In 1997, Inside-Out began as a single class held in a county jail, involving 15 “inside” and 15 “outside” students. In 2003, supported by a Soros Justice Senior Fellowship, the program began its national replication efforts. During that first year, Inside-Out had proposed training representatives from two to four institutions and, instead, far surpassed its own expectations by training 20 individuals from 17 institutions in 12 states. This same momentum continues today as 310 instructors from 120+ colleges and universities in 37 states and abroad have taken part in one of 22 National Instructor Training Institutes that have been conducted since July 2004.
The program has been drawing attention from some interesting quarters across the country. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently lauded Inside-Out for providing what he called a "vital service…to people who are incarcerated," because the program prepares them well for re-entering “civic and productive life” by reintroducing them both to education and interaction with non-incarcerated people. Three Michigan state legislators attended an Inside-Out closing ceremony for the inaugural class of the University of Michigan–Dearborn and Ryan State Correctional Facility. Additionally, Inside-Out students in Delaware helped to change statewide policy through their class on drugs and the criminal justice system with their alternative approach to tobacco violations for those in work release, based on restorative principles rather than re-incarceration.
CJS 382-02 Special Topics in Criminal Justice: Inside-Out, Fall 2009
Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN - Jennifer Wingren, Instructor
Dakota County Law Enforcement Center
THE INSIDE-OUT CENTER