Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

About the program

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University (ASU) and the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) are pleased to offer students the opportunity to enroll in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.  In Fall 2019, the course will be offered for the first time in the State Prison Complex Perryville, the women's prison in Arizona.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is unlike any other class offered at ASU. The semester-long course meets once per week inside a prison located approximately 20 miles west of Phoenix. The class combines ASU students (outside students) with an equal number of incarcerated women (inside students) at the Arizona State Prison Complex Perryville in Goodyear, Arizona. Both ASU and incarcerated students have the same syllabus and academic requirements, and students learn about crime and justice together through collaboration and dialogue. 

Inside-Out was founded by Lori Pompa at Temple University with the first class taking place in the Philadelphia Prison System in 1997.  The program has since grown to include 565 trained instructors from 40 states and 6 countries reaching over 20,000 students.  The Spring 2016 Inside-Out class taught at ASU was the first time the course was taught in the state of Arizona. 

The course was first taught by Dr. Kevin Wright. For any general questions about Inside-Out at ASU, please contact Dr. Wright (kevinwright@asu.edu)

To be considered for the course, students are required to fill out an application.  Students who make the short list of applicants will then complete a brief interview with Dr. Wright, who is responsible for selecting the final roster of students for the course. Class size is very limited, so if you have questions about the, please contact Dr. Wright (kevinwright@asu.edu). 

Watch video from the Inside-Out information session (held October 5, 2016) here!


Download our brochure: Moving beyond the walls that separate us

Course description


Fall 2019
CRJ 317 Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program (3 credits)

Instructors: Kevin Wright, PhD; Caitlin Matekel, MS

The course meets Wednesdays from 3:30-6:30pm (because of transportation time, students should be available between 2:30pm and 7:30pm on Wednesday).

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is a semester-long introduction and application of the concept of motivational justice, taught inside the women's prison at the Arizona State Prison Complex Perryville in Goodyear, Arizona. The curriculum in Fall 2019 will include literature and principles from psychology and criminal justice to better understand what drives human behavior (and how to potentially change that behavior).

Inside and outside students meet separately on the first and last weeks of class in order to properly orient and debrief the experience. During the semester, inside and outside students will discuss issues, complete reading/writing assignments, and work together to complete a group project.

NOTE: Transportation to and from the prison will be provided by ASU. Students are required to meet at ASU Downtown and will be dropped off at ASU Downtown after class. The security of all students is a priority and care is taken to ensure semi-anonymity (first names only) to prevent outside contact during or following the semester.

How to apply

To be considered for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program:

  • Complete and submit the application form by Friday, April 12, 2019 at 11:59pm. 
  • If selected, attend a 15-minute screening interview. 
  • Direct any questions to Dr. Kevin Wright (kevinwright@asu.edu)

Important dates:

  • Application deadline is April 12

  • Screening interviews (for those chosen for an interview) will be conducted April 15-19

  • Class will be held in the Fall 2019 semester Wednesdays 3:30 – 6:30pm  (students must be available 2:30 – 7:30pm)

Next Course

The next IO course offered by CRJ will take place in the fall of 2019.  Click here to apply (applications are due by April 12)