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The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an innovative course which brings Grand Valley students (“outside students”) inside a prison to have class with inmates (“inside students”). Each week, GVSU students travel to the Michigan Reformatory, a high-security facility in Ionia, Michigan for this unique, high-impact learning experience. The course is led by Dr. Jacquelynn Doyon-Martin from the School of Criminal Justice. Since 2010, over 100 GVSU students have taken part in the program.
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange program encourages students to challenge their current understandings and notions of the criminal justice system, and to seek out solutions to the shortcomings of the system. At the end of the 15 week semester, a closing ceremony allows inside and outside students to reflect on their experiences as well as celebrate the completion of the course. Both inside and outside students have identified the course as one that has been very valuable and transformative in their thinking.
“It seems the energy of the group is focused on working together, to learn from each other, and to grow as individuals. It seems we have ignited a desire inside one another to change the things we can, repair a broken system and bring rejuvenation to society.”
Assistant Professor Jacquelynn Doyon-Martin with the School of Criminal Justice