Woman incarcerated for 15 years shares her story

Woman incarcerated for 15 years shares her story
Released from prison in August of 2019, Cyntoia Brown-Long is hoping to inspire young people and change the criminal justice system. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Cyntoia Brown-Long is sharing her story of redemption.

Released from prison in August of 2019, she’s hoping to inspire young people and change the criminal justice system. She spoke at Auburn University at Montgomery’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Reflections Breakfast.

“With the internet nowadays, with technology, nobody has any excuse, because you can figure things out," Brown-Long said. "Like there’s all kinds of resources out there. You can Google it. You know, you can find that anything else on Twitter, you can find out about the experiences of people who are incarcerated, you can find out all about the laws that led to them being in that situation and you can also find out what to do about it.”

Back in 2004, Brown-Long was sentenced to life in prison after she was convicted of killing a man who she says picked her up for sex. After serving 15 years, Tennesee Governor Bill Haslam commuted her sentence. Her message today: no matter what you are going through, you can overcome it.

“The Lord can bring you out of the lowest places, and he can elevate you just as he did Joseph, just as he did me," she said. "He can do what most people would think is impossible, because nothing is impossible for him.”

AUM Dean of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion Josh Roberts came to know Brown-Long through his previous position as Dean of Student Development at Nashville’s Lipscomb University. While behind bars, Brown-Long completed her Associate and Bachelor’s degrees through Lipscomb University. Her book, “Free Cyntoia,” was released at the end of last year.

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