Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

What is Inside-Out?

Inside-Out is a unique educational program founded at Temple University in 1997. The program brings traditional college students (“outsiders”) together for semester-long learning with incarcerated individuals (“insiders”). The course meets once a week, and all students who complete the course receive one course credit. Inside-Out’s mission is to “foster social change through transformative education.” The program exposes traditional college students to the realities of incarceration, while at the same time exposing inmates to academic content and pro-social interactions with college students.

To learn more, you can visit the national program's website.


Tyler Bowe, "Outsider"

"This program has given me a newfound appreciation for prison programs that emphasize rehabilitation. It is one thing to hear about educational programs, or more broadly speaking rehabilitation programs, but it is another to be a part of the program and see the progress take place before your eyes."

A photo of Aidan Wiecki

Aidan Wiecki, "Outsider"

"Getting the perspective of the insiders was invaluable. We are more alike than I realized when I first started. As a result, I feel that I have been able to more fully develop empathy, especially for those who may be different from me. There are very few opportunities in a regular classroom that offer this sort of perspective."

A photo of Hannah wilk

Hannah Wilk, "Outsider"

"The best part of this program has been the opportunity to take a class in an atypical setting, because there’s so much to be learned from being in the jail. I think it’s important to put yourself in situations where your opinions will be challenged, and even changed, and this class has done that for me. I’ve not only learned in an academic sense, but I’ve learned in a personal sense."

A photo of the hands of one of the inmates at the prison

Andrew M., "Insider"

"I ain't been in school in 18 to 20 years so I am opening up my brain again and it feels good. I am sober, eager, and ready to learn. Thanks again. I am blessed to be a part of the Inside-Out Program."

What Inside-Out Courses are Being Offered in the Future?

Fall 2022:  Peacemaking in World Religions: An Inside-Out Exchange

What is the relationship between religious worldviews and peacemaking? What role can religions play in
promoting peacebuilding? To explore these questions, we will examine the religious worldviews of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will ask how insiders (religious practitioners) and outsiders (non-practitioners) think critically about the relationship between religion and peace to encourage peacemaking in specific case studies. Students will choose one problem facing American correctional facilities to analyze throughout the semester and will make recommendations for how religious groups might contribute to peacebuilding in that specific situation. This is an Inside-Out Exchange class that will take place once a week inside the Roanoke County Jail.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Daisy Ball,

How does Inside-Out align with Roanokeā€™s mission?

Inside-Out fits seamlessly with Roanoke’s focus on “whole person” development. As Roanoke’s “Freedom with Purpose” document states: “A liberal arts education… leads us out from small, safe worlds into larger more interesting ones…” This program provides one-of-a-kind experiential learning for students, forcing them out of their comfort zones into spaces they may have never encountered. As our society as a whole grapples with mass incarceration, involvement with Inside-Out lends our students an informed voice in the conversation.

For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Daisy Ball.