Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System
In her own words, Cyntoia Brown shares the riveting and redemptive story of how she changed her life for the better while in prison, finding hope through faith after a traumatic adolescence of drug addiction, rape, and sex trafficking led to a murder conviction. At the age of sixteen, Cyntoia Brown, a victim of sex trafficking, was arrested for killing a man who had picked her up for sex. Two years later, she was sentenced to life in prison. In these pages, written over the fifteen years she was incarcerated, Cyntoia shares her most intimate experiences as an inmate. A coming-of-age memoir set against the shocking backdrop of a life behind bars, Free Cyntoia takes you on a spiritual journey as Cyntoia struggles to overcome a legacy of family addiction and a lifetime of feeling ostracized and abandoned by society. Born to a teenage alcoholic mother who was also a victim of sex trafficking, Brown reflects on the isolation, low self-esteem, and sense of alienation that drove her straight into the hands of a predator. Though she attempts to build a positive path and honor the values her beloved adoptive mother taught her, Cyntoia succumbs to harmful influences that drive her to a cycle of promise and despair. After a fateful meeting with a prison educator turned mentor, Cyntoia makes the pivotal decision to take classes at Lipscomb University and strive for a better future, even if she's never freed. For the first time ever, Cyntoia shares the details of her transformation, including a profound encounter with God, an unlikely romance, and an unprecedented outpouring of support from social media advocates and A-list celebrities, which ultimately lead to clemency and her release from prison. Giving a rare look at the power of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery in the darkest of places, Free Cyntoia is a deeply personal portrait of one woman's journey for redemption within a system that had failed her from childhood.