About me

Hello from Birmingham, Alabama. I’m Beth Shelburne, an investigative reporter, journalist and writer. Some of you may know me from twitter where I give updates about Alabama’s unconstitutional prisons, which I’ve been reporting on for over a decade.

I have a lot to say and write, not just from ground zero of our nation’s mass incarceration crisis, but about the incredible people I have gotten to know through my work and how it has changed me. I also plan to write more about the work itself, telling the truth and the cost that comes with that.

You can expect to read regular reporting about the human rights catastrophe inside Alabama prisons, and the ripple effects into other agencies, like our court system and paroles.

I’m also interested in creativity and process and sometimes integrate my own experiences into writing through personal essays and reviews of what I’m reading/watching/listening.

I want to keep all my content free for everyone, but the truth is, paid subscribers help support my work. I am self-employed and make a living through independent projects and freelance gigs. I’m grateful to anyone who reads my work and subscribes to this newsletter, but a special shout out to those of you who help me do what I do through a paid subscription.

For 20 years, I worked as a TV news anchor and reporter, but much of it felt like living someone else’s life, wearing a costume and mask while striving hard to convince myself it was my own body and face. I’ve gone through an incredible evolution in the last five years, one that started when my career almost killed me, but thankfully I survived to arrive at a life that feels entirely and authentically mine.

I want to bring you closer to the issues and people I write about. With proximity comes understanding, empathy and change.

You can read more of the work I’ve published elsewhere at www.bethshelburne.com.

You can listen to an investigative podcast I made about Toforest Johnson called Earwitness on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all other major podcast platforms.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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Reporting and writing at the intersection of mass incarceration and life in Alabama.


Beth Shelburne

Journalist, writer, investigative reporter. Heart attack survivor. Mama & wife, pal to assorted humans. Mostly brave except with roaches.