The Arizona State University Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is a community-based learning program through a partnership between the ASU Center for Correctional Solutions and the Arizona Department of Corrections that focuses on rehabilitation and reentry. During the semester, 10 ASU students visit with 10 incarcerated students with the ultimate goal of breaking down the walls between the classroom and prison.

Kevin Wright, associate professor and director of the Center for Correctional Solutions within the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, said another important goal is to empower students to impact their communities positively.

“I love being in Watts because this work actually lifts people up. It's not just stuff we can do and give lip service to, and the work is amazing,” Wright said.

The program has facilitated nine Inside-Out classes at three prisons, with more than 175 inside and outside students identifying as alumni.

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Photo from UIC Marketing & Communications

University of Illinois Chicago Law students participated in a transformative learning experience called The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program® in support of the university's continuous advocacy for restorative justice.

After participating in the Inside-Out program at Howard University, current University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Dean of Libraries Rhea Ballard-Thrower was excited to bring this program to UIC Law after hearing about the university’s extensive restorative justice work. 

Dean Ballard-Thrower, a former law librarian and member of the UIC Law faculty, titled her course, “Students in Jail.” The course is designed to break down barriers, biases, and prejudgments by bringing together students and residents from diverse cultures and backgrounds and creating an environment conducive to learning and connecting on a human level.

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This fall, Gwynedd Mercy University’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program graduated 14 outside and 11 inside students. Inside and outside students have the unique opportunity to meet and exchange thoughts and perspectives about social inequalities, prison reform, and restorative justice.

“Realizing there’s another group of people just like you who were incarcerated because of different life circumstances is a truly transformative experience for students and instructors alike,” says Associate Professor and Criminal Justice Program Coordinator, Patrick McGrain. “You can’t get this kind of experience in the classroom or even through an internship.”

Molly Fleming, one of GMercyU’s Criminal Justice students, participated in the program. “Inside-Out was an experience like no other. I wish every student could have the opportunity to take this course. This class was extremely eye opening and provided me with incredible insight on the reality of prison life. Having the class in the prison and physically being with the inside students created such a unique learning atmosphere,” Molly said.

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Students in Roanoke College’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program led a yoga meditation during a Dec. 1 graduation celebration for the initiative's fall semester course, “Peacemaking in World Religions.” This fall’s class was the fourth held by the local program and the first since the pandemic began.

“What we are trying to do is to empathetically engage and to learn more as we see what kind of peace we might be able to create and why it might be important to people around the world today,” said Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy Melanie Trexler, who led this semester’s course. 

“We live together in society and have the responsibility to all learn together,” she added.  

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Westminster College has appointed Jamie Chapman as director of the All-College Honors Program. She currently serves as an associate professor of sociology at Westminster College and will begin her new duties during Summer 2023. 

Chapman, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2014, specializes in mental health, medical sociology, and has a growing interest in the subfield of criminology. Currently the program coordinator for the Department of Criminal Justice Studies and Sociology, Chapman is trained to teach in The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program®. Through this program, Chapman teaches a class inside a prison that includes 11 traditional Westminster students and 11 incarcerated students. She recently offered a criminology course to a group in an Ohio prison.
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Upcoming Trainings 

All 2023 trainings are virtual.
Below are the upcoming training dates for our 2023 season.

#86: May 15 to May 20 (Virtual) 
#87: June 5 to June 10 (Virtual) 
#88: June 19 to June 24 (Virtual) 
#89: July 10 to July 15 (Virtual) 
#90: July 24 to July 29 (Virtual) 
#91: August 7 to August 12 (Virtual)
  • All 2023 trainings will be held virtually.
  • Formerly incarcerated coaches were hired and will continue to be a central component of the training experience.
  • It may seem somewhat counterintuitive to hold online trainings for an experience that, by its nature, is so hands-on, however, to date we have held 17 virtual trainings and they have been very successful. 
  • If we determine that any of the trainings can be held in person, we will get the word around immediately.
  • Please share the training brochure below with those in your network who may be interested in becoming involved. 
  • If you are attending a conference in the next year, please consider sharing the information about the Inside-Out trainings with your colleagues and network.
  • We have held several trainings that were focused on an individual university's interest in expanding what they can offer to their students. We are more than happy to work with other universities to develop a specialized training that meets their needs.  
Please contact us at and we will respond to your inquiry in a timely fashion.
Download 2023 Training Brochure
Visit the Training Webpage
Thanks for reading our newsletter! We look forward to the continued sharing of Inside-Out stories that connect and inspire our community. Are you interested in adding an article or link to a news piece in our next newsletter? Send all suggestions to
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The Inside-Out Center
513 Gladfelter Hall
Dept. of Criminal Justice
1115 Polett Walk
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Phone: 215-204-5163

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