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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228739 Find in a Library
Title: Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program: The Impact of Structure, Content, and Readings
Journal: Journal of Correctional Education  Volume:60  Issue:3  Dated:September 2009  Pages:240-258
Author(s): Sarah L. Allred
Date Published: September 2009
Page Count: 19
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined qualitative and quantitative data from a 15-week course in a county jail modeled after the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which involved teaching college-level courses within the jail, with each class composed of an equal number (15) of inmate students (“inside”) and college students (“outside”) and a course facilitator (typically a professor).
Abstract: According to all students in the class - which addressed topics such as social inequality, crime, and justice - course structure had the greatest educative value for them, followed by content and readings. The course structure consisted of interactions among students through such activities as “ice-breaker” activities and a large-group circle, with these elements arranged in a different order throughout the semester. Students indicated this structure lessened the potential for monotony, promoted genuine interaction between “inside” and “outside” students, encouraged in-depth discussions about life experiences and topics relevant to course issues, and facilitated the undermining of stereotypes and the reconstruction of labels. Although daily readings were rated as having the least impact on the students’ understanding of the daily topic, the mean rating for this variable was only 2 points below the mean rating for the impact of course structure on a 10-point scale. Survey data and comments obtained from student papers were used to assess the impact of course structure, content, and readings on students’ understanding of a daily course topic. This article advises that multisite assessments that replicate and build upon the one used in this study would strengthen decisionmakers’ ability to assess the educative, comparative value of course components that are part of the Inside-Out curriculum as well as other types of experiential courses. 2 tables and 27 references
Main Term(s): Correctional education programs
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Higher education; Jails; Offenders college-credit-programs; Services effectiveness; Teaching/training techniques
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