The College of Liberal Arts and the School of Social Research and Justice Studies has created the Educational Renewal Fund (ERF) to address the limited opportunities incarcerated individuals have to pursue higher education in Nevada. By eliminating financial barriers, the ERF enables incarcerated individuals to participate and earn credit in the University of Nevada Reno’s Inside-Out Program at the Washoe County Detention Facility.
The ERF, established in November 2022, will be used to help incarcerated individuals selected for the Inside-Out Program to enroll at the University, pay for the course and cover other expenses.
The Inside-Out Program, the first and currently only program in Nevada, brings together traditional University students (outside students) and detained/incarcerated students (inside students) for a semester-long course that explores criminal behavior, victimization, the legal system, punishment, rehabilitation and restorative justice. Students learn with and from each other, ultimately learning to situate their individual experiences in a broader context. In this service-learning course, students write six papers and complete a group project.
“Previously, the inside students completed the course but did not earn any credit for their work,” Jennifer Lanterman, director of the School of Social Research and Justice Studies, said. “In 2022, I worked with the College of Liberal Art’s Dean's Office to establish a pathway for the inside students to enroll at the University so they can earn the same credit their outside student peers earn. We need to raise funds to cover the tuition costs for three credits per inside student. We developed the ERF for this purpose.”
The near-term goal of the ERF is to raise approximately $10,000 to cover tuition costs for the inside students enrolled in the Inside-Out Program. The longer-term goal is to develop an endowed scholarship to create a sustainable source of financial support.
“The endowed scholarship would allow us to continue to support the inside students enrolled in the Inside-Out Program every spring, as well as expand tuition support for students incarcerated in the Nevada Department of Corrections, returning citizens and their children who wish to take courses on campus, and survivors of violent crime and their children who wish to take courses on campus,” Lanterman said.