Released due to COVID, this 76-yr-old was sent back to prison for missing phone call during class

Mildred Europa Taylor June 28, 2021
Gwen Levi. Image via USA Today YouTube

Gwen Levi was one of the 4,500 federal prisoners who were released from prison and sent to home confinement last year to protect them from contracting the coronavirus. Levi had served 16 years in different federal facilities for dealing heroin and was allowed to leave last June and complete her 24-year sentence in home confinement under the supervision of federal prison officials, The Washington Post reported.

While at home with her 94-year-old mother in Baltimore, she volunteered at prisoner advocacy organizations and started rebuilding her relationships with her family.

Unfortunately, 76-year-old Levi was reincarcerated last week after missing a phone call from officials supervising her while she was taking a computer word-processing course in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Levi’s Bureau of Prisons incident report says officials supervising her were alerted by her ankle monitor at 10:51 a.m. that she was not home. Calls to her phone went answered. And although the ankle monitor showed she was back at home by 1:17 p.m., the report says the incident is an “escape.”

“There’s no question she was in class,” her attorney, Sapna Mirchandani, told The Post. “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 has been in a Washington, D.C. jail since June 12 waiting to be transferred to a federal facility, Mirchandani said.

While at home, Levi expressed worry that she might be sent back to prison once the pandemic was over. “I feel like I was attempting to do all the right things,” Levi said in a statement released by 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.”

Scores of criminal justice organizations in April sent President Joe Biden and the Attorney General a letter calling on the Biden administration “to take immediate action to rescind a last-minute Trump Department of Justice memo that threatens to send thousands of people released to home confinement back to prison.”

Last Edited by: Updated: June 30, 2021


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