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Jean Trounstine

Jean Trounstine taught literature to women inmates and cofounded an award-winning alternative probation program that uses writing and literature to offer prisoners a second chance.

Trounstine began teaching literature, writing, and drama at Framingham Women’s Prison through her work as professor of humanities at Middlesex Community College. She innovated a special drama class in which the inmates would study plays with her and produce them in the prison. When Trounstine’s job at the prison was eliminated due to federal budget cuts, she found alternative ways to work on issues related to prison and the arts, such as the alternative probation program, Changing Lives Through Literature. The program earned the New England Board of Higher Education’s Award for Excellence and an Exemplary Education grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Trounstine’s book Shakespeare Behind Bars explores her experiences teaching in prison, and she has also written a book of poetry and edited a collection of women writing on marriage.

Jean Trounstine was honored at the 2000 Women Who Dared event in Boston.

More on: Teachers, Memoirs, Poetry
Jean Trounstine, July 2000
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Jean Trounstine, July 2000.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Cincinnati, Ohio

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jean Trounstine." (Viewed on November 21, 2018) <>.


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