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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– Westminster College students participating in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course at Trumbull Correctional Institution (TCI) had the opportunity to present program proposals to Mr. Todd Ishee, regional director of prisons in Northeast Ohio, Ms. Charmaine Bracy, warden of Trumbull Correctional Institution, and other Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) officials on April 11, 2017. Students proposed an arts program that would occur within the prison, an 8 week reentry course featuring job and interview skills, and a pilot work release program.

“The students were excited and somewhat competitive about the opportunity to create a program that might be implemented for those nearing reentry into society,” said Dr. Kristenne Robison, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at Westminster College. “This was an opportunity for the students to feel that they are making a difference. On the flipside, this was a great opportunity for Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction administration to see a program (Inside-Out) that is creating change from reading, personal experience, and dialogue.”

Seemingly impressed with the quality and optimistic about the future of the proposed programs, Mr. Ishee and the ODRC officials provided the students with feedback to help them refine their program proposals before submitting their final drafts.

“The proposals are realistic and support our mission to reduce recidivism. Each will become part of how we do business at TCI – changing our operations for the better and providing positive opportunities for those who follow,” said Mr. Ishee.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an educational program that brings together campus-based college students with incarcerated students for a semester-long course held in a prison, jail or other correctional setting. Twelve students from Trumbull Correctional Institution and twelve students from Westminster College came together to discuss important social issues amongst other topics. Students have the option of pursuing summer internships at TCI to see their proposed programs through.

“This was an experience that the students and facilitators will not forget,” added Robison.

Visit insideoutcenter.org to learn more about the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program.

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