The Ohio State University at Newark


Knowledge is the New Hustle: Ohio State Newark Course Leads to Creation of Think Tank

NEWARK, OH, May 25, 2018— Corrections: An Inside-Out course has been successfully running for ten years as a collaborative program between The Ohio State University at Newark and the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Lancaster, Ohio. A more recent development, the creation of a think tank run by the inside (incarcerated individuals) and outside (college students) students, is poised to offer policy level solutions to the issue of how crime and justice is viewed.

As a requirement of the capstone project for the course, students, both inside and outside, work collaboratively to design a policy proposal addressing an issue they have identified during the semester. Many of the projects had focused on parole and the students had consistently expressed commitment to bringing their policy recommendations to fruition, according to Angela Bryant, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at Ohio State Newark and driver of the Inside-Out program. Thus, the think tank, The Pantheon of Critical Criminologists (T-POCC), was born.

Since January 2018, twelve inside alumni and seven outside alumni have been meeting to design its research program based on participatory action research (PAR) for its parole project. PAR is a collaborative process that builds evidence-based solutions to community-defined social problems. They have generated research questions, identified their sources of evidence and worked on the necessary Institutional Review Board applications for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) and Ohio State.

They even hosted a PAR expert, Yasser Payne, Ph.D., a social psychologist with joint appointment in the departments of sociology and criminal justice and black American studies at the University of Delaware. T-POCC will use the skills he emphasized to refine its proposal to ODRC for the PAR parole project that aims to reduce prison populations in Ohio and keep communities safe.

The Inside-Out prison exchange program is an international initiative to bring college students and incarcerated individuals together in a classroom setting in the hopes of developing an innovative partnership between institutions of higher learning and prison systems.

For more information about the international initiative visit: insideoutcenter.org. For more information about T-POCC and/or Ohio State Newark’s program contact Angela Bryant at bryant.74@osu.edu.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.