Students from IU, correctional facility to celebrate completion of Inside-Out Prison Exchange course
Two dozen college classmates -- half of them from Indiana University Bloomington and half from the Putnamville Correctional Facility -- will present research findings and receive certificates April 30 in the closing ceremony of an Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course.
The course is the first involving IU Bloomington in the Inside-Out program, which brings together students and prison inmates -- "outside" students and "inside" students -- for a college-level course in which people from different backgrounds learn together as peers.
"Inside-Out allows students and others outside of prison to go behind the walls to reconsider what they have learned about crime and justice, while those on the inside are encouraged to place their life experiences in a larger framework," said Micol Seigel, IU Bloomington assistant professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, who teaches the course at Putnamville.
"In the group discussions, countless life lessons and realizations surface about how we as human beings operate in the world, beyond the myths and stereotypes that imprison us all," Seigel said. "The program demonstrates the potential for dynamic collaborations between institutions of higher learning and correctional institutions."
Students in the course have discussed issues relating to crime and justice, read materials in history, sociology, political science and literature, and written papers. Their final assignment is a collective research project to recommend ways to reduce incarceration.
They will present results from the project during the closing ceremony, which will take place from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 30, in the library at the Putnamville Correctional Facility.
Inside-Out was founded in 1997 by Lori Pompa, a criminal justice faculty member at Temple University, who began classes with Temple students at prisons in the Philadelphia area. Since 2004, it has become a national program, with courses taught in 37 states and involving more than 7,500 inside and outside students. For more information, see http://www.insideoutcenter.org/home.html.
Seigel completed Inside-Out Instructor Training in the summer of 2009 and launched the first IU Bloomington Inside-Out course this spring with the help of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis faculty members Susan Hyatt and Roger Jarjoura. Hyatt and Jarjoura, professors in IUPUI's School of Liberal Arts and School of Public and Environmental Affairs, respectively, completed the Inside-Out training previously and have taught Inside-Out courses at the Indiana Women's Prison and the Plainfield Re-Entry Educational Facility.
The Putnamville Correctional Facility is a medium-security facility operated by the Indiana Department of Correction. It is located at 1946 W. U.S. 40, Greencastle.