The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an opportunity for a small group of students from UGA and a group of residents from the Clarke County Jail to exchange ideas and perceptions about crime and justice, the criminal justice system, and imprisonment.  It is a chance for all participants to gain a deeper sociological understanding of the criminal justice system by engaging in conversation about theories, academic research, and practical experience.


Photo: Inside-Out class, Spring 2018, Clarke County Jail

Are you interested in taking an Inside-Out course at UGA?

Stay tuned for information on the next Inside-Out class, facilitated by Dr. Sarah Shannon (SOCI 4470S) -  Spring 2020. Click here to apply. Be sure to read all of the directions provided and answer all questions thoroughly.

What are the requirements of an Inside-Out course?

There are no prerequisites, but students must apply, participate in an interview, and be approved before registering for the course.

Attendance and full participation in all class meetings is mandatory (barring cases of emergency) so please make sure that there will be no conflicts with other classes, work schedules, or other outside obligations during this class period, factoring in extra time to travel to and from the jail facility. This is not a class that you can skip, arrive late to, or leave early from. Missing class not only affects you but the whole group dynamic. Leaving early or coming late will not be allowed due to security protocols at the jail.

Inside-Out classes include typical coursework elements, including readings, writing assignments, and a group project.


Photo: "Inside" and "Outside" students in small group discussion, Spring 2018, Athens-Clarke County Jail

Is Inside-Out a service project?

No. Inside-Out is not an opportunity for charity to "help" or "serve" incarcerated people. This course does include a service project but it is done as a true collaboration in which inside and outside students design (and implement) the project.

It is also important to know that Inside-Out is NOT a research project, a “scared straight” program, or a “whistle blowing” opportunity.

Group Discussion

Photo: "Inside" and "Outside" students in small group discussion, Spring 2018, Clarke County Jail

Can I stay in contact with the “inside” (incarcerated) students after the course ends?

No. Inside-Out is not a vehicle for developing personal relationships that extend outside of the parameters of the course. Only first names (or pseudonyms) will be used in the jail classroom. Inside and outside students are not allowed to share contact information with one another in any form (including addresses, phone numbers, or social media) and will not be in touch with each other after the class ends. This is a matter of ethics and safety for everyone involved. This is often the most difficult aspect of an Inside-Out course but it is essential in order to ensure the integrity and future of the program. All students enrolled in the course must agree to these terms, which will be strictly enforced.