Inside Out Prison Exchange Program

Brenda Chaney
Senior Lecturer, Sociology
The Ohio State University at Marion

Spring quarter 2012, Ohio State Marion Sociology Lecturer Brenda Chaney led a group of Ohio State students on a journey behind the walls of the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio to take part in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program creates avenues for social change through education and civic engagement. By generating opportunities for those incarcerated and college students to come together and learn in the same classroom, Inside-Out opens the door for people to gain an education that emphasizes collaborative learning and problem-solving.

Offered as an official course on Ohio State Marion's Spring 2012 schedule, Chaney’s students and the prisoners had the same expectations in the classroom. The group wrote papers, read books, discussed social issues, did group presentations, and took part in a graduation ceremony, all together, behind prison.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange is a national program, headquartered at Temple University. Started in 2003, the program encompasses 123 colleges and universities with 7500 students involved to date. Chaney believes there is a valuable lesson for students and prisoners alike in the program.

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