Brown had few resources when she was released from an Illinois
prison in 1988. Granted clemency after serving seven years of a
20-year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder of her abusive
husband, Leslie returned determined to help other incarcerated
She soon returned to prison to motivate and inspire other women with the message that it is possible to start over. In 1994, she opened up her home on Hamlin Avenue on Chicago's West Side and started Leslie’s Place, offering a needed first home for women paroled from prison. For the past 25 years, Leslie’s Place has provided a safe home, clothing, training, counseling and support for more than 1000 women.
She subsequently added a second location at 3250 W Walnut St. and in summer 2019 consolidated Leslie's Place programs and services at the Walnut Street location.
conducts a range of support services for women in prison and just
out of prison, including prison ministry and workshops on domestic
violence, self-esteem, parenting, and motivation. She also speaks
to many community, church and educational groups.
Crain's Chicago Business ranked Leslie as one of Chicago’s 100 most influential women of 2004. Her story has appeared in The Chicago Reporter, Sojourner Truth magazine, and Christian Reader. She has appeared on several television programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show, WGN-TV News, ABC 7 News and Chicago Access Network Television, as well as WGCI and WVON radio in Chicago.