CSP-Solano incarcerated find inspiration through book club
Fresh perspectives, improved writing skills, a breather from daily life, and productive debates are just a few of the things that happen at the California State Prison-Solano (SOL) Book Club. Shortly after A. Turner was appointed Senior Librarian at SOL, she submitted a proposal to start a book club.
Book clubs are instructive, improve linguistic skills, foster transformative change, and serve as communities where members hone their writing abilities. Through a letter-writing curriculum developed in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Fox from Sacramento State University.
Dr. Fox teaches sociology and criminal justice at the university. She participates in the conversation and asks questions through video conference with the book club. There are currently 14 participants on the Level 2 facility at SOL, and 16 participants on Level 3.
With the help of discussion questions, participants gain communication skills in the book club. It improves their understanding of what they read, engaging in discussions where they can respectfully disagree. These discussions improve verbal and thinking skills as well as their conceptual understanding. The book club is a group of readers rather than a reading group. They feature essays, quizzes, and discussion questions about various concepts, viewpoints, or expressions relevant to the text.
Book club benefits go beyond love of reading
“It gives the population a sense of connection and solidarity. It presents individuals with opportunities to read beyond what they typically do. I believe that when people read more, their writing abilities and communication skills improve. It questions novel issues, novel notions, and novel ideas,” said Warden G. Matteson.
Additionally, the population can relate to the books better through the club. They plan to cover many books, including “Mama I Should Have Listened” by Tasha Mills.
“It’s a terrific opportunity for guys to communicate to each other and build a rapport and sense of community,” Turner said. “The novels picked are relatable to the whole group, take away commonalities as well as differences and form relationships with each other.”
Story by David Maldonado, Deputy Chief, Office of External Affairs
and TV Specialist Clarissa Resultan, producer, videographer and video editor