Their slogan is “Social Change Through Transformative Education” (Inside-Out Center, 2014).
Within the program the terms “inmate,” “criminal,” “offender” etc. are not used, instead a student is either “inside” or “outside;” I will adopt this terminology for the remainder of this essay.
In my community, Inside-Out program operates between Goshen College (in the US a college is a tertiary school), and the Elkhart County Jail. The majority of Inside-Out programs operate at prisons, meeting weekly for a fifteen to eighteen week semester. However due to the desire to practice justice “in our own back yard” (C. Schrock-Shenk, 2015. pers. comm., 20 Sept.) the Goshen College (GC) classes meet at the local community jail. Since a community jail h...
... middle of paper ...
...“place the existence of the program in jeopardy (Inside-Out Center, 2014).” While the program specifically does not intend to be an advocate of change within the system, the hope is that it’s alumni will themselves become agents of change in society.
The specific pairing of inside and outside students in each locale is very intentional. College students must apply for a place in the course, they may not simply enroll themselves as in any other course. Likewise inside students are selected for participation in the course by jail staff. Putting together the best mix of outside students and inside students, results in successful classroom interaction and thus the program goals are more easily met.
Finally, the professors involved at Goshen College clearly have a passion for this work and their enthusiasm both drives them to excellence and motivates the students.
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