Inside-Out Prison Exchange FAQs

What is Inside-Out?

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is a national program that creates a dynamic partnership between institutions of higher learning and correctional systems. This course focuses on conversations that transform our approaches to the understanding of crime, justice, freedom, inequality, and other issues of social concern. Learn more about the Inside-Out program

What is the time commitment for this course?

Students should be available from approximately 2 PM – 8 PM on class days, which meet once per week, to accommodate travel and processing in and out of the institution. In addition to meeting for the course, students are required to read 4 full length books and complete 5 writing assignments.

What fees are associated with this course?

There are no fees aside from the cost of books.  Students will be provided an Inside-Out t-shirt that is to be worn to each class meeting.

How many books are required for this course?

There are four books required for CRJ 317 that vary by semester. Books must be obtained prior to the start of class.

Do I receive credit for this course?

CRJ 317 provides you with 3 credits of coursework.

How do I register for this course?

Interested students for the course must first fill out and submit the application prior to the application due date. After applying, the course facilitators will conduct interviews  with selected applicants and then invite 10 Arizona State University (ASU) students to participate in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Selected students will then be allowed to register for the course in the same way that they register for other courses at ASU. 

How are ‘inside’ students selected?

The ‘inside’ students will be selected in a process similar to ‘outside’ students from ASU. ‘Inside’ students will fill out an application that will be reviewed by correctional staff. Course facilitators then interview the selected pool of applicants. Facilitators and prison staff will then invite 10 incarcerated students to participate in the course. The intention of the interviews is to choose a mix of students (race, socioeconomic status, opinions, education, etc.) as a means to ensure class discussion is enriched by varying viewpoints.

How do students get to the prison?

Transportation in this course will be provided. Students will be expected to meet at or near University Center on ASU’s downtown campus (411 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) for the trip to the institution. 

What is the dress code for going into the prison?

Students will be required to wear their Inside-Out t-shirt to each class meeting. In addition, all students must wear closed-toe shoes and pants. Every student will be required to carry his or her personal identification for entrance into the facility. As per ADCRR policy, students “shall not wear any article of clothing fabricated with spandex-like material or clothing that is orange in color. Sheer, see through and/or open-netted clothing is prohibited.” In addition, students are prohibited from “wearing any brown-colored clothing that resembles the clothing worn by Department security staff, including khaki-colored clothing, solid light tan or light brown-colored shirts or dark brown-colored pants or slacks.”

Will there be any contact between the incarcerated and ASU students outside the classroom?

No. Inside-Out is premised on semi-anonymity (first names only). Each student enrolled in the course will be required to sign a document agreeing that he/she will not attempt to learn more and/or contact ‘inside’ students in the course. Any student who attempts to make contact or learn another student’s personal information will be removed from the class.

What security level is the prison for the course and what are some of the reasons why people are there ?

The women's facility is a medium security unit, housing approximately 575 women. The women have been incarcerated for felonies that include all types of criminal activity. Individuals arrested for sex-related crimes, however, are excluded from participation in this course.

The men's facility is a medium security unit, housing approximately 675 men.  The men there have been incarcerated for felonies that include all types of criminal activity. Individuals arrested for sex-related crimes, however, are excluded from participation in this course.

Is there anything dangerous about going inside of the prison?

Above all else, safety is the number one concern. The Inside-Out program was designed and created to keep students as safe as possible. Both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ students will undergo an interview process and orientation to ensure integrity and safety in the course. While it is important to always remain cognizant of the prison setting, students are carefully monitored at all times by the instructor(s), security cameras, and prison security staff. 

I was arrested for something in the past, does that exclude me from being in this course?

No. It is important, however, to disclose any past arrests on the application form so that ADCRR and ASU can make an informed decision when selecting participants. All students accepted into the course will be required to undergo a background check. 


Central Unit, Florence Prison Complex