Felons and Fiction

The Sagamore Journal | Weekend

“I don’t want to be all negative,” the officer begins, “but you have to read this book.” Not as in “This is a must-read,” but “We’ve had people go to jail for not reading.”

Eight different states have instituted programs for offering college literature courses in lieu of jail time for convicted criminals. The recorded recidivism rates, “half… of [the] control group,” and significantly lighter expense, “roughly $500 a head, as opposed to $30,000 a year for incarceration,” suggest education may in fact be a means toward rehabilitating some of the nation’s less-serious offenders.