Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program


  • Do I receive credit for this course?

    Yes, this is a 3-credit elective, fulfilling the DCR Core requirement.


  • Do I have to be a Criminal Justice major?

    No, the course is designed to include both criminal justice majors and majors from many other disciplines. If you are outside of the Criminal Justice department, you should check with your chair to determine whether it will qualify as an elective.


  • Can men take class in the women's prison and women take class in the men's prison?

    Yes!  Apply to the class that interests you the most or both courses.


  • Can I take both courses?

    Yes, you can take CJUS 335 and CJUS 336; however, you cannot take CJUS 335 twice although it is held in two different prisons.


  • How do I register for the Inside-Out course?

    The first step is to fill out and submit the application. Inside-Out faculty members  will then interview applicants. The Interview Panel will invite roughly 12 Xavier students to participate in the class. Those students choosing to be involved will have a guaranteed seat in the class and will be allowed to register for it in the same way that they register for other courses.


  • Where are the prisons located?

    Warren Correctional Institute (WCI) and Lebanon Correctional Institute (LeCI) are located approximately 25 miles north of Cincinnati just off of Interstate 75.  

         Dayton Correctional Institute is located 48 miles north of Xavier University.


  • How do students get to the prisons?

    Students are responsible for finding their own transportation to and from class. Typically, students carpool. This is encouraged as it provides time for students to discuss what takes place within the classroom their colleagues.


  • Is there anything dangerous about going inside the prisons?

    Student safety is the bottom line. This program was designed and created to keep students as safe as possible. While it is important to always remain cognizant of the camp/prison setting, students are carefully monitored at all times by the instructor, security cameras, and security staff.


  • Will there be any contact between the incarcerated and Xavier students outside the classroom?

    NO. One of the policies of Inside-Out is that the entire semester is conducted with semi-anonymity (first names only) and that each student enrolled in the class agrees (in writing) that s/he will not attempt to learn more about and/or contact someone else in the class. Any student who attempts to make outside contact or learn another student’s personal information is immediately removed from the class.


  • What level of prison is Warren Correctional Institute and Lebanon Correctional Institute and what are some of the reasons men are there?

    There are 32 state prisons in Ohio, each with a level between one and five (five being the highest). Warren Correctional (WCI) and Lebanon Correctional (LeCI) are Level 3 facilities with nearly 4,000 men inside, combined. There are only three prisons in the state with higher security.

    The men at LeCI have been incarcerated for felonies that include all types of criminal activity including aggravated assault, drug trafficking, robbery, rape, and murder.  


  • What is Dayton Correctional Institute?

        Dayton Correctional Institute is a prison for roughly 900 women.


  • How are the incarcerated students picked? 

    The men at WCI and LeCI and women at Dayton Correctional Institute (DCI) go through the same screening process as Xavier students. They fill out a similar application and are interviewed by the same panel. The intention of the instructors is to choose a mix of students (race, socioeconomic status, opinions, criminal history, education, etc.) to ensure class discussion is enriched by varying viewpoints.


  • I was arrested for something in the past. Does that preclude me from being in this class?

    Not necessarily. It is important to disclose any past arrests on the application form so that WCI, LeCI, or DCI and Xavier can make an informed decision when selecting the class participants. All students undergo a background check. 
  • What have past students said about this class?

    This class is unlike any other offered at Xavier University. Former students repeatedly state that the course is among the most significant experiences they have while at Xavier. 

    View student reactions


  • Does this course exemplify the Jesuit mission of Xavier University?

    Father Graham notes that Xavier University places “great emphasis on the spiritual development of our students, particularly of our undergraduate students. Our many opportunities for service and our outreach programs enhance and complete the educational enterprise here, for it is through such opportunities that students learn that the education they receive here finds its ultimate value in the service to those around them, and especially to the poor.” The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program introduces Xavier students to the society's perceived lowest members and outcasts where they find the ultimate value of their education.