Indiana State University Newsroom

Writer, activist Dwayne Betts to speak Oct. 22

October 12, 2018

After spending time in prison as a teen for a carjacking sentence, Dwayne Betts changed the direction of his life and pointed it in a positive direction promoting education, writing and activism.

His book, "A Question of Freedom," was the Indiana State University fall freshman read and he will be the second speaker in the Indiana State University Speaker Series on Oct. 22.

At just 16 years old, Betts was arrested for a carjacking charge, tried as an adult and sentenced to nine years in prison. Since then, he has transformed himself into a critically acclaimed writer and poet who has published several works, a former Yale Law School student and the national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice.

Betts used his time in prison to focus on making productive and positive change for himself and others as well. He currently is an advocate for prison reform and often discusses the connection between art and social justice and the current state of the criminal justice system.

Betts' book, "A Question of Freedom," was selected as the fall freshman read and chronicles his years in prison. He reflects back to the details of his crime and discusses his discovery of reading and education in prison. His book is a record of his quest for identity and survival in a hostile environment.

Betts' presentation will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 in Tilson Auditorium. His presentation will be free and open to the public.

For more information please call 812-237-3770 or go to

Photo: - Dwayne Betts

Media contact: Jennifer Cook, assistant director of Hulman Center facilities, Indiana State University, 812-237-3770 or