Book Club Meeting…at the Prison

The title was ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and the leader of the discussion at the Cheshire (CT) Correctional Institute was former 18-year inmate James Tillman, recently exonerated and released for a rape he didn’t commit.

In discussing the book, the prisoners saw parallels in today’s society, where, one inmate said, “justice is for sale.”

They were taken with Atticus Finch, one of the book’s protagonists, a father who set an example for his children by bucking the racist conventions of his time and teaching his children “you can’t judge anybody until you’ve walked in their shoes,” as another inmate said. The men spoke of their pasts, indignities of the justice system and those experienced by the wrongly accused, and relatives who grew up in the same bigoted South depicted in the book. Interesting story of the juxtaposition of literature and life from the Hartford Courant.