The American Library Association encourages you to celebrate National Library Week, April 14-20, with the theme Communities matter @ your library.
Local free public libraries continue to provide equal access to literature—from the classics to the latest best-sellers—to all members of their communities. Whether you’re wealthy or poor, educated or not, libraries provide you with great works of literature.
Literature has the power to transform lives. Libraries provide the books—the tangible resources—to help make those transformations happen.
Whether you’re running a Changing Lives Through Literature alternative sentencing group or some other literature discussion group, encourage your members to continue reading and thinking about literature.
Find out how your community matters to your local library by visiting your library during National Library Week. Comment on this blog post to share with us how you participated in National Library Week.
For more information visit American Library Association – National Library Week.
Image provided by American Library Association.
The Great American Book Drive.
Bring Us Your Books!
Ever wonder what to do with all those books collecting dust on your shelves, piling up in your closet, or hiding under your bed? Put them to work for the Prison Book Program and City Mission Society by bringing them to the 5th annual Great American Book Drive. Choose to support reuse, help open doors for prisoners, and promote social justice by donating your gently used books.
Saturday, April 13
10 am – 3 pm
The Nonprofit Center
89 South Street (near South Station)
Boston, MA (directions)
Better World Books will sell them to people all over the world who will cherish them…and the Prison Book Program and the City Mission Society will benefit with every sale. It’s about literacy, not landfill.
For complete information visit www.prisonbookprogram.org/bookdrive.
Pam Boiros of the Prison Book Program provided the above information. Thank you to JoAnne Breault for sharing Pam’s book drive information with our blog readers.
Boston Book Festival panel discussion covers remorse, redemption, and resiliency
By JoAnne Breault
“When you are in prison, you don’t get to make a lot of choices and you have a lot of time to think about why you are there. You lose your sense of time,” explained former inmate William Gaul to a crowd at the Boston Public Library.
Many prisoners have little or no access to education, mental health treatment, or rehabilitation opportunities. “The Prison Book Program was a godsend to me,” said Gaul. “I began reading in prison and books had a profound meaning.”
Gaul was one of four panelists at Unbound: Books Behind Bars, a panel discussion at this year’s Boston Book Festival, New England’s largest annual literary event. Gaul served his eight-year sentence and graduated from college with a BA in Biblical Theology. He then worked as a coordinator for a criminal justice program and advocated for criminal offenders at American Friends Service Committee. He has been both a client and a volunteer with the Prison Book Program, a Quincy, MA non-profit organization. “While in prison, I traveled the world through reading. I want to give that back,” said Gaul.
Stories of remorse, redemption, and resiliency resonated throughout the panel discussion as representatives of literacy organizations and former criminal offenders interacted with each other. Independent studies show that criminal offenders who participate in literacy programs are less likely to re-offend.
In addition to former inmate Gaul, the panelists included Judge Robert Kane, Edson Monteiro, and Michael Krupa.
Dr. Robert P. Waxler, author and Professor of English at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, moderated the panel. “Books create an opportunity,” said Waxler. “They can liberate beyond the steel of a rigid prison.”
Dr. Waxler and Judge Kane co-founded Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL), an alternative sentencing program. CLTL gives criminal offenders opportunities to participate in reading discussion groups—a probation requirement for some.
Panelist Edson Monteiro, an urbane young man, told his compelling story of being diagnosed with Leukemia as a college varsity soccer player. Plagued with surmounting medical bills, Monteiro quit school. “I made some bad decisions,” admitted Monteiro.
Monteiro was convicted of a crime. While serving his time, he began reading books about managing finances, business, buying stocks, and religion. “I sought books that would help me excel in life and expand my knowledge,” he said.
Today Monteiro represents a prison success story. He graduated from college in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree and has started his own IT company. Books remain an important part of his life.
Panelist Michael Krupa serves as the board chair of Concord (MA) Prison Outreach and leads weekly book discussion groups at MCI Concord and the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, MA. “As volunteers we come into the prison system and try and humanize their experience,” said Krupa.
During the panel’s question and answer period, Katelyn, a young blonde woman in a tight ponytail, bravely made her way to the podium. She labeled herself as a byproduct of Boston’s inner city. She confided that she had gotten into trouble and ended up in a juvenile detention center. “It was not until after I was incarcerated that I developed an interest in reading books.” Today she attends community college and aspires to become a journalist.
