A request from death row

Hello all,

We (at the Fortune Society in New York City) recently received an inquiry from a person on death row in Alabama. The individual is interested in High School Equivalency classes and said that the only option for people on death row is to pay for a correspondence class - money that he/she doesn't have. We really don't know about conditions in Alabama. I'm wondering if there are resources in that state to help a person in this situation. I know it's a little different from the usual discussion on this list, but I thought I'd reach out.

John Gordon


Hello John,

Thanks for sharing this request.  I hope educators in Alabama, or anyone with information regarding correctional ed in Alabama..., will be willing to share ideas and/or insights.  Although I agree that this is not a traditional discussion topic, it is nonetheless one worth addressing.  I understand that our goals as educators are to work with those students who will be reentering society, thereby reducing their chances of recidivating and improving public safety along the way.  However, there are those who will not be reentering society and I'd argue that they should also be allowed access to educational resources if they are motivated to use their time to improve their minds.  I do realize that this might be a sensitive topic, but if anyone has any practical experience or advice it would be great to hear it here.  

-- Heather