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 Brooke Axelrod

Brooke Axelrod, "Outsider"

"What really made this program unique was the fact that the insiders are equal, active participants. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get a dual perspective into our penal system. It gave me a whole new outlook on penal sanctions, specifically relating to the prevalence of drug crime and the recidivism that accompanies it."

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 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?

In the fall of 2019, CJUS 231: Juvenile Justice will be taught at the Roanoke County Jail, adjacent to West Hall. The course will meet Fridays from 1:10-4:10pm, and will be taught by Dr. Daisy Ball. The course consists of an examination of the theory, policy, and administration of the juvenile justice system. Students interested in taking this course should complete an application.

Applications for Fall 2019 are due no later than noon on April 1, 2019. Completed applications should be brought to Ms. Judi Pinckney in West 204.

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.