2.2 million people are incarcerated in the United States today. According to the Massachusetts Department of Correction, it costs taxpayers $43,000 per year to incarcerate a prisoner. Programs like the Prison Book Program and Changing Lives Through Literature only cost approximately $500.00 per participant. The end result is a reduction in recidivism.
JoAnne Breault is seeking her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She hopes to pursue a career in public relations writing.
Photos by JoAnne Breault.
By Nancy E. Oliveira
On Saturday, October 27, 2012 the Boston Book Festival will host a panel discussion—Books Behind Bars—sponsored by the Prison Book Program. Hear formerly incarcerated people, and literacy organization representatives who serve prison populations, discuss how books and reading have impacted their lives both in and out of prison.
“Pam Boiros from the Prison Book Project has put together a wonderful panel for the Boston Book Festival,” says UMass Dartmouth professor Robert Waxler. “I am honored she has asked me to serve as moderator and look forward to an exciting discussion about the power of books to change lives. Come and participate in the conversation.”
The panel discussion starts at 4pm in the Boston Public Library’s Commonwealth room. It is free and open to the public.
The Books Behind Bars panel discussion is one of many free events taking place at this year’s Boston Book Festival, held at the Boston Public Library and the surrounding Copley Square area.
Learn more about the Prison Book Program.
Learn more about the Boston Book Festival.
Learn more about Books Behind Bars.
By Tam Neville
After lunch the group heard a presentation on “Research: Does it work?” led by Ron P. Corbett Jr. He began by saying that evidence-based practices are used in many settings.
Is there empirical support for what you do?
Is it having the effects you want on the people you work with?
All in Changing Lives Through Literature believe that it does change lives. A recidivism study has recently been done at UMass/Boston by retired professor Taylor Stoehr, Professor of Sociology, Russell Schutt, and Associate Professor, faculty member of the Criminal Justice Program, Xiaogang Deng. The study showed a reduction in offending for CLTL graduates.
Do we have the ability to help people reduce offending sometimes or altogether?
There was an experimental group and a control group. We looked at behavior 18 months before CLTL and 18 months after CLTL. There were 600 participants in the study. There was a 60 % drop for CLTL participants and 16% for others. Both the number and severity of incidents were reduced. Also the participants worked with a parole officer and took one other program (such as substance abuse, batterers, etc.).
What is it about Changing Lives that leads to a reduction in offending? What is the link between graduates of the program and those who offend less? Stoehr reports on this study:
“This group was larger than the Jarjoura/Rogers study and ran for a longer time. We had five jurisdictions: New Bedford, Lynn/Lowell, Dorchester, and two smaller courts. We had a larger range of information.
For the probationers, someone was paying attention to them. This is what was missing from their lives. In the Dorchester men’s class we have big groups so we break them up into smaller groups. Once in a class discussion, we had five guys who were great talkers, all talking at once. Then one held up his hand and said, “This is what our problem is, we don’t listen, we just talk.” Moments like this begin to happen in the third class. The process is unpredictable. You let go of controls. In Dorchester we don’t stick so hard to the text. The main thing is what happens in the classroom.
In the Dorchester program, we have a set of questions that we work with that go in a sequence. For example: What does it take to grow up? Does anybody ever learn things in school? And towards the end of the semester – What does it take to hit bottom? The questions get bigger and bigger.
In mid-semester we ask, “What is your evaluation of street smarts?” By this time there is trust. On street smarts – almost all are proud of their street smarts. The staff has a different view: street smarts prevent you from learning anything new. Many students cling to street smarts. The most important thing about Changing Lives is that people belong to a community that has the same concerns that they have. We have so little of that in America – where does that happen in your life? That makes a huge difference in what you do with your life.”
Books bring universality. A student realized, “I’m not the only one with this problem.” Through books students learn how to fight with words, not fists. They build a community together.
Reading is a cognitive behavior intervention – it makes thinking more flexible and more expansive, more empathetic.
The program boosts self-esteem too. To have a conversation with a judge can boost a student’s confidence. A student completes an assignment, voices an opinion, and is listened to.
Judge Kane said, “We’ve had the program for 20 years and there has never been a scary incident in these years. We get gratitude from our students.”
