Finding a Voice: The Practice of Changing Lives Through Literature

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This book features philosophy and practices of an alternative sentencing program. Disturbed by the lack of real success of prisons in reforming offenders, Robert Waxler, an English professor, and Judge Robert Kane, a former Massachusetts District Court Justice, created Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) - an educational initiative for inmates based on the idea that studying literature can transform lives. Since its founding in 1991, CLTL has won numerous awards and been featured in national media outlets like "The New York Times", "Parade Magazine", "The Christian Science Monitor", and the "Today Show". In this book, Waxler and Jean Trounstine (who extended CLTL to female prisoners in 1993) discuss the "how and why" of their unique alternative sentencing program. In addition to describing the program's beginnings and the team approach that made CLTL a success, the authors also give a wealth of practical advice for other teachers. Their sample lesson plans, text suggestions, and discussion of controversies faced by CLTL show readers a way of approaching literature with alternative learners everywhere.

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The University of Michigan Press
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