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Reading Program Aimed at Inmates

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RALEIGH — Sociologists from N.C. State University are hoping that a reading program could have far-reaching benefits for inmates in the state's prisons.

During January, the faculty members met with instructors from several community colleges and prisons for "Project Success." The intense, three-week program was held at the N.C. Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh.

Its aim is to train people to work with inmates having reading disabilities to improve their skills.

Dr. William Smith said estimates are that 25 percent of young inmates in the state's prison system may be reading disabled. "We know from our research that failure in school is a leading predictor of juvenile delinquency," he said. "We hope this program will prove to be an important rehabilitation piece for many individuals already in the system."

Smith and Drs. Matthew Zingraff and Patricia Garrett organized the effort. Sessions are being conducted by Dr. Robert Nash of the University of Wisconsin, who developed a pure phonics-based program in 1979.

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation underwrote the program with a $25,000 grant.

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Wisdom Martin, Reporter
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