The Birmingham Police Department has announced partnership with Lawson State Community College and the Birmingham Municipal Courts to form the GED Program Partnership. It coincides with the department's Transition Assistance Program, or TAP. The GED Program Partnership and TAP will provide inmates of the Birmingham City Jail with essential knowledge and skills such as reading, basic math and interview techniques to help increase their quality of life, after release. The Birmingham Police Department's Community Services Unit will also join additional agencies to help provide a wide range of added services. The initiative will offer services such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Domestic Violence classes and HIV Awareness, Prevention and Testing.
Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said, "It is incumbent upon us to provide more than just an empty cell for our detainees. As law officers we are obligated to arrest, but as humanitarians we are obligated to provide more assistance to help break the crime cycle."
Lawson State Community College will offer adult education services to inmates, along with instruction to earn a GED and basic lessons on becoming more employable. Dr. Perry W. Ward, president of Lawson State Community College said, "The results of this initiative can be significant and transform lives by establishing a sound foundation for advancement to the next stage in life."