People Want Woman Arrested 117 Times To Be Set Free

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(Memphis) There’s protest surrounding the Memphis woman who has been arrested 117 times.

Some people are saying Theresa Little should not serve jail time, despite her lengthy criminal record.

In fact, there are two women in jail right now facing charges that some argue would be better off in drug treatment than behind bars.

“Instead of incarceration, she needs medication,” said Leslie Washington, who is with the non-profit Back on Your Feet Ministries.

They say besides mental illness, Little is a suffering drug addict.

She has arrests from prostitution to thefts to the latest charge, that she smuggled crack cocaine into court in her bra.

“What person in their right mind is going to come to court with drugs on them?” asked Washington.

Another woman in jail side by side with Little has a similar problem.

Mary Tweedlie has been in and out of jail about 30 times since 2006.

Some say her addiction problems show on her face alone if you take a look at her mugshots.

She's an admitted crack and heroin addict who is facing drug charges again for having a crack pipe.

“Instead of putting them in jail, we put them in a year to 18 months treatment program,” said Drug Court Judge Tim Dwyer.

Judge Dwyer says it’s not up to him who gets treatment instead of jail.

It's up to the district attorney who'll decide if the two women are good candidates for drug court.

Part of it is they have to want help according to Judge Dwyer, “It is a voluntary program though they have to agree to do it.”

Tweedlie declined when we asked for an interview but the people protesting outside 201 Poplar Tuesday say they know Little and know she wants to change.

“She is asking for help. This is someone that is screaming for help,” said Washington.

Both Little and Tweedlie are expected in front of judge Dwer this week.

Little on Wednesday and Tweedlie on Thursday.

The judge says he would be more than happy to put them through drug court if the DA decides that's where they should be.


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