Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 13–23 | Cite as

Writing as Therapy in a County Jail

  • Zandra Stino


The purpose of this paper is to describe how the process of creative writing not only led to development in literacy but also had a therapeutic effect for incarcerated youth in a county jail. Six inmates in an adult literacy classroom composed and recorded a rap song entitled “How to Stay out of Jail” as a caution to their younger siblings. The writing process itself—brainstorming, drafting, revising, and recording for dissemination—improved literacy skills, enhanced self-reflection, helped them think through their values, improved self-esteem, and cultivated interest in others in the community. Teaching the process of writing had secondary benefits of special significance to this nontraditional literacy class.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zandra Stino
    • 1
  1. 1.Leon County Schools Center for Adult and Community EducationTallahasseeUSA

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