Claremont Colleges Inside-Out Prison Exchange program

Program Website: www.pitzer.edu

Contacts: Tessa Hicks Peterson, Community Engagement Center, 909-607-3061, tessahickspeterson@pitzer.edu; 1050 N Mills Ave, Claremont CA 91024

Program Description: The Inside-Out Prison Education program is a nationwide effort aimed at connecting “outside” students from colleges and universities with “inside” students, who are incarcerated in local prisons, for the mutual benefit of each. It is also an explicit effort to integrate rigorous college-level educational opportunities for those incarcerated, which has been proven repeatedly to be a critical component of rehabilitation and reduction in recidivism (Gilligan, 2001). While this practice has been gaining steady popularity and become established at colleges and universities across the country for the last twenty years, there are very few examples of this on the West coast, generally, and even less in California, in particular. Since the Fall of 2014, Pitzer College has led the Claremont Colleges in offering two-three classes per year at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, Ca, with ten Pitzer College students and ten incarcerated students. Agreements have recently been reached to increase the number of inside-out classes to 8 per year, wherein all students (inside and out) received credit for the courses.

Degrees Offered: none

Programs Offered: 

Unique Features: see above

Headquarters: Claremont and Norco, CA

Correctional Facilities Served: California Rehabilitation Center

Population Served: Male incarcerated students and male and female Claremont College students

Number of Students: 60 students per year, half inside and half outside

Graduates to Date: N/A

Year Founded: 

Founders: Nigel Boyle and Tessa Hicks Peterson in Claremont; Lori Pompa is founder of Inside-Out nationally

College/University/Organization Partnerships: Pitzer College

Funding: There are few costs (textbooks, transportation, and credit for classes) and the college covers all of these

Program Evaluation: Course evaluations

  • National Directory of Prison Education Programs