Rethinking Crime and Justice: Explorations from the Inside Out

CSC Course


CSC 33997
CST 33997
IIPS 33905
HESB 30302

What are the causes and costs of criminal behavior? How are people and communities affected by incarceration? How can we make our criminal justice system as good as it can be for all stakeholders?

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 includes attention to some of the issues behind the current call for criminal justice reform, including mass incarceration, racial disproportionality, and reentry challenges. Yet the focus of the course is on deeper concerns, including why criminal justice systems rely on punishment, what else they could be accomplishing, and what responsibility we have as citizens for the justice systems operating in our names. As part of the national Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, the course involves “inside students” (men who are incarcerated at the Westville Correctional Facility in Westville, Ind.) and “outside students” (people enrolled at Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, or Holy Cross) learning with and from each other and breaking new ground together. Most weeks of the semester, campus students travel to Westville for class with the incarcerated students; all are responsible for the same reading and writing assignments, and participate together in class activities and discussions. Together the two groups examine myths and realities related to crime and to punishment, explore the effects of current criminal justice policies, and develop ideas for responding more effectively to crime 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 2019 Inside-Out course. 
  • Application is not available at this time.


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Upcoming Events

November 2019

Leadership Formation Workshop | Storytelling for Change
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Labor RAPS | The Just Wage Initiative: Unveiling an Online Tool
Friday, November 15, 2019 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
ISSLP Interview Day
Sunday, November 17, 2019 (All day)
Lupe Under the Sun
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 7:00pm
Panel Discussion: Open Wide our Hearts
Friday, November 22, 2019 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

December 2019

Deadline: Romero Days 2020 Paper Proposal
Sunday, December 1, 2019 - 11:45pm

February 2020

Application Close: SSLP 2020
Saturday, February 1, 2020 (All day)

March 2020