Photo by Lacy Atkins/Shutterstock (10050790h) Cyntoia Brown smiles at family members during her clemency hearing Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

Earlier in this series I wrote about Cyntoia Brown and the crime she was convicted of aged 16. This week there was a major update in the case: after spending the past 15 years in prison she was released from prison on the 7th of August.

As part of the conditions of her release she will be on parole for 10 years. She must attend regular counselling sessions, find a job and not violate any state or federal laws.

While in prison she earned her GED and has also completed university education. She will spend some time in a transition center before moving back into society. In a statement released through her lawyers, Cyntoia has said that she plans to help other girls and women who are the victims of sex trafficking.

Her memoir will be released later this year and a documentary on her life and time in prison is also scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Cyntoia would only have been eligible for parole after spending 51 years in prison. Her incarceration was brought to the attention of the wider public by a number of celebrities using their platform to speak out about it. Rihanna, Lebron James and Kim Kardashian-West all advocated for clemency. Earlier this year the outgoing Governor of Tennessee granted her early release.

For the first time in her adult life Cyntoia now has the chance to lead a normal life. She is now married, and with her high profile she will have a great platform to help other victims like her.

-Michelle O’Brien
Contributing Writer
Girl Museum Inc.

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