Judge Dever said, “People come into the program looking at life subjectively. In this program, through literature, they start looking at life objectively. This changes their ability to communicate. This then may help them with job interviews, things they thought were unattainable.
Reading slows you down – you have to find a quiet place and be by yourself. This is new for them – it leads to self-reflection.”
Stoehr talked about juveniles saying, “They don’t’ have a place to go with no noise and they’re full of hormones. Think of something you can do at the meeting, very short things (maybe rap), something that gives them a little challenge at the moment.”
Teresa Owens (PO, Taunton Division) said, “CLTL gives them a safe setting. One thing that always came out of the Dorchester women’s class was the question of choices. Were there other choices I could have made? Or, you can go to someone else to ask and say ‘I don’t know what to do.’ Also, people in class were accountable to each other in terms of doing the reading, homework, etc.”
CLTL is a team experience. When people have a chance to reflect on choices, this is their time, a time they can actually think. They don’t have that luxury in their lives. In CLTL they learn that there are more options, more choices.
Professor Waxler said, “We collectively make a community. The activity is primarily verbal. Reading brings engagement with narrative – you see that you are connected to other people. The story that I just read is my story too. Then discussion with everyone sitting around a table, there’s an open relationship between our experience and narrative. Story gives us meaning and helps us put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.”
To begin the final session, a probation officer new to the program spoke using herself as an example. She said, “Say I want to start a program. How do I get a judge involved, a facilitator, and probation officers?”
Judge Kane answered her on the matter of judicial involvement. “At least have someone who will let you run the program. You will need a judge’s support to get POs behind it. Having a judge is very important.”
Jean Trounstine added, “Get a judge talking to a judge. This will increase the chance of their going to class. You then have to go out and find facilitators.”
Someone else commented, “You have to get the judge to commit to an incentive if CLTL is not a condition of probation.”
The question of incentive: Outcomes are more positive where a court can create incentives such as six months off probation period, discount on supervision fees, etc. This information is in the literature and on the website. Dee Kennedy pointed out that, “Many students start off by saying, ‘I never would have taken this without the time off’ but by graduation, their attitude has changed.”
To find a facilitator ask Jean Flanagan. Jean Trounstine added, “Try to find a facilitator who has a connection with a school. It’s good to have a school as a place to meet. Call an English department. We can help you – you don’t need to do this in a vacuum.”
Ideally, a university campus is the best place to hold a class. The students get a taste of college life and it makes them proud to go to a college campus. This is especially important with juveniles.
To start a class, ask probation officers to recruit students from among their probationers. Myrna Thornquist (PO, Waltham District Court) advised, “I check a person out – do they like to read? What is their education? In the beginning I don’t tell them what I’m thinking – that they would be a good candidate. I do a little research on a person. Then, are they interested? Sometimes it takes 6-12 months to be sure of someone as a candidate.”
On books, Jean Trounstine said, “We give the students the books, they don’t buy them and the facilitator is reimbursed for these. We also encourage every student to get a library card.”
How many students should be in a class? We have had classes with 5 or with 13. Taylor Stoehr said, “One day we had 50. We split into two groups, then used small groups of 4 to 5.”
Any staff has to be regular. It’s important that all the staff agrees on the class ground rules. If we have an issue sometimes we talk about it afterwards. For the most part we tell the students, be sober and straight, do your homework and be on time.”
For the graduation ceremony, the Lynn/Lowell programs hold graduation in the court house during the first session. Those in the dock witness graduation. The graduates receive books and a certificate. It’s a day for celebration.
This meeting was a very successful one and we now have several courts who are interested in starting a program. We need facilitators. If you, or anyone you know, would like to facilitate a Changing Lives Program please get in touch with Jean Trounstiine at: TROUNSTINEJ@middlesex.mass.edu
By Annie Bolthrunis, editor
“The United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world, largely due to misguided drug laws and mandatory sentencing requirements.” – drugpolicy.org
As the “leader of the free world,” the United States is grossly behind many other developed countries in terms of imprisonment and sentencing laws. For instance, of the 194 countries that are part of the UN, 50% have abolished the death penalty entirely, 4% employ it in extraordinary circumstances, and 25% have it on the books for ordinary crimes, but have not used it in ten or more years. The United States falls into the 22% of UN members or countries with UN Observer status who maintain the death penalty both in theory and practice. We are one of only a few countries who are willing to sentence both teenagers and the mentally retarded to death.
