Shakespeare Saved My Life
Guests: Laura Bates, PhD, Author of “Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard,” Professor of English at Indiana State University; Rex Hammond, Former Student of Laura Bates
As prison populations in the US have grown over the last few decades, states have looked for ways to help inmates reform during incarceration and be less likely to re-offend once they’re released. Researchers say programs that offer a chance for education in prison are particularly helpful in that regard.
But when Indiana State University English professor Laura Bates proposed teaching Shakespeare to the most serious offenders in a maximum security prison, officials didn’t think she’d have much luck. Particularly since her plan was to teach inmates being held in solitary confinement. They couldn’t sit face to face in a class room. They weren’t even allowed to have hardback books in their cells. What good could an English professor and the Bard possibly do in that sett