- Innovators Project
Shakespeare in Shackles: Laura Bates
"Shakespeare has the power to educate convicted killers," says Bates, and to get them to examine what landed them in prison.
On a windy April day in central Indiana, six men enter a room.
Three are white, three are black. Two are over 50, the rest under 40. All of them wear khaki jumpsuits and carry books under their tattooed arms.
They are six of the 1,840 inmates at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, a Level 4 maximum-security prison. Built in 1923, its Spanish Colonial Revival buildings and grassy courtyards once housed John Dillinger.
The men sit in a semicircle, facing a chalkboard and two visitors. One is the instructor, a gray-bearded man with glasses. The other is a guest speaker: a tall woman in her mid-50s with keen blue eyes and flaxen hair streaked silver. This is her first time in Pendleton. But