Capital punishment is a contentious issue in the United States today, but the death penalty is not the most dangerous law on the books in the US. The recent Trayvon Martin case illustrates other problems with our justice system as it’s brought Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows people to use “necessary force” in self defense outside of the home, to the public eye and has sparked debate about the constitutionality of such self-defense laws. Perhaps the most unfair of our laws are mandatory sentencing laws.
While some crimes obviously warrant a harsh sentence (murder, child abuse), harsh mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenders do nothing but hurt not only the offender, but also society as a whole. Taking people out of society and imprisoning them for long periods of time doesn’t do much except prevent people who could be rehabilitated from being rehabilitated, and in some cases, may even turn these people into violent offenders, as life in prison is vastly different from life on the outside – prisoners may learn “tricks” or develop habits that could turn them into violent offenders once they are released.
Imprisoning a single person can cost tax payers tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the state and the length of the sentence. While drug rehabilitation isn’t cheap, it’s a much shorter-term option which, in the long run, would cost less than many sentences, such as California’s “Three Strikes” laws, which enable to court to imprison someone for life once they have three offenses on their record, regardless of the crimes committed.
One of the major problems with mandatory minimum sentencing laws is they seem to unfairly target minority offenders. According to Executive Summary: Report to Congress: Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the Federal Criminal Justice System, “Hispanic offenders accounted for the largest group (38.3%) of offenders convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty, followed by Black offenders at 31.5 percent, White offenders at 27.4 percent and Other Race offenders at 2.7 percent.”
Clearly, the United States has moved leaps and bounds in terms of racial disparity since the Civil Rights movement of the 60′s, but these statistics show that we have no come far enough. I might be more likely to believe in these mandatory minimum sentencing laws if they affected all races equally, but they do not. The majority of US citizens are not hispanic (although in many states they make up a larger portion than in the past), and the rates of drug use among races is roughly the same. Another startling statistic that shows the disparity of the application of sentencing between races: according to The Sentencing Project, in 2003, with 34/50 states responding, it was found that per million people, 2562 people who were imprisoned for drug offenses were black, while 253 were white.
It will be impossible to make all laws fair to all people all the time, but there is plenty of room for improvement. As a country, we are sending a message to minorities that they do not have equal opportunities within our justice system – they are clearly at a distinct disadvantage. They have less access to premium defenders; they frequently have to rely on public defenders who are notoriously unreliable (many are very good and some are very bad, many fall in between.)
It is up to to population as a whole to promote programs like Changing Lives, which aim to alleviate the strain on the prison and criminal justice system by promoting rehabilitation rather than punishment. While promoting and supporting alternative sentencing programs will not solve all of the countries problems with our criminal justice system, acting in support of these programs will raise awareness to their existence. If people are vocal about their support for the elimination of such injustices as mandatory sentencing laws for drug offenses and “Three Strikes” laws, perhaps the people who are getting the laws on books and ballots will be moved. It’s an election year, everyone – the perfect time to make our voices heard. Of the people, by the people, for the people: let this be our mantra when it comes to injustice in our justice system.
by Sarah Fudin, c/o the University of Southern California
In celebration of National March Into Literacy Month, the MAT@USC has created a fun and informative infographic entitled, “The Most Loved Children’s Books”. In it, they have recounted their favorite books as a way to celebrate children’s literature throughout the years.
Changing Lives Through Literature is committed to promoting the access to literature, not just for children but for the world at large. We live in a society where social and economic inequality has become a norm. This disparity has unfortunately burdened with a vicious cycle of crime and incarceration that only we have the power to break. CLTL seeks to end this cycle by taking whatever means necessary to ensure that individuals in the prison system are making productive use of their time through literacy development. However, our efforts do not end there. Preventative measures must also be exhausted by taking the time to effectively communicate the power of reading to the youth of the nation.
Books can unlock a wealth of opportunities for individuals, and gaining access to literature at an early age allows us to tap into our youths’ potential as they grow up. Join us as we celebrate the value of books and how they contribute to changing lives!
(click image for to view the infographic in full-screen)
Sarah Fudin works for the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of education. She can be reached by e-mail here. For more information on becoming a teacher through USC Rossier Online, visit Become a Teacher.
