Scholarship on Inside-Out


Davis, Simone Weil and Barbara Roswell.
Turning Teaching Inside Out: A Pedagogy of Transformation for Community-Based Education. Palgrave Macmillan. 2013.

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Shankman, Steven.
Turned Inside Out: Reading the Russian Novel in Prison. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2017.

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Allred, S.L, L.D Harrison, and D.J O'Connell.
"Self-efficacy: An Important Aspect of Prison-Based Learning." Prison Journal. 93.2 (2013): 211-233.

Self-efficacy in academic settings is an established correlate of educational accomplishments with relevance beyond the classroom. It is a socially created propensity to view oneself as capable of responding to a range of life contingencies. We measure shifts in self-efficacy within prison-based courses that are modeled after The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Courses include college students (outside) and people who are incarcerated (inside) learning together in a prison classroom. Inside students report lower levels of self-efficacy at Time 1 and an increase in self-efficacy by Time 2. Outside student levels of self-efficacy remain the same across time.

Allred, S. L.
"The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program: The Impact of Structure, Content, and Readings." Journal of Correctional Education. 60.3 (2009): 240-258.

This study examines qualitative and quantitative data from a fifteen-week experiential course held in a county jail. The course was modeled after The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, and included college students and people who were incarcerated at the time. Survey data and comments gleaned from student papers were used to assess the impact of course structure, content, and readings on the understanding of a daily course topic. Both data sources reveal that deep understanding of the course topic was facilitated most by the course structure. The course content and daily readings were rated, respectively, as second and third in overall importance. The elements of the class structure represented one of several effective templates used throughout the course, and affirm the role of a well-structured experiential learning opportunity in educative outcomes situated in correctional facilities.

Belcher, D. C. (2018).
"Fresh Starts Behind Bars ... Teaching with the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program." Northwest Journal of Teacher Education, 13(1).

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Conti, N, L Morrison, and K Pantaleo.
"All the Wiser: Dialogic Space, Destigmatization, and Teacher-Activist Recruitment." Prison Journal. 93.2 (2013): 163-188.

This article examines instructor training for The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, an organization that brings “outside” college students into prison, joining incarcerated men and women who become “inside students” for an undergraduate course. Ethnographic data revealed a purposeful stigma reversal for a group of men serving life sentences and a concomitant shift in moral career for instructor trainees. Through structured encounters with these men, trainees come to see, speak, and behave in ways that subvert conventional understandings of the stigma imposed on those in prison. The alteration of self and perspective experienced during the training drives participants to incorporate this activist ethos into their own teaching.

Draus, P.J, and L.B Lempert.
"Growing Pains: Developing Collective Efficacy in the Detroit Theory Group." Prison Journal. 93.2 (2013): 139-162.

We describe the process of developing a “Think Tank,” which is a discussion and outreach group for individuals who successfully completed The Inside-Out Prison Exchange classes offered at a Level 2 correctional facility in Detroit, Michigan in 2008. We employ the concept of “collective efficacy” and members’ own accounts of their experiences to describe the Theory Group’s evolution: (a) formation and initial growth, (b) public outreach, and (c) workshops, trainings, and future activities. We document the complicated dynamics of working with prison officials and make suggestions for those seeking to continue the Inside-Out dynamic beyond the classroom.

Hilinski-Rosick, Carly, M., & Blackmer, A.N.
An Exploratory Examination of the Impact of The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 25.3 (2014): 386-97.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the feelings and reactions of university students enrolled in The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Inside-Out is a nationally recognized program that has provided the framework for college courses to take place inside the walls of prisons and jails. Both college and university students and residents of correctional facilities take a college-level course, together, inside a correctional facility. Throughout the semester, students are required to write reflection papers that detail their observations, analyses, and reactions to the class sessions. The current research analyzed these papers to explore how the course was impacting students. Findings indicate that students had a wide range of reactions to the course, and often found themselves questioning their beliefs, punishment philosophies, and thoughts on the criminal justice system as a whole and the corrections system specifically.

Hyatt, S.B.
“Creating Social Change by Teaching Behind Bars: The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.” Anthropology News. 50.1. (2009): 24-28.

An introduction to the Inside-Out model of education.

Mishne, Laura (“Lo”), Erica (“Erica”) Warner, Brandon (“The B”) Willis, and Robert (“Diesel”) Shomaker.
"Breaking Down Barriers: Student Experiences of The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program." Undergraduate Journal of Service-Learning and Community-Based Research, Penn State Berks. 1 (2012): n pag. Web.

This article was written in tandem by 'inside' and 'outside' students in The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program as a reflection on their experiences.

