76-Year-Old Woman Sent Back to Prison for Not Answering Her Phone During Class



76-year-old Gwen Levi, who found herself back prison after officials weren’t able to get in contact with her for a few hours because she was in a computer word-processing class.


She’s been in a Washington D.C. jail pending transfer to a federal facility since June 12. “There’s no question she was in class,” her lawyer, Sapna Mirchandani, said.


“As I was told, because she could have been robbing a bank, they’re going to treat her as if she was robbing a bank.”

Levi served 16 years of a 24-year sentence for conspiracy to sell at least one kilogram of heroin, where she was transferred between a number of facilities, from Maryland to Texas to Alabama. Upon being released to home confinement, she moved back to Baltimore with her 94-year-old mother and began volunteering at prison advocacy organizations, where she aspired to get a paying job.


“I feel like I was attempting to do all the right things,” Levi said through her attorney. “Breaking rules is not who I am. I tried to explain what happened, and to tell the truth. At no time did I think I wasn’t supposed to go to that class. I apologize to my mother and my family for what this is doing to them.”

Levi also said she was “devastated.”

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