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Roger Jarjoura
School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI

Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, September 29, 2008

Inside-Out Prison Exchange founder to speak at conference at IUPUI

Sept. 29, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Lori Pompa, the founder and director of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, will give the keynote address this week for a two-day Inside-Out Prison Exchange Midwest Conference at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Inside-Out was established at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1997 to create a dynamic partnership between institutions of higher learning and correctional systems. Inside-Out classes bring college students together with incarcerated men and women to study as peers in seminars behind prison walls.

Lori Pompa

Lori Pompa

Pompa will speak on "Exploring Issues of Crime and Justice from Inside the Walls," from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 2) in the Lilly Auditorium of the IUPUI Library. The talk is free and open to the public.

The conference will continue Friday (Oct. 3) at the IUPUI University Place Conference Center with discussions featuring "inside" and "outside" students from Indiana and Inside-Out instructors from neighboring states. A community service award will be presented to WISH-TV in Indianapolis for its coverage of the Inside-Out program.

"Inside-Out courses provide a life-altering experience that allows students to rethink what they have learned in the classroom, gaining insights that will help them to better pursue the goal of creating a more effective, humane and restorative criminal justice system," said Roger Jarjoura, associate professor of criminal justice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.

"At the same time," he said, "the Inside-Out program challenges men and women on the inside to place their life experiences in a larger social context. It rekindles their intellectual self-confidence and interest in further education, and encourages them to recognize their capacity as agents of change -- in their own lives as well as in the broader community."

Pompa took the Inside-Out program nationwide in 2003, supported by a Soros Justice Senior Fellowship. To date, 57 instructors from 44 colleges and universities have been trained in the approach.

Inside-Out Indiana was established in 2006, when Jarjoura and Susan Hyatt, an associate professor of anthropology in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, completed Inside-Out instructor training. They have taught Inside-Out classes in 2007 and 2008 at two Indiana Department of Correction facilities, the Plainfield Re-entry Educational Facility and the Indiana Women's Prison.

Wednesday, Oct. 1, is the deadline to register for the conference, which is free for students and costs $10 for others. E-mail for information and registration materials. No registration is required to attend Pompa's keynote speech.

The conference is funded with a grant from the Indiana University New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities: New Perspectives program, which is funded by the Lilly Endowment and receives administrative support from the IU Office of the Vice Provost for Research. Support also comes from SPEA, the School of Liberal Arts and the Department of Anthropology at IUPUI.