Confessions of a Former Prosecutor
By Preston Shipp with Eric Wilson
Available spring 2024
Preston Shipp, a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Tennessee whose work kept offenders in prison, shares his story of how teaching prisoners made him rededicate his life to juvenile justice reform.
Once an Assistant Attorney General in Tennessee, Preston Shipp found his convictions challenged after teaching criminal justice courses to inmates from the Tennessee Prison for Women. He resigned from prosecuting and continued teaching. Soon after leaving, an exceptional individual, Cyntoia Brown, joined his class. Shipp believed she deserved a chance at redemption—only to receive an opinion on a years-old murder and robbery case in which he himself had argued for a life sentence for 16-year-old Cyntoia Brown. Out of guilt and empathy, Shipp embarked on a decade-long journey to free Ms. Brown and while traveling his own path to redemption. Today, he dedicates his efforts to the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, which has led to more than 1,000 people receiving a new chance at life after being sentenced to life imprisonment even though they were under the age of 18. Shipp shares his views on how the American justice system is in desperate need of reform, especially for juveniles.