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Stacey Wyland

Major: Associate Professor, Criminal Justice, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Associate Professor Stacey Wyland is not a person to sit on the sidelines and let opportunity pass her by. From her decision as a college student to major in criminal justice, to her enrolling in the Pennsylvania State Police Academy, to her involvement in the Inside Out Prison Exchange Program, she has seized the moment with enthusiasm and passion.

The Inside Out Program
In 2005, while serving as an assistant professor and working with Employment Opportunity and Training Center (EOTC) and the Lackawanna County prison on a mentoring program for women, Stacey was invited to a training program for the Inside Out program. In her characteristically brave manner, she agreed to a week of intense training in Philadelphia to learn first-hand how this program worked. It would turn out to be a transformative experience for her and one that she would bring to her criminal justice students at Keystone. 

Each year participates in the Inside Out program, which is part of CJ 426: Selected Topics in Criminal Justice. Eight students are selected by Stacey and eight prisoners are chosen by the educational principal at State Correctional Institute Waymart, to work on a project that they develop and implement together.

The students’ assignment is not to counsel inmates, nor to discuss their criminal past. In fact, no one from the College ever knows the prisoners’ history. They are to talk about criminal justice topics, such as the criminal justice system as a whole, prison overcrowding, victims, and even the need or necessity for prisons. One recent project focused on the need to mentor at-risk children–how to reach them and prevent them from becoming prisoners themselves. Another project examined the lack of after-care for prisoners. There aren’t many support services available for prisoners who serve their sentence and re-enter the community. 

At the end of the semester, students and prisoners present their projects and participate in a graduation, Stacey says that all participants come away from the experience transformed. Evaluations by the students at the end of the course indicate their perceptions of prisoners have changed: they are no longer stereotypes but human beings. Stacey wants her students to be compassionate members of the criminal justice community, and this experience makes them understand the complexity of prisoners, their often high intelligence and practical abilities. The Inside Out program helps them with this understanding. Keystone is grateful to Stacey for the knowledge and practical application she offers her students through the Inside Out Prison Exchange.

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