Alfreda Robinson


age 43, serving 10 years

charged with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine


An educator with two masters degrees, Alfreda, considered herself a law abiding citizen. She was working as a high school counselor following seven years of teaching for the Baltimore City Public Schools. Up until her arrest and incarceration on conspiracy charges, the most 'serious' trouble she had been in amounted to driving on a suspended license for which she received probation from the DMV.

Alfreda was a single mother of an only son, David, a troubled youth who began selling drugs. Alfreda made it known to him that she was against this activity and made repeated efforts to rehabilitate him throughout his life. Twice she tried 'tough love' and put him out of her house when he was age sixteen and again at age eighteen. She never stopped loving him, though, and assisted him when he needed help getting an apartment or buying used cars which were affordable on her salary.

When David was arrested, he called his mom from jail and asked her for help, once again. He needed money for an attorney, and a friend owed him some. He asked her to phone his friend's mother to get $4500. By placing this call, she became a 'conspirator' in his case. The morning of the raid, the $4500 in marked monies was found in her basement safe, placed there by David without her knowledge. Despite a complete lack of evidence placing Alfreda near any drug activity, the government used these monies to support the seizure of her house which was legally purchased with documented and verified funds from an automobile settlement.

Her son's friend turned informant and was given immunity for his testimony that resulted in a 45-year sentence for David and ten for Alfreda.

"Nothing prepared me for the education I am now receiving in prison. What did I do to deserve this, beside give birth to and love my child? I realize my son should not have been involved in illegal activities, but how do you put a 21-year-old in prison for 45 years, who sold drugs and never killed anyone, while a murderer serves an average of seven to fifteen years and returns to society? What is the message my son receives?"