Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sentenced to Reading

Can being sentenced to a reading course actually turn the lives of an offender around, perhaps even save his life? 

Experiments in the US seem to indicate that this may indeed by the case, writes Anne Barker in The Guardian, and looks at a rehabilitation programme called Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) which runs across the US and has achieved some spectacular results with thousands of offenders, and at a very low cost.

Now a new programme called Stories Connect is running in UK prisons, though it has not yet been used as an alternative to sentencing, and the University of Exeter is also using it with people in the community with drug and alchohol programmes.

The testimonials of students on both programmes are pretty inspiring, and should reaffirm for us all just how powerful and important reading is, and why it needs to be part of all our lives.


Amir Muhammad said...

Oscar Wilde was sentenced to Reading.

Unknown said...

Reading certainly keeps me sane. Sometimes I wonder what I would have done in a world without books.

C said...

Reminds me of Malcolm X but nobody forced him.

sri said...

wow, how cool is that? i did criminology in college, and it is a fact known to all that incarceration is merely a punitive measure. it does not rehabilitate nor does it help society... brilliant idea. but what about our crackheads who can't read or write or even speak english? audio books hey, or perhaps the path of mr. pip (lloyd jones)...;)

Greenbottle said...

WTF sri? you need to speak english to read?'re thinking like a wog.