Imprisoned at 14 for Murder, She's Free After Two Decades. Sort of.

Anisha Walker wore white for two decades. Until today.She walked out of prison Wednesday and left behind the bleached and ill-fitting cotton shirts and pants of the Texas prison uniform.She was known as "Little Baby" when she arrived at prison at 14. A guard didn't want to let her in at first because she was certain Walker didn't belong.Walker killed a man during a robbery in Arlington and was tried as an adult. She grew up with other criminals, women two or three times her age. Sometimes more.Now, she's 34 and no longer prisoner No. 00808676. She's free -- sort of.Walker will live in a halfway house near Austin. She must report to a probation officer and must abide by the facility's rules. But she can come and go, as long as she comes back.Walker was featured in a Dallas Morning News series called "Kids or Criminals?" about what it was like to come of age behind bars and the consequences for society and the inmates when they're one day released."I'm so ready to go," Walker wrote in a letter last month about her release. "I'm kind of rushing."The halfway house staff picked Walker up from the Dempsie Henley State Jail in Dayton, Texas. The warden wouldn't allow visitors to see Walker leave prison.She'd hoped to immediately move in with relatives in Dallas County but her parole requires her to stay in the halfway house for a while."That's fine," she said in an interview before her release. "I've always wanted to live in Austin. It's fine -- long as I know I'm going home."Walker wants to leap into her new life. Instead, she must inch along."When I push my pride to the side, I need it because it's going to slowly integrate me back into society," Walker said. "I don't have to jump feet first in, which would probably be detrimental to me."Click to read the series Kids or Criminals: Growing Up and Getting Out.  Continue reading...

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