The Ohio State University at Marion

Chaney coordinates TedX speaker presentation in March

February 13, 2017
From the web pages of Ohio State's Criminal Justice Research Center News

Ohio State Marion Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Brenda Chaney is coordinating a speaker presentation for the 6th Annual TEDX at The hio State University. The event is scheduled for March 25, 2017, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m, in the Ohio Union Grand Ballroom. This year’s theme, Precipice, will feature students, faculty, staff, and alumni as speakers and performers who will inspire and challenge our concepts of science, technology, history, and life.

Chaney's talk will actually be her students talking. In a unique approach to TEDX, she proposed that "Inside and Outside" students talk about their first class, crossing the precipice that separates Insiders and Outsiders. The Ohio Reformatory for Women is allowing two “Inside" women to travel to campus to participate along with two "Outside" students.

Chaney majored in sociology/criminology because she was interested in what we do to people who break the rules. This interest has led to working in, volunteering in, teaching in, and researching about prison with a special interest in the women who are in prison. She started the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program at the Ohio Reformatory for Women several years ago and also participates in a book discussion group with women serving life sentences.

The “Inside-Out” program was established in Philadelphia in 1997 with the goal of bringing college students and incarcerated people together to study issues of crime and justice within the context of a prison classroom. By bringing these individuals together, the “Inside-Out” program aims to break down stereotypes, prevent recidivism, and lend an experiential learning experience to both college students and incarcerated people that could allow both groups to better understand the intricacies of the criminal justice system.

The program has spread to numerous state university and prison systems and is a very active program in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and with cooperative universities.

Chaney teaches for The Ohio State University on both the Columbus and Marion campuses. She just received approval to run her Inside Out class at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in the spring of 2018 through the Columbus campus and will be offering an Inside-Out class through Ohio State Marion this fall at the Marion Correctional Institution.