Detra Pate – 10 years

Name: Detra Wiley Pate #22511-021
DOB: 11/16/1964
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Age: 56
Children: 2
Grandchildren: none
State where you are from: Georgia
State indicted:  Georgia
Trial or pled guilty: Trial
Charges: Healthcare Fraud
Length of Sentence: 10 years
Served:  2 years
Started Sentence on: Imprisoned since August 2019
Release date:  03/17/2028
Priors:  First Time Offender
Restitution: $950,000.00 Paid in Full
Prison Conduct:  Exemplary
Clemency status:  Pending Case #C296043
Supporters: Fighting 4 Freedom, CAN-DO Foundation 

Institution: Marianna FCI

Rehabilitation accomplishments: During my time of incarceration, I have maintained employment the entire time. I have learned electrical, landscaping, facilities, laundry, and maintenance. For the first year we were unable to take courses due to the COVID pandemic. Since then, I have now completed courses to improve myself such as, Positive thinking, Reentry, Godly Leadership, Credit Independent Study, Adult Learn Course, Setting Goals, Find a Job Course, Banking, Healthy Mind just to name a few. Because of my background I am able to help other inmates with credit file training. 

Statement of remorse:  

My name is Detra Pate, and I was raised in Atlanta Georgia by two wonderful parents. I am a 56-year-old mother, sister, and wife. I am serving a 10-year sentence for Medicare Fraud in a Federal Prison. I am also a first time, non-violent, white-collar offender, with no previous criminal record. I was 54 years old when I faced a 33-count indictment. I received a verbal plea offer for 18 to 24 months. My attorney advised me to exercise my right to trial and to reject the plea offer.  If I had accepted the Government’s plea offer, I would no longer be in prison. In addition, I have paid my fine in full $950,000.00 in restitution to the Government. I am pleading for clemency for my life and for a better life for my children and family. Please listen to my story and help me to return home. 

As of August 15, 2021, I will have spent 2 years of my life incarcerated. I have never been in trouble with the law and have prided myself in being a law-abiding citizen. In fact, I have been a productive member of the community and raised my children to have a relationship with God and taught them to have morals and respect for the law. 

It has taken me these past two years to understand that “deliberate ignorance” of the law does not exempt me from what took place in my business. I was entrusted with providing customers with medical equipment that at times was necessary to sustain life. Instead of admitting I was new to the medical industry and overwhelmed with the demands of being a business owner, I allowed myself to trust someone that did not have my best interest or our customers at heart. I was not the leader I should have been to my employees, and I take full responsibility for the role I played for the wrongdoings in the case that I am convicted of.  I did not foresee the consequences of my actions and I cannot take back the mistakes and decisions that I have made. I am doing everything in my power to make amends and restore the past for my sake, my family & friends and especially my children. I am extremely remorseful for my actions. 

I am not the same person that entered prison 2 years ago. This has been a painful lesson for me. I have been separated from my family, especially my children who desperately need their mother. I came to prison at the age of 54 years old and I am now 56. I left behind a son and daughter and my husband and a 30-year marriage. I can’t make up the lost time for not being there for them, but I would like to be a part of their lives. I did the best I could raising my children and it is painstaking to be without them. This time in prison has renewed my faith in ways that I did not know were possible. I have begun to mentor younger offenders and have decided upon my release to work with women’s organizations to end incarceration for women and young girls. 

In 2020, the world faced a global pandemic. I have not been able to visit with my family or physically see them for over a year now. My daughter is doing very well, and she is in her third year of medical school and my son is a senior in college. I miss family gatherings and being around them. There is not one day that goes by that I do not miss them. These past 2 years have taken a toll on all of us. Serving ten years of imprisonment for a person that has never been to jail, or prison is entirely too long. 

I have learned hard lesson and learned them at a dear cost. My time in prison has really been a re-education and awakening to me, about the truths and realities of life. I personally know that I have changed for the better and again ask for your forgiveness,  I hope and pray that you would grant an Executive Clemency, Mr. President. I am ready to be a better citizen and to help my community. I’m a much better person and I’m praying that you will give me a chance and commute my sentence to time served.

Amy Ralston Povah is a clemency recipient under President Clinton, an award winning filmmaker, and founder of the CAN-DO Foundation.