58. Smitherman, T. & Thompson, J. (June 2002). “Writing Our Stories”: An Anti-Violence Creative Writing Program. The Journal of Correctional Education, 53(2), 77-83.

Author Affiliations: Alabama Department of Youth Services School District (Smitherman); Alabama Writers’ Forum, Inc. (Thompson)
Artforms: Creative writing, poetry, prose
Program: Writing Our Stories: An Anti-Violence Creative Writing Program
Program Description: Writers teach poetry and prose writing skills to incarcerated youth in Alabama.
Program (Study) Location: Alabama
Study Published: 2002
Participant Type: Incarcerated juvenile offenders aged 12-18 Sample Size: unspecified number
Data Type: Qualitative: pre- and post-testing, anecdotal data
Evaluation Focus: Self-esteem, writing skills

Summary of Impact: Impact information was anecdotal only with inconsistent results found on pre- and post-testing in different groups. Students submitted revised work for inclusion in the school’s anthology. Anthologies were considered “outcomes in themselves” (p. 79). As of Fall 2001, nine anthologies were in print from “Writing Our Stories” programs. Juvenile court judges, social workers, therapists, psychologists and teachers have responded positively to the anthologies .

KEYWORDS: creative writing, juvenile, poetry, prose, writing, Writing Our Stories , youth

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