Laura was sentenced to life without parole at the age of seventeen. She served thirty-two and a half years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. After a legislative change, Laura became eligible for parole and was released in 2017. Laura immediately went to work advocating for others. She created a support and resource group for returning citizens who were sentenced to life in prison as children and their families. She quickly became involved with DecARcerate where she serves as a Movement Builder and co-chair of its End Solitary Campaign.

 

Berry is the Regional Connector for Incarcerated Children's Advocacy Network (“ICAN”) and a founding board member of Human Rights for Kids’ Children’s Rights Committee. She is also actively involved with the Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth (“CFSY”), an organization that played a substantial role in passing the Fair Sentencing of Minors Act which led to Laura becoming eligible for parole.  

 

In addition to being a strong, vocal advocate in grassroots movements, Laura has been instrumental in the passage of two prison reform bills in Arkansas and continues to work on new bills. Laura shares her story as an effort to change the narrative on sending individuals to prison for the rest of their lives for mistakes made as children. Laura is a true example of triumph over adversity.

Laura Berry

Movement Builder