Carnegie-Stout Public Library

Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque, Iowa will launch a Changing Lives Through Literature program (CLTL). CLTL is a community-based alternative sentencing program. Offenders are sentenced to complete this 10-week program as a condition of probation, or in lieu of a jail term. Students read books during this program, discuss them, and keep a journal of reflections on the book and their lives. Books selected have themes that many of the offenders face in their lives, such as poverty and racism, the struggle for social justice, family breakdown, the weakening of community bonds, friendship, loyalty, and consequences. Results in communities that have adopted this program are very impressive with recidivism as low as 10- 20%. Although this program was created for all ages, Carnegie-Stout Public Library is interested in starting this program for teens in partnership with the Juvenile Court Officers and with the support of the Dubuque Police Department and expanding the program based on the success of this first year.