Today is my Freedom Day!!

I left prison 6 years ago and came home to my family. I’ve not forgotten what made me go to prison. I make better choices today and try to influence others to do the same. I work to help others have access to education while incarcerated. And I live as much as I can because I’m here for a reason and will not waste it.

Six years ago I took my first selfies with my sister. (Instagram didn’t exist when I went to prison!)

I was so amazed my puppers Cuervo and Bocephus remembered me, they were so excited! They cried I have video to prove it!

And celebrated with so many amazing humans that supported me throughout my incarceration. My mom through me a huge party when I came home like a true Italian family does!

It’s been a wild 6 years with some super high moments like marrying a wonderful man, graduating from Rutgers, working with Hudson Link and the Alliance, meeting all the babies, meeting my real dad for the first time in 22 years and sooo much more.

There have been super lows like holding my husband’s hand as he took his last breath, moms heart attack, not being able to find work after college for a year because of my criminal record, getting the call my cousin Nicky took his life in a jail cell, and a few others.

It’s been hard. It’s been easy. It’s called LIFE.

I am blessed to live it and today I’m gonna do just that with my baby sister and family while we pick out her wedding dress.

It’s my freedom day.

“I’m a riser

I’m a get up off the ground, don’t run and hider

Pushing comes a-shovin’

Hey I’m a fighter

When darkness comes to town, I’m a lighter

A get out aliver, out of the fire


-Dierks Bentley “Riser”




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Lauren Reed

Lauren Reed

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