Prison Outreach

UNA-Holman Pen Pal Program

UNA’s English department is offering a pen pal program in collaboration with Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty ( Students who volunteer are paired with death row inmates at Holman Correctional Facility. This program encourages students to apply the principles they have learned in EN 111 (first-year composition) in crafting letters that are sensitive to audience and rhetorical context. Correspondence is also one of the many ways we can help death row inmates to feel connected to society and affirm their humanity. Community members are welcome to join our pen pal program. For more information, please contact: Dr. Katie Owens-Murphy at

  • "It was because of my letters that I happened to stumble upon starting to acquire some kind of a homemade education." ~Malcolm X, Autobiography.

  • "His letters conveyed not only empathy for my situation but also an optimistic faith that I could make a better human being of myself. Nobody else had ever believed in me or accepted me unconditionally." ~Jimmy Santiago Baca, A Place to Stand.

UNA-Limestone Prison Programming Initiative

Dr. Katie Owens-Murphy (English), Dr. Chris Purser (Justice, Politics, and Law) and Dr. Yaschica Williams (Criminal Justice) are piloting a new program at Limestone Correctional Facility with support from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. Their interdisciplinary course, “Crime and Punishment in American Culture,” combines criminal theory, sociology, and literature to show how American attitudes toward crime and punishment have changed over time. Inmates are encouraged to apply these theories to their own lives and to The Autobiography of Malcolm X. For more information, please contact: Dr. Katie Owens-Murphy at