“The best experience I’ve had in prison.”

Alex, Inside Student


“This has been the best experience of my life so far.”

Sean, Outside Student


“This has been one of the greatest things I have ever been a part of.”

Luck, Inside Student


“Inside-Out has been the most memorable, influential, and meaningful experience thus far in my undergraduate career, and quite possibly my life.”

Ashley, Outside Student


“I will take the knowledge I have gathered and pay it forward.”

Luis, Inside Student

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is designed to bring together university students (outside students) and current prisoners (inside students) in order to expand our understanding of punishment practices in the United States.  The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is nationally recognized and has been running successful seminars in prisons of all security levels for over 15 years.


Inside-Out is experiential learning.  Quinnipiac students physically enter into detention centers and witness the realities of confinement.  The transformative experience of learning within a coercive institution furthers several Criminal Justice and institutional learning outcomes for Quinnipiac students.  Exposure to prisoners improves the student’s comprehension of diversity – not only within the prisoner population but also between the prisoner population and the student’s own immediate family, peer, and social networks.  Actual imprisonment observation also lends itself to improved scientific literacy as the student seeks to understand sentencing policy, sentencing rationality, and correctional practice within the context of “what works” (as determined from evaluation of scholarly research rather than ideology and opinion).  In addition, cross population discussions mandate that the student improve her ability to consider, confront, and communicate class, race, and culture specific ideas and assumptions with her imprisoned counterpart.  Ultimately, the combination of these factors augment critical thinking as the student explores the world of the prison through the lens of class, race, neighborhood context of crime, and the entire justice system itself.


Applications Due: in Early February. 

Contact: Professor Steve McGuinn (Criminal Justice Program)  

Inside-Out Class Photo

“Every single one of the Inside students, in each class we had, shared a story or perspective that made me completely change the way I view certain aspects of my future, the criminal justice system, and even my own life and what I should be doing differently. I am currently applying to law schools because I am aspiring to be a defense attorney, and this class gave me a completely new confidence in my abilities and sense of preparedness for school and my future career.”

Tom, Outside Student


“Taking time to reflect on my class inside a maximum-security prison, I recognize that this experience is not just unique. It is transformative. As a future lawyer interested in criminal law, I now feel a responsibility to continue this class to gain first-hand experience working with incarcerated individuals and humanize prison in my eyes.”

Mike, Outside Student


“Inside-Out has changed me for the better because I have had no contact with the criminal justice system itself before this and I have not even thought about visiting a prison before. Now I see that having this interaction and knowledge of both really helps in trying to look at reforms that could possibly be made as well as having the perspective of someone who has no involvement in the criminal justice system and learning from people that have spent their whole lives involved in it really helped me become a more well-rounded criminal justice major.”

Sean, Outside Student


“[Inside Out] has made me more empathetic to humanity in general.  I learned that just because an injustice or cause does not include me, that does not mean it does not concern me.” 

Luck, Inside Student


“This class was an incredible opportunity for me as a criminal justice major but also just as a person in general because the issues that are central to this program are pertinent to the lives of everyone—criminal or not.  I am forever grateful that I was one of the eight students to be chosen for this class from Quinnipiac and I do believe that it will make me more effective in the law enforcement field in the future.  It has already made me a better student and person.”

Amanda, Outside Student


“This class has made me want to become a more positive representative of the system.  It has inspired me to be part of the change that it needs.”

Brett, Inside Student


“I looked forward to every Wednesday morning, even though I had to get up at 5:00 am. I never knew where the conversation would go that morning and I think that’s what I enjoyed the most about this program; everyone was so involved and willing to participate and share ideas. That does not always happen in a normal classroom setting.” 

Rachel, Outside Student


“What I will take with me from the Inside-Out program is the knowledge that it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or woman, big, small, free or behind bars – given the opportunity you can accomplish anything if you put all your effort and energy into it.  And the fact that if we can study together, struggle together, change together, then together and with courage we can change the world.”  

Polanco, Inside Student


“Inside-Out has been the most memorable, influential, and meaningful experience thus far in my undergraduate career, and quite possibly my life. This program has given me such a unique experience inside of the justice system that many individuals are unable to have. I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life, as it has been the most phenomenal program I’ve ever been lucky enough to take part in. I will be forever grateful for the discussions my classmates and I have shared.”

Ashley, Outside Student


“This experience was one of the best I have had in my life.  It has opened my eyes in many ways.”

Jay, Inside Student


“[Inside Out] has changed a lot of my opinions on different situations. It has changed my outlook on prison. It has changed me as a person. I think after this experience, I’m more of an understanding person. It has also made me more passionate about re-entry. Especially when one of them told us that he would be released, I couldn’t help but think of the struggles he would have getting back into the “real world”.  Inside-Out has completely opened my eyes in understanding a different point of view. It baffles me that these men come from neighborhoods that could have pushed them into committing crimes, got into prison, and eventually they get thrown out into those same communities. I want to get my Masters in Social Work and work in urban communities to help juveniles avoid these situations. I’m so passionate about helping people and this class only emphasized that.”

Lauren, Outside Student


“Inside-Out has been the opportunity of a lifetime, and is something that I will never forget. I loved going to this class every week, and to me it felt like so much more than just learning something or getting credits. I was part of something that was much bigger than myself, and for once I felt as though I were actually making a difference, whether that be in another person’s life or within the system.”

  Amber, Outside Student