Wis. corrections officials nix Shakespeare reboot

DOC finds no evidence Shakespeare program reduces offenses

All the world’s a stage — but not for prisoners within Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections.

The agency has rejected a proposal to restart a Shakespeare Behind Bars program that operated in a Racine prison for four years. DOC officials say there’s no evidence that producing Shakespeare plays reduces incidents of re-offending.

Jonathon Shailor teaches communication at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He launched the Shakespeare prison program in 2004. Over the next four years, 44 inmates produced and performed plays for inmates and the public.

A Wisconsin Public Radio report says the prison warden eventually canceled that program, citing security issues.

Shailor hoped to restart the program, but the DOC said no. Agency spokesman Tim LeMonds says there’s no evidence the program helps inmates re-integrate into society.