OUR COMMON GROUND           with Janice Graham

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Gina Mitchell is the birth mother of Cyntoia Brown.

In a world where children are finding themselves caught in the chaos and fear of abusive parents leading abusive lifestyles, is it any wonder so many children are finding themselves facing lengthy prison sentences.
Cyntoia Brown is one of these children, born into a life of parental drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution and eventually being placed in foster care.
She was influenced early on in life that the way to treat others was the way she herself was treated, that to survive prostition was not a quick way to earn money but a survival tactic.
Society continually condemns and screams for change where children are physically and sexually abused, emotionally abused, Unless it seems this very child commits a crime viewed as so heinous no one should reach out and try to save her.
Placing children in Adult Prisons has become a very matter of fact procedure in the court rooms of the US, placing them in situations of fear and abuse very much identical to the life they rebelled against on the street.
If a child commits a serious crime of cause they must be punished, but the focus should be on rehabilitive not retrubutive.
Cyntoia Brown

At 16, Cyntoia Brown took the life of a 43 year-old Real Estate Agent she met at a fast food parking lot in Murfreesboro (south of Nashville) and who brought her to his house. Whether this was a sexual transaction gone awry between a 16-year-old girl desperate for money and scared of being killed or, as friends and family of the victim have claimed, the slaying of a good Samaritan, we will never know.
What we know is Johnny Allen was found in his bed, naked and shot in the back of the head and 16 year old Brown was tried as an adult, convicted and facing life in prison.
Cyntoia's story is not unusual, According to the Juvenile Justice Foundation there are at least 2250 juveniles in the U.S. sentenced to life without parole for offenses committed when they were under 18 years of age. Cyntoia Brown of Nashville is but one young person who will spend the rest of her life in prison.


© One Child At  A Time

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