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Molly Crane

  • Hosted by Families Against Mandatory Minimums
  • Sponsored by Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation
  • Service location Georgia
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform
  • Fellowship class year 2024
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Molly’s (she/her/hers) project at FAMM will develop the first state-level clearinghouse to pair people with critical illnesses in state prisons with a network of lawyers and doctors to advocate for compassionate release, as well as seek systemic changes to compassionate release.

Mass incarceration led to the discriminatory skyrocket of both the number of people held in prison, and the length of time people are forced to spend in prison. As a result, many state prisons operate as highly dysfunctional “prison nursing homes” for the population of elderly and critically ill individuals behind bars. Though compassionate release laws exist in almost every state, these laws are rarely used and petitions are almost never granted.

Molly’s inspiration for this work is rooted in the human beings she’s worked alongside: people in prison with health needs and at the intersection of racial, gender, and disability justice. Molly hopes this project can start to transform state compassionate release from broken and underutilized into a functioning path to decarceration.

Fellowship Plans

At the individual level, Molly’s fellowship project will pair, train, and support pro bono doctors and attorneys through the state compassionate release clearinghouse. Within-state, Molly will work with administrative and legislative bodies to improve compassionate release laws and practices. Across states, Molly’s fellowship will generate data on the impacts of compassionate release and this project’s model, to demonstrate proof of concept and scale these efforts in additional states.

I am committed to this work because I’ve seen first-hand the dire circumstances people with critical illnesses face in prison, and the healing impact of compassionate release on individuals and communities made possible by this Equal Justice Works Fellowship.

Molly Crane /
2024 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Molly

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Stephanie Ciupka

Host: Lawndale Christian Legal Center

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP

Andrea Woods

Host: American Civil Liberties Union Criminal Law Reform Project and Human Rights Program

Sponsor: Intellectual Ventures, The Ottinger Family Foundation

LaTri-c-ea McClendon-Hunt

Host: Rhode Island Legal Services

Maya Dimant Lentz

Host: James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy

Sponsor: DLA Piper