- Massachusetts Probation Service
Media Contact for Suffolk Superior Probation hosts its first Changing Lives Through Literature graduation
Coria Holland, Communications Director
Massachusetts — Suffolk Superior Probation hosted its first Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) graduation from which eight men, ages 20 to 50, who all have served significant state prison sentences graduated from the program.
One of CLTL Programs across the state, the Suffolk Superior CLTL was taught by William “Bill” Littlefield, a former Boston University and Curry College professor, and facilitated by Suffolk Superior Chief Probation Officer Michael F. Forbes, Regional Administrative Judge (RAJ) Christine Roach, and Probation Officer Megan Rodriguez. The graduates include Dedison Romeus, Ramon Baez, Paul Brown, Luis Lopez, Stephen Fusco, Delvin Pearson, Ramon Walker, and Jeury Pimental.
During the CLTL sessions, the participants read poems, contemporary American short fiction, as well as the book “Cannery Row,” by John Steinbeck.
“The class discussions were stimulating and refreshing. It was a rare opportunity to have the insight of such an accomplished jurist as Judge Roach, complimented by such an established scholar as Bill Littlefield, while discussing American Literature with a group of men whom have all served extensive state prison sentences,” said Suffolk Superior CPO Forbes. “The perspectives ranged widely, as did discussions.”
Suffolk Superior’s CLTL is one of nearly 30 across the state and one of Probation’s longest running programs. The first CLTL program was first introduced nearly 30 years ago by a District Court Judge Robert Kane; his tennis partner, Robert Waxler, a literature professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth; and a now retired New Bedford District Probation Officer Wayne St. Pierre as a way to reduce recidivism among offenders. There are now 27 CLTL Programs throughout the state. There are also programs in Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Texas, Canada, and England.
Pictured above, from left: Graduates Dedison Romeus and Ramon Baez, Chief Probation Officer Michael Forbes, graduate Paul Brown, Regional Administrative Justice Christine Roach, Probation Officer and Changing Lives Through Literature Coordinator Megan Rodriguez, Professor Emeritus at Curry College and Changing Lives Through Literature volunteer Bill Littlefield, and graduates Luis Lopez, Stephen Fusco, and Jeury Pimental.