Skip Navigation

Inside-Out Program

Skip Side Navigation

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

Social Change through Transformative Education

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an educational program tailored to effectively facilitate dialogue across difference. It originated as a means of bringing together campus-based college students with incarcerated students for a semester-long course held in a prison, jail or other correctional setting.

The Inside-Out Program currently boasts:

  • More than 700 instructors and more than 22,000 students have completed an inside out course
  • More than 350 different educational institutions in more than 100 different prisons. 
  • Inside-Out is in nearly every state in the U.S. 
  • and is Internationally, the Inside-Out Program has a presents in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, and Scotland. 


Purpose of "Inside-Out"

  1. Prison exchange program: Opportunity for Inside-Out students to gain information, exchange ideas, perceptions, and solutions related to the course topic.
  2. To create an environment where open and honest exchange of ideas can occur
  3. To furnish all students with an opportunity to explore their own ideas related to the subject matter and apply it to their lives.
  4. To further develop the intellectual capacities of both inside and outside students in a unique educational setting.

Student Testimonial

The Inside-Out experience led Brooke Maxey to pursue a graduate degree at OU’s Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work.  

Student Testimonial

“I’m on the road to making something out of my life,” says Inside student Jennifer. “I learned that my opinion and education matter no matter where I am.”

Course Taught in Inside-Out

Alcohol, Drugs and Society - SOC 3923 Explores sociological explanations of alcohol and drug use with a special emphasis on current issues in the United States. The focus is on small-group interactive learning teaching all students to bridge the gaps between the inside and outside.   

Previous Courses Offered:

  • Women, Girls, and Crime



OU Sociology is proud to continue the tradition of offering students the chance to participate in the "Inside-Out" program. The current coordinator and Instructor for the "Inside-Out" programs is Professor John Carl. Dr. Carl holds a Doctorate degree in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma and is an assistant Professor of Sociology at OU.  He is the author of several books, including: A Country Called Prison, Think Sociology, Think Social Problems, and A short introduction to the U.S. Census. For more information about the "Inside-Out" program, contact Professor Carl:


Previous "Inside-Out" Instructors:

  • Susan Sharp