SOCI 4470S Application, Spring 2020 (Inside-Out Course)
PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE PAGE CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Deadline to apply is Friday, October 25, 2019 by 5:00pm
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an opportunity for a small group of students from UGA and a group of residents from the Athens-Clarke County Jail to exchange ideas and perceptions about crime and justice, the criminal justice system, corrections, and imprisonment. It is a chance for all participants to gain a deeper sociological understanding of the criminal justice system by engaging in conversation with each other about theoretical knowledge, academic research, and practical experience. In this course, we will closely examine the links between communities, punishment, and prevention of crime. We will evaluate current public policy as it relates to the criminal justice system, and make our own policy recommendations aimed at preventing crime and encouraging desistance from criminal behavior. All participants will read several books and write papers. Class meetings will include extensive discussion and activities in small and large groups. In the final month of the class students will work together on a class project.
The topic of this semester's course will be "Communicating About Crime & Justice," facilitated by Dr. Sarah Shannon (
Class meetings will take place on Mondays and Wednesday from 2:30-5:00 pm at the Athens-Clarke County Jail (with a few exceptions) over 8 weeks (January 8 - March 4) in Spring semester 2020. This means that a full semester's worth of class meetings and content is condensed into half the normal semester length. This will facilitate our ability to have a group of "inside" students with us for the full class because people typically have short stays in jail.
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 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.
This "experiential learning" opportunity follows the educational model of the Inside Out Prison Exchange Program, an international model that "increases opportunities for men and women, inside and outside of prison, to have transformative learning experiences that emphasize collaboration and dialogue, inviting participants to take leadership in addressing crime, justice, and other issues of social concern..." Inside-Out classes have been taught at over 160 colleges and universities nationwide since 1997. For more information on the Inside-Out model visit
What an "Inside-Out" course is NOT:
a) It is *not* an opportunity for charity to "help" or "serve" incarcerated people. The concept of "service" often implies and produces a power differential between those serving and those receiving service. If any "service" is performed in this course it is done as a true collaboration in which everyone serves and/or is served.
b) It is *not* a "scared straight" program. The course is not intended to give UGA students an experience that uses fear to induce rethinking of life choices.
c) It is *not* a whistle-blowing program aimed at drawing attention to problems inside the Athens-Clarke County Jail. The particular facility sponsoring this program will not be the focus of class discussions. Instead our analysis will concentrate on broader, systemic issues that impact criminal justice and communities.
d) It is *not* an opportunity to conduct research on or about people who are incarcerated.
e) It 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.
If all of this is agreeable to you, please continue to the next section of the application. Thank you for your interest!
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