Rethinking Crime and Justice: Explorations from the Inside Out

CSC Course


AMST 30812
CSC 33997
CSC 63997
CST 33997
GSC 30667
HESB 30302
IIPS 33905
ILS 33702
PSY 33691

Inside-Out brings together students from both sides of the prison wall to explore issues including why people commit crime, what prisons are for, realities of prison life and reentry, effects of victimization, and restorative justice perspectives.

This course begins with a study of the U.S. criminal legal system—its history, its goals, its effects, and how it is embedded in larger systems of power linked with race, gender, and economics. Our greater purpose, however, is to get at deeper concerns about violence, harm, and justice: what we want a justice system to accomplish, why punishment is at center of our current system, and our own responsibility for that system that operates in our names. As part of the national Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, the course involves inside students (who are incarcerated at the Westville Correctional Facility in Westville, IN) and outside students (who are enrolled at Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, or Holy Cross) learning with and from each other and breaking new ground together. Each week, campus students travel to Westville for class with the incarcerated students; all are responsible for the same reading and writing assignments, and all participate together in class activities and discussions. Together, we will examine myths and realities related to crime and punishment, explore the effects of the criminal legal system and its policies, and develop ideas for responding more effectively to violence and harm in our communities. 

Mondays | 4:30–10:00 p.m.
Includes class from 6:00–8:45 p.m. plus transportation and processing in and out of the institution (Westville Correction Facility)

Course Information

purchase of texts
Application Process: 
  • Students must apply and be selected before registering for the fall 2020 Inside-Out course. 
  • The application for Fall 2020 is closed.


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Upcoming Events

April 2021

Application Deadline | McNeill Leadership Fellows Program
Friday, April 30, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm

May 2021

Labor Café | The Paid Leave Priority
Friday, May 7, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

June 2021

July 2021

Just Wage Forum 2021 | Series Conclusion (Virtual)
Friday, July 23, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

September 2021