A wound of the spirit, from Trauma to Resilience, is the name of the new Inside-Out class just piloted at Vancouver Island University, in British Columbia Canada. This course brought inside and outside students together to learn about exposure to individual and structural trauma and the power of voice, community, belonging, identity, culture, and safety in healing and wellness.  

Students started the course by creating individual wellness plans and then collectively came together to grapple with many societal issues linked to trauma, including abuse, neglect, colonization, trauma and the law, and many other topics. The class was deep, reflective, and inspirational and it is our hope that, with this new knowledge, students will walk forward with compassion towards themselves and others.

The class followed Trauma-Informed Practice Principles which had students examine topics such as childhood exposure, intergenerational trauma, culture and identity, and various forms of healing. This course was created to be an educational experience, not therapeutic, meaning we were there to learn and not disclose. However, we quickly realized that the more we learned about trauma exposure and its impact on one's behaviour, learning, and relationships, we also witnessed personal healing occur. Knowledge is power and this course clearly demonstrated that.

Ashleigh Martinflatt
Vancouver Island University
Note: The class spent a lot of time discussing the above image in relation to trauma and resilience.

If you are interested in ordering Inside-Out T-Shirts or tote bags for your students in the fall, please complete the order form and return it to Eilene ASAP at
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In this article, Kenneth Butler, Yusef Pierce, and Daniel Duron’s achievements are highlighted as they discuss their academic experience with Pitzer College’s Inside-Out Program taught by Inside-Out trained instructor Nigel Boyle. Their journey to earn a degree at Pitzer illustrates the potential for hundreds of thousands of people who are incarcerated. Their stories also highlight some of the unique challenges and limitations that education alone won't fix.
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The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an effort to get students to address issues involving crime and justice. Check out this interview with Kevin Wright, Director of ASU’s Center for Correctional Solutions, and Bruce Ward, an ASU student who took part in the program. 
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Many students describe the education they’ve received as an opportunity to unlock potential and further success. Richard Strong, who was sentenced in life in prison in 2012, has used the opportunity to become a 4.0 dean’s list student, Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society member, and a member of the MDOC’s mentoring program to help support others with mental health issues or those having trouble adjusting to life in prison. Strong also has written three books, is the vice president of the National Lifers of America Chapter 1024, and has been a teacher’s aide in Albion College’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.

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During 2022, our training sessions have continued to be held virtually, since there are still challenges with meeting in person, accessing the inside of correctional facilities, as well as travel limitations and quarantine requirements for certain areas. 

The brochure for 2022 is available below, listing trainings throughout the year, all to be held via Zoom. For each of the trainings, a number of formerly incarcerated Inside-Out alumni (“coaches”) join us for about half of the time to support the learning process of the participants. This approach has worked very well, and we have been able to involve coaches from throughout the US and beyond. 

Additionally, a couple of universities have held trainings specifically for faculty from their campuses (e.g., The Ohio State Univ., Towson State Univ.). As more campuses get involved in expanding educational programming for folks in prison, a specialized training can provide great support and community-building for ongoing program development. If your university may be interested in exploring possibilities, please be in touch with Eilene Frierson (

WE RELY QUITE A BIT ON WORD OF MOUTH AND GETTING THE INFORMATION OUT THROUGH NETWORKS, SO WE HOPE YOU CAN HELP US IN THAT WAY. Feel free to share this information at conferences and/or with any discipline-based associations with which you may be connected. 
Download 2022 Brochure
More Information on Trainings
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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