On July 9, 2020, Sandra was freed from prison after serving 25 years of a life without parole sentence. She was convicted by a non-unanimous jury after killing her abusive estranged boyfriend in self-defense when he forced his way into her home and attacked her. When Sandra went to prison, her two children were 4 and 7 – as adults, they greeted her joyously with about a dozen family members on the day she was freed. During her time in prison, Sandra became one of the first women in Louisiana’s Correctional Institute for Women to earn a bachelor’s degree. Sandra is 50 years old.
On October 26, 2020, Beatrice was freed after serving 23 years of a life without parole sentence. She was convicted after killing her abusive estranged boyfriend in self-defense when he forced his way into her home and attacked her – just hours after she called police to make him leave. During her incarceration, Beatrice curated the prison’s Chapel library, cultivating resources for women grappling with histories of trauma and abuse. Beatrice is 74 years old – she is an avid reader and talented seamstress who plans to open an Etsy shop.
On May 12, 2021, Betty Jean was freed after serving 37 years, 8 months, and 17 days of a life without parole sentence. She was convicted by an Orleans Parish jury after killing an acquaintance who threatened her with a gun and sexually assaulted her in her own home. When Betty Jean went to prison, she left behind three children. Today, she has the support of multiple generations – 2 surviving children, 9 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren – all waiting to learn from her wisdom as a family elder. Betty Jean is 75 years old.