Stop North Carolina from Depriving People on Death Row of Their Educations

Stop North Carolina from Depriving People on Death Row of Their Educations

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The Digital Abolitionist started this petition to North Carolina Commissioner of Prisons Tod Ishee and

Sign this petition to call on North Carolina Commissioner of Prisons Tod Ishee and Chief Deputy Secretary Tim Moose to allow people on North Carolina’s death row to access educational programming. 

On May 13, 2021, Central Prison staff notified a student on death row, Lyle May, that his access to a correspondence bachelor’s degree program had been terminated. All individuals on North Carolina’s death row are now no longer permitted to pursue their GEDs, engage in rehabilitative programming, or participate in correspondence courses. It is fundamentally unjust to deny a certain class of people their access to education based on the severity of their sentence.

On May 15, 2021, Lyle filed a grievance regarding this new prohibition on education. Please sign this petition to support Lyle’s grievance and call upon the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) to immediately reinstate access to education for all people on death row, including Lyle May. NCDPS must also put in place a policy to ensure that access to educational programming is not blocked again in the future. 

About Lyle May: Lyle is enrolled in a correspondence course with Ohio University and has secured private funding along with prestigious scholarships, including Alpha Sigma Lambda. He is in the middle of coursework required for his bachelor’s degree. Lyle earned his associate’s degree in 2013 from Ohio University while incarcerated. Lyle is also a prolific journalist, and he has published writing on access to education and more on platforms including Scalawag Magazine, Inside Higher Ed, and the Marshall Project. The Duke Chronicle wrote about Lyle and his pursuit of education in 2019. Lyle has been incarcerated since 1997 when he was 19 years old. 

This is not the first time that NCDPS has attempted to block Lyle’s access to education. In 2019 he faced similar barriers, which he overcame after members of the public put pressure on the prison to reinstate his access. Lyle and everyone else on North Carolina’s death row needs your help again now to ensure access to education is immediately reinstated and formally protected.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!