Amanda Spillane lives with her kitten, Sophie, and earns a living waitressing in suburban Philadelphia. But she used to live a different life. Amanda suffered from depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, and, in high school, her self-medication with drugs became a habit. Between 2005 and 2011, Amanda committed a series of crimes including drug possession, driving while under the influence, and thefts and burglaries to fund her drug use. She then went to prison for two years.
That was seven years ago, and Amanda has been sober ever since. While incarcerated, Amanda participated in intensive therapy and classes about resocialization and overcoming domestic abuse. When she got out, she worked the 4:45 a.m. shift at McDonald’s for five years, where her manager evaluated her as “outstanding.” Amanda is now earning a modest living as a waitress in a steakhouse. She is close with her family, has reconnected with her faith, and now relies on exercise, medication, and a healthy diet to maintain her mental health. She accepts responsibility for her crimes and is remorseful about a youth she sees as wasted.
A Pennsylvania law prevented Amanda and Courtney from earning an honest living because of unrelated criminal records. After IJ stepped in to defend their rights, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled this law was unconstitutional.