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.

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 65 miles southeast of Phoenix. The class combines ASU students (outside students) with an equal number of incarcerated men (inside students) at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence, 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 (

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 (  Please note that the next IO course offered by CRJ will take place in the fall of 2019.  More information about applying for the fall 2019 course will be available in the spring.

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 2018
CRJ 317 Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program (3 credits)

The course will meet Tuesdays from 3:30-6:30pm in Florence, Arizona.  Students should be available between 1:30pm and 8:00pm to allow for transportation to and from Florence.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is a semester-long overview of current social justice topics taught inside the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence, Arizona. The curriculum will include the exploration of why people commit crime, communities and crime, victims and victimization, the purpose of prisons, and the myths and realities of prison life.

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. 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. (application for Fall 2019 will open in the Spring)
  • If selected, attend a 15-minute screening interview. 
  • Direct any questions to Dr. Kevin Wright (

Important dates:

  • The Fall 2018 course is underway!  Please check back in the spring for information on the Fall 2019 course.

Next Course

The next IO course offered by CRJ will take place in the fall of 2019.  Check back here for more information in the spring