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Cyntoia Brown-Long’s life after clemency might just be promising

Cyntoia Brown Long’s story has headlined media since the fight for her clemency began. We all know the story so far. The 16-year-old girl was tried as an adult for killing a man who sought to have sex with her.

Cyntoia was going to be in jail for life, but those who heard her story knew that this was a miscarrying of justice and sought to free her.

Now 31, she recently read a letter she wrote to her 16-year-old self.

Cyntoia’s Release

Brown was released after spending half of her life in jail. She’s now a college graduate with a loving husband. The same husband that was there at her release.

They had been courting for two years prior, through letters and phone calls and rare visits due to difficult prison staff and administrators who would inhibit their contact. But their bond weathered the storm, and at her release, Long had a loving home to go to.

Brown was able to receive clemency after all of her appeals were struck down. Only one percent of clemency files are even read and almost all are rejected. Social media definitely helped bring forth her story and her release. Still, it’s important to note that not all inmates have that chance at viral fame.

Cyntoia Brown Long’s Mission

She’s made it her mission to try to help others stuck in the prison industrial complex. She reiterates the need to give a voice to the voiceless, especially for the cellmates in prison that she looked up to who are still serving time.

She has deep knowledge of how the prison system works, and the stats that represent the issues those unfairly incarcerated face.

Brown also emphasizes that she believes although her parole requirements are many, she’s blessed that she gets to do what she loves — community service. Cyntoia works with an organization that seeks to provide support to vulnerable young girls who may even be in juvenile detention.

Her Memoir – Free Cyntoia

Cyntoia Brown’s book “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System” released on October 15 and details her experience behind bars. There is an emphasis on the parts of her story which she was not allowed to share when it truly mattered.

Her court sentencing did not allow her to explain what had happened and why she had found herself in a room with an older man paying her for sex, and why she decided to shoot him and run away.

She had been on the street since she was 12-years-old. The book details what her life was like as a child in a cruel adult world. Her book, as well as her media appearances, emphasizes the role of her faith in helping her deal with the traumas of her life and move forward.

Cyntoia Brown Long’s story is definitely one that needs to be told. Her community service work and passion for change is also necessary to combat the larger picture of an unjust justice system.