A ground-breaking program using literature to help find alternatives to incarceration was recognized Tuesday by the New England Council on Crime and Delinquency.

UMass Dartmouth English Professor Robert Waxler, Judge Robert Kane and probation officer Wayne St. Pierre began the "Changing Lives Through Literature" program in Bristol County in 1991.

Professor Waxler tells WBSM News, the program uses literature as a way to increase the ability of hardened criminals to communicate ideas and feelings.

The program continues today in courts throughout the Commonwealth, and similar programs are running in seven other states and in England.

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