By: Annie Bolthrunis, editor
After my last post regarding CLTL-type programs from people in treatment for addiction, I had a conversation with my father. He was curious about the number of people who are incarcerated for drug charges alone. The numbers are somewhat unclear, and after looking at various sources, the latest numbers indicate that about 55% of people sentenced to serve time are sentenced because of drug-related offenses. The percentage of people incarcerated is much lower, but still staggering – according to stopthedrugwar.org, the number of people incarcerated for nonviolent, drug-related offenses was about 24% of the prison population in 2004, with every indication that that number will rise, rather than fall.
According to StoptheDrugWar.org, “Of the nearly 2.2 million people behind bars last year, 50.5% were serving time for violent crime. That means that more than 1.1 million people were imprisoned for nonviolent offenses, mainly property and drug crimes.”
When I see statistics like this, what immediately comes to mind is, how much is this costing America? Most prisoners are Federally-run (although I’ve heard about privately-owned prisons being erected in states like Texas), and are therefore funded by tax-payers. It seems to me that more people should be upset about this, what with all the talk about tax rates circulating during this election cycle. Why do candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum support the drug war, when it’s costing the American people money? Couldn’t we cut taxes by eliminating mandatory prison terms and “three-strikes” laws in the cases of non-violent offenses?
It is strikingly clear that this is one of the purposes of Changing Lives. Of course, the main purpose is to empower people who have had their power taken away, to educate people who may not have had opportunities due to economic or social problems, and to provide support for people who need it most. However; the average cost of housing and feeding a single prisoner in the United States per year is about $25,000. Multiply that by 1.1 million prisoners serving time for non-violent offenses – $27,500,000,000 – and that doesn’t include paying guards, maintaining and up keeping facilities, and lawyers’ fees. Tw-Seven Billion Dollars, just to feed and house people who never hurt another person or animal.
The cost per day in Massachusetts to keep a person on parole or on probation is $3 to $8. The average cost per day in MA to keep an inmate in prison is $603 – far above the national average. It seems that courts would be tripping over themselves to initiate more programs like Changing Lives Through Literature in order to quell prison overcrowding and to alleviate some of the enormous cost of keeping inmates in prison.
Obviously, there are people who commit crimes who should be locked up – people who assault others, who traffic drugs, who rape and murder – those people should be locked up, and some of them should never be let out. But there are nonviolent crimes, such as prostitution and minor drug possession, that are directly related to lower education and lower socio economic status. These people don’t hurt anyone, and in many cases they may feel like they have no other choice. It seems like they’d be better served – and we’d be better served – educating these people, enlightening them, raising their self esteem, and getting them to a place where they can be contributing members of society. In locking them up we may lose them forever, either to their own despondency or to a life of more heinous crimes using tricks they may pick up while locked up with more violent offenders.
Although Changing Lives Through Literature cannot solve all of the country’s problems with prisons and offenders, it can certainly help. By empowering people who are downtrodden, Changing Lives is helping to shape citizens out of criminals. By giving courts an option besides jail, Changing Lives is helping the struggle with prison overcrowding, which helps not only taxpayers but the people who are in prison – or may end up there. By reaching out to offenders, Changing Lives is showing there are people out there who are willing to take the time to help people who are used to having to do everything themselves.
It’s become clear that our criminal justice system is flawed in many ways. I’m not a criminal justice major, nor do I have much experience with the court and court system, and I’ve never been to prison. I cannot describe these problems from first hand knowledge. I can, however, look at the facts and the figures and see that a program like Changing Lives Through Literature is aptly named – and should be similarly supported and promoted.
by Annie Bolthrunis, editor
I have always been aware that there aren’t many options for people suffering from mental health disorders and addiction problems. Insurance will cover a few days in a hospital or detox and send you home with a slew of prescriptions, appointments, and recommendations, still reeling from the experience of being in-patient in a hospital.
If a patient is able to maintain a medication and appointment schedule, they may be able to successfully navigate the world of recovery. However, more often than not, these inpatient hospitalizations merely physically stabilize a patient without taking into account the emotional problems which are the underlying cause of the hospitalization.
