- Do I receive credit for this course?
All registered students who successfully complete the course earn 3 academic credits.
- Do I have to be a Sociology student?
No, the course is designed to include students from sociology and other disciplines. However, students who have completed credits in Sociology will be given priority.
- How do I register for the Inside-Out course?
The first step is to fill out and submit the application. Inside-out faculty members will then interview applicants. They will invite as many as 15 LSC students to participate in the class. Those students choosing to be involved will then be granted instructor permission to register for SOC 1114 in the same way that they register for other courses.
- Where is the class held?
We teach this class at two different sites, depending on the semester. The Federal Prison Camp in Duluth is located about 6 miles from the main LSC campus, on Highway 53. The Northeast Regional Corrections Center is located approximately 16 miles northwest of the college, off Highway 53, in Saginaw, Minnesota.
- How will students get to the correctional facility?
Students will drive themselves, and we will arrange a carpool system for those interested. It takes about 15 minutes to get to FPC Duluth and about 30 minutes to get from campus to NERCC, so students will need to plan extra time for getting to and from the class location.
- Is there anything dangerous about going inside the correctional facility?
Student safety is the bottom line. This program was designed and created to keep students as safe as possible. While it is important to always remain cognizant of the correctional setting, students are monitored at all times by the instructor and security staff.
- Will there be any contact between the two groups of students outside the classroom?
One of the policies of Inside-Out is that the entire semester is conducted with semi-anonymity (first names only) and that each student enrolled in the class agrees (in writing) that s/he will not attempt to learn more about and/or contact someone else in the class. Any student who attempts to make outside contact or learn another student’s personal information is immediately removed from the class and faces academic sanctions.
- What kind of correctional institution is FPC Duluth and what are some of the reasons men are there?
The Federal Prison Camp-Duluth (FPC-Duluth) is an all-male, minimum security federal correctional institution that was founded in 1983. It is located on the grounds of the former Air Force base near the Duluth International Airport and currently houses nearly 700 inmates. In order to be eligible for confinement at FPC-Duluth, inmates must have fewer than 10 years remaining on their sentence and must not have a history of serious violence. Currently, the breakdown of the sentences imposed is as follows: 66% drugs; 21% fraud/bribery/extortion; 9% weapons/explosives; 4% miscellaneous. The average length of sentence imposed is between 60 and 119 months, though the great majority of inmates at FPC-Duluth have fewer than 60 months left to serve. Inmates at FPC-Duluth pass their time by working jobs that mimic those in the community (painters, plumbers, electricians, tutors, cooks, orderlies, etc.) and have access to a variety of education and drug treatment programs.
- What kind of correctional institution is NERCC and what are some of the reasons men are there?
The Northeast Regional Corrections Center is a program of the Arrowhead Regional Corrections system. It is located on the 3000-acre site of the former St. Louis County Workfarm. It provides a residential alternative to the State Prison System for the Courts of Region III. NERCC houses males convicted of offenses ranging from gross misdemeanors to felonies, serving an average sentence of about one year. The 24/7 treatment program utilizes intensive group therapy, individual counseling, chemical dependency counseling and follow up, and coordinated community reintegration strategies. The majority of residents are sentenced to NERCC for violation of probation. Other offenses include assault, burglary, criminal sexual conduct, and drug and alcohol-related crimes.
- How are the incarcerated students chosen for the class?
The men at the correctional facilities go through the same screening process as LSC students. They fill out a similar application form and are interviewed both by the correctional staff and the LSC faculty. The intention of the program is to involve a mix of students (race, socioeconomic status, education, criminal history) to ensure that class discussion is enriched by varying viewpoints.
- I was arrested for something in the past. Does that preclude me from being in this class?
Not necessarily. It is important to disclose any past arrests on the application form so that correctional facility and college can make an informed decision when selecting the class participants. All students undergo a background check.
- What have past students said about this class?
Students have repeatedly said this was by far the favorite college class they’ve taken. Many students have changed major or career plans based on participation in this class. Students also comment that they learned as much about themselves as they did about the criminal justice system. A favorite comment by students is, “Inside Out is so much more than just a class.” Inside Out is students state that the course is among the most significant experiences they have ever had.
- How does Inside-Out fit with the mission of Lake Superior College?
This effort supports LSC’s mission “to provide high quality, affordable higher education that benefits diverse learners, employers, and the community.” The LSC-NERCC partnership specifically meets the LSC Strategic Plan Goal D: “LSC will create and sustain mutually beneficial partnerships that increase opportunities for learners….”