Books Behind Bars: Life, Literature, and Leadership (BBB) is the only program in the U.S. that brings college students and incarcerated youth together in a community of learning that realizes the power of literature to inform, transform, and build connections between people from widely diverse backgrounds. BBB students perform a real-world task, to lead incarcerated youth in discussions and creative activities related to great works of Russian literature. The program gives students foundational knowledge in Russian literature and history as well as practical experience in literary analysis. Contact with incarcerated youth (residents) deepens students’ understanding of issues in juvenile justice, provides a vehicle for them to apply literary analysis in a real-world setting, and allows them to grow as teachers and facilitators. For residents, the program fosters academic, social, and personal growth and aims to help reintegrate these youth into society as productive citizens.