A program called Inside Out brings college students majoring in human services and law enforcement together with inmates for a 17-week seminar that enables students to see if theories learned in the classroom apply to what inmates have learned from their own life experiences, reports County News. Steele County Commissioner Tom Shea said Inside Out was a good fit with the county jail's mission to help prisoners change their lives and reduce the chances of recidivism. Most of the inmates are serving sentences of less than a year, or they were arrested but their cases have not gone to trial yet, “We want to give them some tools so that when they do get out they can be successful and not get into some of the same lifestyles and ruts that brought them there in the first place,” Shea said.
Inside Out began as a pilot program between Temple University and the Philadelphia Prison System 11 years ago. Some 3,500 students and inmates have participated since 1997, and there are 20 states across the nation that have Inside Out partnerships between federal prisons and colleges and universities.