2008 financial crisis, 'small fries' like myself have been left to serve big time!" Davis, an active prison reform activist/author and the creator of "The High Price I Had To Pay" Book Series, stated.

WomenOverIncarcerated.org believes that comparing Davis' decade plus sentence as a novice real estate investor to her male co-defendants, and men such as John Allen- a Laguna Hills, California mortgage loan processor who received a year and a day sentence in federal prison last fall for a $100 million mortgage fraud scheme that created a substantially larger loss than Davis' crime, shows significant sentencing disparities amongst "similarly situated" individuals.(See U.S. v. Davis 2:05-cr-0482-JLL-01 (District of New Jersey) and U.S. v. Allen 12-cr-1848- JAH (Southern District of California) The sentences of women like Davis demonstrate gender bias, violating the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees equal treatment for all "similarly situated" individuals.

"My entire life I served my country and my community. Working in the White House under the Carter administration I advocated for equality and justice. I never dreamed as a senior citizen that I myself would be a victim of disparate treatment in my country," states Gwendolyn Hemphill, a 73 year old female prisoner serving a 11 year sentence as a first time, non-violent offender, with an upcoming memoir, "The High Price I Had To Pay 3," about her case. (See http://voicesbooks.com and U.S. v. Hemphill 03-cr-516-RJL (District of Columbia))

In most recent news, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have spoken out against blatant racial disparities within the judicial system. The facts in this study reveal gender disparities also exist in this system which Holder has referred to as "broken."

"Judges tend to follow the U.S. Sentencing Guideline ranges for women who commit economic crimes, yet they tend to sentence males well below the advised guideline range," states Linda Tribby, a 45 year old female bank fraud offender sentenced to 7 years in federal prison. (See U.S. v. Tribby 1:11-cr-00106-LO-1 (Eastern District of Virginia))

While these Danbury women are paying a significant price for their mistakes, some even serving decade plus sentences for their financial crimes, males such as Ty Warner, the billionaire Beanie Babies creator, have avoided prison time all together. Warner was sentenced to two years probation for tax evasion of at least $25 million. His sentence is currently being challenged as "substantially unreasonable" by the Government itself, yet sentences similar to his imposed on affluent males revealed in this study remain unchallenged.( See U.S. v. Warner 13- cr-731-CPK (Northern District of Illinois))

"Women like myself who have never received as much as a minor traffic violation have been sentenced to very lengthy sentences as first time, white collar, offenders. And, men sentenced out the same courts are given slaps on the wrists. That just isn't fair! What makes them better than me?" stated Noemi Dodakian, a 67 year old woman serving a 8 year sentence for wire fraud. (See U.S. v. Dodakian 11 cr-1141-LBS (Southern District of New York))

The study is only the first step these ambitious prisoners have taken to have their voices heard. Inspired by their efforts to create awareness about the epidemic of Over-Sentencing of women and its effect on society, the "Enough Is Enough: End Mass Incarceration" prison reform movement was launched by WomenOverIncarcerated.org, supporters of these women. The Danbury women have also shared their images and hardships to create the 2014 WomenOverIncarcerated.org Calendar that is being sold to raise funds for their advocacy support group.

In addition to these efforts, inmate/activist Jamila T. Davis created "The High Price I Had To Pay" Book Series to give women a platform to tell their stories and expose the injustices women face in the judicial system. (See http://voicesbooks.com) Face-to-face with the harsh encounters of injustice, many of the female prisoners involved in the study have made life long commitments to advocate for prison reform.

WomenOverIncarcerated.org is striving to get the attention of President Obama and the U.S. Sentencing Commission to take a look at the disparate sentencing patterns revealed in their study to ensure equality for all Americans, regardless of affluence or gender. The organization is urging all Americans to go to http://womenoverincarcerated.org to click the appropriate links to view the study and sign the online petition requesting the reinstatement of federal parole. Additionally they are requesting that supporters purchase their WomenOverIncarcerated.org calendars to support their rally for equality and to help create change!


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