Nurse, A.M.
"Juveniles and College: Inside-Out As a Way Forward." Prison Journal. 93.2 (2013): 234-247.

In this article the author argues that the Inside-Out model is ideally suited to help incarcerated juveniles considering enrolling in college postrelease. The transition to college can be extremely difficult for such youth who may lack the cultural capital needed to succeed in higher education. This is unfortunate as research suggests that college can have a range of positive effects, including reduced criminality and increased earnings. With some adaptations to its curriculum, Inside-Out classes can provide students with much of what they need to succeed. Best practices are described at the end of the article.

Pompa, L.
"Service-Learning as Crucible: Reflections on Immersion, Context, Power, and Transformation." Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 9.1 (2002): 67-76.

This article explores the transformative potential of service-learning through the lens of a particular context: a course held inside a prison. This service-learning example provides an experience of total immersion. Rather than separating the service component from the course, class is held at the actual site with a group of incarcerated classmates. This kind of approach raises many questions, including how service learning is “done,” the fragile nature of power and our approach to it, how context impacts the educational process, as well as the transformative possibilities of a “liberatory” pedagogy. Interspersed throughout the article, participants’ voices illustrate the conceptual claims and reflect the collaborative nature of the venture. Though specific course elements are discussed in some detail, they are meant to suggest larger themes applicable to service-learning in general.

Pompa, L.
"One Brick at a Time: the Power and Possibility of Dialogue Across the Prison Wall." Prison Journal. 93.2 (2013): 127-134.

A summary of the history and ethics of Inside-Out.

Shay, G.
"Inside-Out as Law School Pedagogy." Journal of Legal Education. 62.2 (2012): 207-217.

Shay presents an argument for Inside-Out to be used, with a slightly modified curriculum, to enrich law school education.

Simmons, S. E.
“When Social Institutions Collide: The Intersection of Post-Secondary Correctional Education and Civic Engagement in Higher Education Through Creative Arts.” A Master’s Thesis written for The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 2013. Unpublished.

To request a copy, click here to contact the author.

Van Gundy, A., A. Bryant, and B.C Starks.
"Pushing the Envelope for Evolution and Social Change: Critical Challenges for Teaching Inside-Out." Prison Journal. 93.2 (2013): 189-210.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program (Inside-Out) is a program that offers college courses taught in a blended classroom within correctional settings, resulting in multiple challenges for instructors. This article focuses on three major challenges that should be considered by Inside-Out instructors: addressing legal challenges for the instructor, students, university, and prison site; creating and sustaining diversity in a blended classroom; and balancing the rules of the Inside-Out program and the institution. Utilizing a post hoc observation-as-participant framework, we present our experiences of teaching Inside-Out courses to demonstrate these distinct challenges and provide recommendations for current and future Inside-Out faculty, as well as the national program.

Werts, T.
"Tyrone Werts: Reflections on The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program." Prison Journal. 93.2 (2013): 135-138. Print.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program housed at Temple University is an international educational program that brings together outside college and university students and inside incarcerated students in prisons and jails for a semester-long college course. Started in 1997 in the county jail system in Philadelphia, PA, Inside-Out is presently in 38 states and Canada, offering hundreds of courses that span the humanities and social sciences. The class is taught in a circle and emphasizes dialogue, exchange and collaboration. It impacts participating students in ways far beyond education by providing a profound learning experience that is transformational. It invites participants to take leadership in addressing issues of crime, justice, and social concerns.

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Book cover – Turning Teaching Inside-Out

“Inside-Out Prison Exchange. The title of this program is loaded with all kinds of meaning. Starting with the obvious, it involves people from the inside of prisons and people from the outside of prisons. The terminology designates everyone as people, people coming from different places and perspectives, certainly, but people nonetheless. No one is labeled as a college kid, a criminal, or anything else. Inside-Out can refer to something else though, as well – the reversal of many of the ideas that many of us students held about each other, the criminal justice system, and even life. The phrase could even be used to describe the emotional journey that some of the students took, grasping a hold of feelings that had been kept inside and tearing them out in the open to share and reflect upon with the rest of us...

“This is also an exchange that takes place in a prison. But what is being exchanged? Roles, kind of. For a few hours every (week), the outside students had to sit in a prison, being watched by guards and cameras. The inside students had the opportunity to do something that frighteningly few people that are incarcerated in our country ever do, participate in a university level course. The most important exchange, however, in my opinion, is the exchange of ideas that takes place. The sustained dialogue in our prison classroom is what taught me so much this semester, and it is that that I will carry with me beyond my academic life.”

(Outside Participant)