I have a close relative who has long suffered from alcoholism. She has been inpatient in detox units more times than I can remember, with the most recent hospitalization occurring shortly after the start of break in mid-December. In October, she had been in a detox center for five days. When she relapsed, my family tried to find a long-term treatment center that would take her and accept our insurance. There were many options, but we kept hitting the same roadblock:
Her insurance would only cover five to ten days of an inpatient hospitalization that should have lasted thirty to ninety days. The cost of treatment, per day, can be thousands of dollars. Who can afford that? But the larger question is; why are insurance companies willing to pay for several short hospitalizations a year, but not for one long-term treatment session that may lead to a much longer period of sobriety?
It’s impossible to know the answer to this question, but it’s worth thinking about in an age when health insurance coverage is such a big political issue and addiction is at the forefront of our minds, thanks to shows like A&E’s “Intervention” and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” on VH1. Is it really cost effective to treat the same person several times as opposed to paying for one extended stay in a treatment center? Is it morally acceptable to keep bouncing a patient between home and detox without a clear set of tools to use as they eke out their recovery? Detox centers can be great places that offer a good deal of support for their patients, but when those patients are only there for three to five days, how much recovery can you really offer them?
AA and NA are options for a lot of people, but these programs can be overwhelming, especially for a new addict, or for someone who repeatedly relapses. It’s difficult for a person who one week appeared to be doing very well to go back to his or her familiar meeting and tell the group of people they’ve learned to trust that they’ve been lying; they fell off the wagon. Of course, all addicts know that addictions makes liars of everyone, and they will welcome the newly-sober-again member back with open arms, but it’s still emotionally difficult for someone just out of detox to face these emotions head on. This can lead to drinking or drugging. It’s a vicious cycle.
Along with the emotional problems associated with frequent relapse and ineffective treatment, patients may begin to experience negative effects on their health as they become more and more entrenched in the cycle of addiction. Problems such as alcoholic or drug induced dementia, vitamin deficiency, organ failure, malnutrition, and dehydration must all be treated by physicians, which costs the insurance companies yet again.
Overall, this is a very frustrating experience for patients and their families. Watching someone you love suffer repeatedly, and the cycle of repeated relapse and the effects it has on the family can cause enough stress to tear a family apart. I don’t know if there are easy solutions to these problems, but I know that the options available are NOT options. They pigeon-hole people into an ever-increasingly frustrating cycle which doesn’t seem to end – the proverbial snake eating its tail.
This is part of the reason why programs like CLTL are so important. Although CLTL is geared towards prisoners and not specifically addicts, a program that empowers people in a way that detox (and prison, of course) don’t is incredibly beneficial to society as a whole. Instead of breaking people down, a program like CLTL builds people up, giving them self esteem through showing them they have abilities they may not have recognized in themselves. Perhaps, using CLTL as a model, a program for addicts with relapse problems can be created, in conjunction with a hospital, where participants are treated on an outpatient basis (insurance companies may be more likely to cover this kind of program) and not only given tools to deal with their addictions, like so many partial hospital programs, but are given other tools, like self esteem. I think a book club component could be extremely beneficial in this context – as in CLTL, patients could be given a weekly reading assignment, and then have to come in the following week and discuss the text. Patients would get a feeling of accomplishment through starting and completing a task (reading the book or story) and a completely different feeling of accomplishment from participating in a meaningful discussion. Hopefully these discussions would relate to the addict’s experiences as an addict, and give them tools they may not receive in a short term inpatient setting.
It seems like this could be a perfect marriage between a long-term in patient hospitalization (which can be financially devastating or even impossible to afford at all) and a series of short term detoxes (which can physically orient a person again but only barely skims the surface of the emotional problems the patient is experiencing).
Changing Lives Through Literature
Middlesex Superior Court
Judge Kathe Tuttman, Acting Chief Probation Offcer Maureen McEachern, Professor Sandra Albertson-Shea and the Middlesex Superior Court Probation Department are starting a female Changing Lives Through Literature Program this Spring. At least two programs per year will run. Each session will consist of twelve weeks with classes being held biweekly.
Middlesex Community College is the host for the groups. Transportation will be made available through the generous donation os the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office.
There will be a graduation ceremony held at the Woburn location of the superior Court. Our hope is to start a male group in the near future.
If you would like additional information, [leas contact Associate Probation Officer Sylvia Gomes at 781-939-2794 Assistant Chief Probation Officer Stephen Mulloy 781-939-2723.