Toni Bunton


Toni Bunton is a mom, business owner and passionate advocate for criminal justice reform. She believes in the power of storytelling to change the criminal justice landscape. In 1991, a 17 year-old Toni Bunton was sentenced to 25-50 years for driving the car in a botched marijuana deal. While in prison she witnessed unthinkable carnage. Toni began documenting the abuse and writing about her experiences as “Prisoner Bunton.” She became a published author and a lead witness in a landmark sexual harassment case brought by over 500 female prisoners. Toni served seventeen years in prison before Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm commuted her sentence. After her release, she began work in Detroit as a community organizer and youth prevention advocate. Toni went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Michigan, receiving the 2011 Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Creative Writing Award for her thesis entitled, “A Tree Grows in Prison.” Toni has served on many youth boards and initiatives in the Detroit area and is a sought after speaker for college and university audiences.