Cyntoia Brown was 16-years-old when she was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man who purchased her for sex.

Today, at age 31, she is a free woman. Cyntoia was released from prison early Wednesday morning after being granted clemency in January by then-Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

There has been much controversy surrounding Cyntoia’s case, but she has always maintained she killed Johnny Mitchell Allen in self-defense.

While in prison, Cyntoia Brown received her associate degree from Lipscomb University in 201 and her bachelor’s degree in in Tennessee Prison for Women in May.

She’s also collaborated with Tennessee’s Juvenile Justice System to help counsel at risk young people.

Derri Smith, founder and CEO of non-profit End Slavery Tennessee spoke highly of Cyntoia saying:

She is light years today, as a woman, different from the traumatized 16-year-old that she was.

She’s mentoring … troubled youth, working on her college degree, she is planning a nonprofit so she can help other young people.

As a condition of her release, Cyntoia will remain on parole supervision for 10 years on the condition she does not violate any state or federal laws, holds a job, and participates in regular counseling sessions.

Cyntoia Brown has a book deal and a documentary in the works as she returns to society.

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