Changing Lives In Maximum Security Prison

News Release:

The child of an alcoholic and the product of a broken home, Mike Cooley was abused physically and verbally and bounced from school to school and city to city during his youth. He also went from a homeless and drug addicted teenager and completely lost young adult to CEO of a million dollar company. Now a Coventry, R.I., resident and author of Rock Bottom: From the Streets to Success, Mike will share his inspirational story with inmate students in Dr. Mari Dias’s Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) class on Thursday, April 14th, beginning about 9:30 a.m.

An Associate Professor of Social Sciences at Johnson & Wales University, Mari Dias has been the volunteer facilitator for CLTL at the RIDOC’s men’s Maximum Security Facility for the last six years. Dr. Dias weaves major tenants of both psychology and sociology into the classroom discussions. The twelve-week course utilizes the text Changing Lives Through Literature edited by Robert Waxler and Jean Trounstine, which includes a compilation of short stories that touch upon the themes of family, violence, and addiction.

Based on the idea that literature has the power to transform, CLTL allows students to make a connection with the characters or ideas in a text and to rethink their own behavior. According to Dr. Dias, “This program can be a conduit to self-directed change.”

Michael Cooley will be at Main Street Coffee in East Greenwich, RI on Saturday, April 30th from 1pm to 3pm signing copies of his book.


9 thoughts on “Changing Lives In Maximum Security Prison

  1. Literature is a great tool for people to self recover; I completly agree with wat CLTL is doing and hope they have even more success int he future.

  2. CLTL is a remarkable program and I think it is a good idea to allow students to make a connection with the characters or ideas in a text and to rethink their own behavior. I hope they are able to implement this more throughout different states.

  3. I believe that CLTL helps the inmates in ways tradition punishment does not. It reaches dark corners that cell time can’t. Keep up the good work!

  4. i too believe that the CLTL i a great program to help inmates. it allows them to express themselves.

  5. CLTL is a fantastic program for inmates. There are many stories in literature that exhibit characters overcoming obstacles. Through CLTL inmates can connect with characters and use the stories at motivation to move forward with their lives and make a better future for themselves.

  6. CLTL program offer would offer numerous possibilities for students to be successful recover themselves. While punishment might spark the feeling of defiance, literature would allow them to voluntarily reconsider their life once again and coordinate their future.

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