Judge releases 76-year-old woman who was imprisoned for missing a phone call

Gwen Levi (76) of Baltimore was released from prison to home confinement last summer after serving 16 years for selling heroin. She attended a class to learn word processing in late June, and when she left her house, her ankle bracelet sent an alert to prison officials.

They called her and when she didn't answer, they considered her to have escaped and started a manhunt for the septuagenarian typing student. They tracked her down and put her back in jail. Fortunately, Judge Deborah K. Chasanow of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland found out about it and ordered her release.

From Reason:

Levi was doing the exact sort of thing we want prisoners to do when we release them early—learn skills that will help them become gainfully employed. Dragging her back to prison is a particularly egregious example of how post-release monitoring sometimes leads to people being punished for technical rule violations which are completely disconnected from harmful, illegal behavior. There's been a push by criminal justice activists, supported by some friendly politicians, to reform the system by which people under supervised release get thrown back in jail for "technical violations" of rules that aren't criminal in nature.