About the program

The Department of Criminal Justice at Wayne State University (WSU) and the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) are pleased to offer students the opportunity to enroll in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is unlike any other class offered at WSU. The semester-long course meets once per week inside the Detroit Reentry Center (DRC) located less than ten minutes away from the university. The class combines WSU students (outside students) with an equal number of incarcerated men (inside students) at the DRC in Detroit, MI. Both WSU and incarcerated students have the same syllabus and academic requirements, and students learn about crime and justice together through collaboration and dialogue.

Inside-Out was founded by Lori Pompa at Temple University with the first class taking place in the Philadelphia Prison System in 1997. The program has since grown to include 565 trained instructors from 40 states and 6 countries reaching over 20,000 students. The fall 2017 Inside-Out class in the criminal justice department here at Wayne State marks the first official course being offered at the university with recognition by the Provost Office. 

For any general questions about Inside-Out at WSU, please contact Professor Matt Larson at mattjlarson@wayne.edu.

To be considered for the course, students are required to fill out an application. Students who make the short list of applicants will then complete a brief interview. Class size is very limited.

 

Course Description

CRJ 5995 Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program (3 credits)

The course will meet Tuesdays from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at the Detroit Reentry Center (DRC). Students should be available between 5 – 8:30 p.m. to transport to the facility and to go through security clearance.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is a semester-long overview of current social justice topics taught inside the DRC. The curriculum will focus in particular on mass incarceration and will include the exploration of why people commit crime, populations most impacted by issues of mass incarceration, racism and classism as it relates to mass incarceration, various forms of punishment and rehabilitation, retributive justice versus restorative justice and reform efforts to decrease mass incarceration.

Inside and outside students meet separately on the first and last weeks of class in order to properly orient and debrief the experience. During the semester, inside and outside students will discuss issues, complete reading/writing assignments, and work together to complete a group project.

How to apply

To be considered for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program:

 Frequently asked questions        Apply


Important dates

  • Application deadline is 5:00PM on Monday, November 12, 2018
  • Interviews will be scheduled with selected applicants
  • Applicants will be notified on a rolling basis to schedule interviews. The class roster will be finalized by the end of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

 

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