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Lyle S. Hallman Foundation funding supports Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
Sep 10/12| For Immediate Release
Dr. Simone Weil Davis, Coordinator, Inside-Out Canada
Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University and its partners will continue to expand the successful Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, thanks to a generous donation from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation. An official announcement of the gift was made at a ceremony Sept. 10 at Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work in Kitchener.
“The Foundation is excited to be part of breaking down stereotypes between people inside and outside of prison,” said Laura Manning, executive director of the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation. “We believe this program will help to make our community stronger, and we applaud Wilfrid Laurier University for its innovative work.”
Since 2011, Laurier’s Inside-Out program has brought “outside” Laurier students to the Grand Valley Institution for Women, a federal correctional facility located in Kitchener, to complete one of their required courses together with incarcerated “inside” students. Last semester, 17 social work students from Laurier took part in the program alongside 17 “inside” students.
“The Inside-Out Program is transformational for the incarcerated students,” said Peter Stuart, education counsellor, Correctional Service of Canada Grand Valley Institution for Women. “By working toward university credits alongside students from the community, they see that they are capable of being successful at the post-secondary level. I am confident that they will be much more likely to continue post-secondary studies upon their release as a result of this program.”
Stuart also noted that there is a marked decrease in recidivism rates for offenders who participate in post-secondary study while incarcerated, a further societal benefit of the program.
The donation from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation will help support a new Inside-Out course this fall, Human Rights in a Globalizing World, for 20 students (10 “inside” and 10 “outside”). It will also help Laurier and the Grand Valley Institution for Women to launch the first Canadian Inside-Out Instructor Training Institute next summer. The training institute will host a customized, rigorous week-long course for faculty interested in launching Inside-Out programs at their own institutions.
“We are very grateful to the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation for their generosity toward this outstanding program,” said Rob Donelson, vice-president, Development & Alumni Relations. “Laurier is the leader in developing the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program in Canada, and this donation will enable us to build the program and provide the opportunity for other prisons, correctional facilities and post-secondary institutions to participate.”
In fall of 2011, Laurier was one of two universities nationwide to launch Inside-Out in Canada, and it is currently the only institution in the country to host multiple courses. Founded at Temple University in 1997, the program is well established in the United States. One hundred and twenty-five colleges and universities across 25 states have sponsored Inside-Out classes and 100 correctional institutions have housed the programs.
“The Inside-Out Center at Temple University, international headquarters of The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, wants to express our enthusiastic support of Laurier's commitment to expanding the Inside-Out Program in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, as well as across Canada,” said Lori Pompa, founder and director of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. “We look forward to collaborating with our Canadian partners in realizing this growth over the coming years.”