ARTS 3200

Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an innovative educational experience tailored to facilitate dialogue across difference. The program brings together equal numbers of campus-based “outside” students with incarcerated “inside” students for a semester-long course held in a prison, jail or other correctional setting. 

Founded by Lori Pompa in 1997 at Temple University in Philadelphia in collaboration with Graterford Maximum Security Prison, Inside-Out Prison Exchange has grown into an international network of trained faculty, students, alumni, think tanks, higher education and correctional administrators, and other stakeholders actively engaged with, and deeply committed to prison education and social justice.

Inside-Out at KPU

KPU was the first Canadian university to offer the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program forging a path for new ways of learning with transformative results.

KPU's Inside-Out program follows the international model, bringing “outside” or campus-based students together with “inside” or incarcerated students to engage in a peer to peer learning environment.  All students, inside and outside, are selected through an application and interview process. The six credits earned through the course can be applied towards the completion of a degree or credential at KPU for both outside students and inside students.
Based on an interdisciplinary model and offered once annually through the Faculty of Arts at KPU, this six-credit course is co-taught by a rotating selection of Inside-Out trained instructors emerging from various Arts disciplines including Criminology, Sociology, Creative Writing, Fine Arts, Music, Journalism and Communications and more. All KPU students with sixty credits or more, are welcome to apply.

The Inside-Out Praxis

The Inside-Out praxis is grounded in the belief that our society is strengthened when higher education/learning is made widely accessible and, at the same time, when it allows participants to encounter each other as equals, often across profound social barriers. The practice of bringing incarcerated and non-incarcerated people together for engaged and informed dialogue allows for transformative learning experiences that invite participants to take leadership in addressing issues of social concern. The Inside-Out pedagogy and methodology create these collaborative, creative contexts.

Inside-Out Educator Training

KPU has collaborated with area First Nations and Corrections Canada to bring intensive Inside-Out instructor trainings to the Vancouver area. KPU has also collaborated with Vancouver Island University to bring instructor trainings to the Nanaimo area. 

Since Covid, Inside-Out trainings are only offered online through the Inside-Out Centre. 

The intensive training program covers everything necessary to develop a course in the Inside-Out model: curriculum development, setting parameters, institutional relationships, group dynamics, interactive pedagogical approaches, and much more. This is a transformative educational method taught through observation, hands-on experience, dialogue, and engagement with an Inside-Out Think Tank and a working group of inside and outside alumni, who have years of experience in the Inside-Out methodology. Training is followed by consultation to assist in on-site program development.

Inside-Out Steering Committee

Reach out! 

KPU Inside-Out educators are involved in all aspects of making the program run. Please contact us to learn more about the program and how to support the work and get involved.

Inside-Out Steering Committee Contacts: Nicola Harwood, and Wade Deisman,