NASHVILLE (WGN) -- After spending half of her life behind bars, Cyntoia Brown will walk out of prison next week a free woman. She will be released to parole supervision on August 7, according to former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who granted her clemency eight months ago.
The 31-year-old was sentenced to life in prison in connection with the killing of a Nashville man who Brown said had solicited her for sex. According to Brown, she was raped and forced into prostitution by a pimp and ended up killing one of her clients out of self-defense. Though only 16 at the time, she was tried as an adult and given a life sentence.
Brown's attorney declined to comment for this story.
Preparing for a second chance on life
In prison, Brown has focused on transforming herself.
“She is light years today, as a woman, different from the traumatized 16-year-old that she was,” Derri Smith, founder and CEO of non-profit End Slavery Tennessee, said last January. “She's mentoring … troubled youth, working on her college degree, she is planning a nonprofit so she can help other young people.”
Brown received her associate degree from Lipscomb University in 2015 and, according to The Tennessean, obtained a bachelor's degree in the Tennessee Prison for Women in May.