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Female ex-con turns the tables and graduates with a top degree in criminology

By Mason White 9:25 AM July 16, 2014
Natalie Atkinson 

By: Anika Rao
(Scroll down for video) A woman is making headlines for turning her life around.

25-year-old Natalie Atkinson of England, was in and out of jail for many years.

Now, she used her criminal past to make a difference in the world.

Atkinson was an out of control teen and young adult, until she was determined to change her life.

Atkinson has a record with more than 100 crimes, which includes 50 assaults, some of which were attacks against police officers. She was also convicted of criminal damage.

After leaving prison she finally decided to take control of her life and embarked on a degree in policing, investigation and criminology at the University of Cumbria.

She scored 95% on her thesis and is now going for a masters in criminology at the London School of Economics. She was honored by the National Union of Students.

Atkinson said that she regrets her behavior of the past, “but repeated short prison sentences did not rehabilitate me.”

“Prison made ​​me worse. I wanted to be rehabilitated. I have gone from being a repeat offender living a chaotic lifestyle to living a settled and happy life,” she said.

“If you set your mind to it you can achieve anything,” she added.