Posted December 7, 2016

Inside-Out founder earns lifetime achievement award

The American Society of Criminology recognized Temple’s Lori Pompa with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Teaching. Pompa started the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program in 1997.

 Lori Pompa talking to two men.
Photography By: 
Ryan Brandenberg
Temple’s Lori Pompa is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Teaching from the American Society of Criminology for her work developing the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which began at Temple in 1997 and has since expanded to nine countries outside the United States.

“One of the very cool things about this story is what can happen from the germ of an idea,” Lori Pompa said.

She was speaking about the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, an academic course in which university undergraduates (“outside” students) learn alongside incarcerated individuals (“inside” students).

Pompa, a criminal justice instructor in the College of Liberal Arts, has been taking students to visit correctional facilities since her first class at Temple in 1992, but only started Inside-Out after Paul, a man in incarceration, asked if she had ever considered making the visit last an entire semester.

“I was just kind of stunned by the idea,” Pompa explained. “I thought it was great.”

That idea led Pompa last month to earn a Lifetime Achievement Award for Teaching from the American Society of Criminology. The award recognizes a teaching career that has produced a considerable impact at either the university or national level.

Pompa’s career has accomplished both.

The first Inside-Out class met in the fall of 1997. The program is now in its 20th year, but that hardly tells the whole story. Pompa is also the founder and executive director of the Inside-Out Center, the international headquarters for the exchange, which trains instructors wishing to implement the program in their own institutions.

Inside-Out has held 45 Training Institutes, trained 700 instructors in the United States and nine other countries, and reached more than 20,000 inside and outside students.

Read more about Inside-Out and Pompa’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

—Sara Curnow Wilson