JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It was around 1 a.m. on January 27, 2017 when authorities went to Marissa Alexander's Northside home and cut off her ankle bracelet. After five years of imprisonment, she was finally free.
Alexander hopped in her car and drove across town to her sisters' house in Mandarin. Why? Because she finally could.
Now, one year later after being sentenced for firing a warning shot at her estranged husband in 2010., Alexander is preparing to celebrate the anniversary of her full release from incarceration.
Her head of curly hair was pulled into a high ponytail. She was relaxed, warm, and ready to talk about it all.
"When I meet people they say, 'I'm glad that your life is starting to get back to normal,'" Alexander said. "I tell them that, 'it's better than normal!'"
These days, instead of getting five minutes to eat and waiting in line to use the bathroom, which she said "feels like you're dying... It's demoralizing, it's dehumanizing, and you're just a number," she starts her day with a hot cup of lemon water.
After her children, 16-year-old twin boys and a 7-year-old girl are situated, she heads off to the gym.
The rest of her time is spent learning different leadership skills and traveling the country promoting her non-profit The Marissa Alexander Justice Project.
The non-profit is geared toward preventing domestic violence, specifically targeting teens, and challenging legislation that disproportionately impacts certain demographics.
"Most women that are incarcerated have been exposed to some type of violence," she said. "It's risen by 800 percent for the women in prison. It impacts the family. Sixty percent are mothers. So, then what happens to the family structure? All of this trickles down to the schools and how we interact with our communities."
Alexander spent three years in prison and two years on house arrest for firing a warning shot at her estranged husband in 2010.
She claimed it was self-defense and argued that Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which allows a person to use deadly force against an attacker, applied to her case, the courts saw otherwise and sentenced her to 20 years in prison.
"I never stopped thinking about the fact that I would be out," she said. "I would see myself coming from prison, seeing what I-95 looked like, passing my moms exit. All of these things had to be in mind."
The case caught worldwide attention.
Alexander says she got dozens of letters of support from all over the world.
Countless people began to call for her release including former congresswoman Corrine Brown.
Brown is now heading to prison on Monday after being convicted of fraud.
"Regardless of what choice a person makes you still love them," Alexander said.
Brown and Alexander remain in contact, but their conversations do not include Alexander giving Brown tips on how to handle life behind bars.
"Let me tell you something, she's more encouraged than you think," she said. "She's doing good... there was never a conversation about 'you know let me tell you what you do.' But, I believe that she's going to have respect wherever she goes and I'm praying everything turns around, just like myself."
Alexander has also joined the fight to reinstate voting rights for convicted felons. The Voting Restoration Amendment will be on the November 2018 ballot.
"That's huge," Alexander said. "This amendment will restore a basic human and civil right. The evidence of how this amendment could impact elections is clear based on what's happened in other states that have passed similar legislation."
In Alabama, the voter restoration law was passed last year. The law is credited for getting Dough Jones elected as a United States Senator. Jones defeated former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore due to an overwhelming turnout of black voters.
Alexander is hosting a celebratory event on her Facebook page on Saturday, January 27. Click here to follow her.