The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program: Impact on Stakeholders
In 2018, a new challenge confronted the executive director of the Inside-Out Center in Philadelphia, who was also the founder of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, an international network of educators providing university courses in prisons for both incarcerated individuals and university students. Despite the program's many success stories, to gain new funders, the founder needed to communicate the program's impact through measurable effects. Assessing long-term impacts seemed nearly impossible because of difficulties in tracking the participants as they graduated from their university programs or completed their prison sentences and returned to the outside world. The measurement effort was also controversial because although the use of quantitative measures would help to raise funds, it could also challenge the value of the program's well-established practices and could change the relative roles and influence of various key stakeholders. Whose definitions of "impact" should be prioritized, and how could the program's impact be measured and communicated? TL Hill is affiliated with Temple University.