The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program and Higher Order Thinking: A Propensity Score Matching Approach


  • Brian Wyant La Salle University
  • Patricia Becker The College of New Jersey


This study sought to examine if students in an Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course, one that is held inside a correctional facility with both currently incarcerated individuals and university students, indicated the course emphasized greater higher-order thinking skills compared to courses taught and held in traditional settings. Utilizing a propensity score matching approach, we compared scores from a higher order thinking index of university students from multiple Inside-Out courses to university students in traditional social science courses. We found that students who participated in an Inside-Out course reported their course emphasized greater higher order thinking skills compared to the control group. Results suggest Inside-Out courses might be especially conducive to help students better assess information and applying concepts to complex circumstances.  

Author Biography

Patricia Becker , The College of New Jersey

Dr. Patricia Becker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology at The College of New Jersey. Her primary research interests include gender and crime, victimology, desistance and reentry, and policy implications of gender and social control. 






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