Valpo offers students majoring in sociology and psychology a unique opportunity to enroll in an Inside Out Prison Exchange course titled “Rethinking Crime, Justice, and Behavior from the Inside Out.” Students in this course include both “outside students” (Valpo undergraduates) and “inside students” (men incarcerated in Westville Correctional Facility). The course provides a unique opportunity for Valpo students to study the criminal justice system and consider broad social issues regarding crime and the nature of human behavior and punishment.
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program offers a transformative, collaborative learning experience that allows students to evolve and grow together by engaging in academic dialogue. As the Inside-Out Program describes it, “Inside-Out is an opportunity for college students to go behind the walls to reconsider what they have come to know about crime and justice. At the same time, it is also an opportunity for those inside prison to place their life experiences in a larger framework. Inside-Out creates a paradigm shift for participants, encouraging transformation and change agency in individuals and, in so doing, serves as an engine for social change.”
This Inside-Out course has a profound effect on the way Valpo students think about issues of crime, justice, and punishment. These students are then in a position to be significant voices in conversations about criminal justice policies and reform.