Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
May 5, 2022
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an effort to get campus-based college students to meet with “incarcerated” students as a way to address issues involving crime and justice. Here to tell us more about the program, is Kevin Wright, Director of ASU’s Center for Correctional Solutions. And Bruce Ward, an ASU student who took part in the program.
Give me a better definition of what is going on here.
Wright: “So it is actually an international program. It began in 1997… We were the first to bring it to Arizona in 2016. At its core it is ten University ASU students, that we call outside students, learning alongside 10 incarcerated students, that we call inside students. The class takes place in a prison setting, and when we get in there we see 2o students. We don’t see incarcerated, we don’t see non-incarcerated. Break down the walls of the classroom, break down the walls of the prison, and impactful learning.”
Bruce, how did you get involved?
Ward: “I was on the inside, and we had to go through an audition process. There were so many people interested in the project.”
How do you figure out who gets to be involved?
Ward: “We had two sets of interviews, so we had to go through it and just see who could make the cut.”
What interested you in this? Why did you decide to go for it?
Ward: “Well I was constantly self studying, I was trying to become the best version of myself. I was studying psychology and philosophy, teaching myself to paint and draw, and when ASU comes to town and there is an opportunity, you know?”
What were you expectations?
Ward: “I was not sure. I knew it was going to be a difficult class but I did not really understand how difficult.”