Changing Lives Through Literature-An Alternative Sentencing Program

For many of us, reading is a part of our daily life. Yet there are adults and youth who have not been exposed to literature or may not even know how to read. Reading can help enlighten the mind, help with character building and can certainly help transform lives.

Changing Lives Through Literature began in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1991 as an alternative sentencing program for adults and youth. Since that time, Changing Lives Through Literature programs have been established in many states.

Changing Lives Through Literature grew in response to a very strong need to find alternatives to incarceration. In 1991 Professor Robert Waxler and Judge Robert Kane initiated the first Changing Lives Through Literature program. Eight men were sentenced to probation instead of incarceration with the stipulation that they had to complete a Modern American Literature seminar run by Professor Waxler. For 12 weeks the men met at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

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