Shining the Light: Engagement with Incarcerated Individuals


Collaboratory’s Shining the Light series highlights the amazing work of our institutional partners and shares examples of community engagement and public service activities captured in Collaboratory. 

Recognizing that community engagement is an integral strategy through which campuses contribute to and achieve the mission and goals of their institutions, this series is guided by the Benefits of Civic and Community Engagement Primer co-edited by Collaboratory’s own Kristin Medlin and published by our partners, North Carolina Campus Compact’s Community of Practice, Inquiry & Learning (COPIL).

The primer:

  • Assembles evidence of how civic and community engagement (CCE), when done well, contributes to the overarching goals of higher education
  • Highlights the range of CCE activities occurring in community-campus partnerships throughout the state of North Carolina
  • Provides a tool to aid in deepening the practice of engagement, and
  • Makes the case for investment in and commitment to CCE

This installment of Shining the Light features community engagement and public service activities done with and for individuals who are incarcerated.

Voter Awareness and Access for Citizens Impacted by the Criminal Legal System

Inside Out Prison Exchange Program

The activity focuses on an educational program offered inside the Lake County Community Correctional Facility.  Students in the program are a blended mix of incarcerated individuals and students enrolled in classes at Indiana University Northwest.  The activity is of mutual benefit to both Lake County Community Corrections and Indiana University Northwest.  Students, incarcerated women, and the instructor all grow intellectually, personally, and professionally because of the activity. 


Content Development & Program Support for Advancing Carceral Justice and Youth Programs in STEM

East Los Angeles Immersion

Offered during the fall holiday weekend, this immersion experience connects USD students with Dolores Mission Parish in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.  In addition to assisting with the parish’s various outreach programs, the students stay in the homes of parishioners, learn about the founding and ongoing work of Homeboy Industries (a nationally known nonprofit agency designed to promote the rehabilitation of formerly incarcerated gang members) and engage in daily prayer and reflection.  The immersion experiences offered by our department are designed to help participants go deeper in their faith and make an enduring commitment to social justice.

Future IDs Art and Future Planning Workshop at the Maricopa Reentry Center

The Path to Freedom

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Want to learn more about Collaboratory?

Email [email protected] to learn more about how to leverage Collaboratory to tell your institution’s story of engagement.

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