Sixteen probationers, the largest class to date, will celebrate their completion of the Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) Program today, Thursday, May 11, 3 p.m. at the Lawrence District Court House, 2 Appleton Street, Lawrence.\n\nThe CLTL Program is a seven-week program that was created more than 20 years ago by a Probation Officer, judge, and literature professor to engage probationers in an activity that would reduce recidivism and demonstrate to probationers that there are better opportunities available to them through education. CLTL is one of the longest running programs of the Massachusetts Probation Service (MPS).\n\nSeveral of the Lawrence graduates will read from their own writings at Thursday\u2019s ceremony. During the seven-week program, participants read \u201cStreet Shadows\u201d written by author Jerald Walker. Walker attended the last class. Lawrence CLTL participants included 13 men and three women, ages 20 to 45.\n\nThe program\u2019s instructor included Professor Kassie Rubico of Northern Essex Community College. In addition to the participants, Presiding Justice Lynn C. Rooney and the probation officers\u2014Patricia Evangelista-Stout and Lidia Maldonado-- all read the book and participated in discussions. Other participants included Probation Officer Ellen Carter, Clerk\u0027s Department support staff Nate Santer, Court interpreter Narda Horton- Campusano, and BAR Advocate Alicia McNeil.\n\nThere are roughly 10 CLTL Programs offered statewide in the court system and facilitated by Probation Officers. \u00a0Since its start, the CLTL Program has also been offered in such states as Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Texas. There have also been programs in Canada and England. There are CLTL programs that also include the reading of poetry.