Saturday, March 29, 2014


 A Positive New Program that has come to Okaloosa C.I.

Creative writing is a skill with wide-ranging applications in education, employment, and daily life, including the development of critical thinking skills. The Creative  Writing Club of Okaloosa C. I. held its first class November 4, 2013, and has completed nineteen classes in the past four months. Sgt. Worrell sponsors the meetings. Inmate Instructor Charles Norman has conducted a variety of writing programs over the past thirty years.

Classes are limited to about fifteen students, with a waiting list, and are held in the Re-entry Classroom, although inmates from any housing area are eligible to attend. Classes are taught in modules, including Introduction to Creative Writing, Poetry Workshop, Fiction Workshop, Memoirs and Creative Non-Fiction. Students are required to complete weekly writing assignments.

It is a well-proven fact that education reduces recidivism by high double-digit percentages, and the Creative Writing Club fits into the goals of the Re-entry Program. Response has been enthusiastic.

Materials and supplies are donated. The PEN American Center in New York City, an international literary  society that, among other programs,  sponsors prison writing programs in all fifty states, donated copies of their Handbook For Writers In Prison.

The program is ongoing.


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