From the Inside Out

A team who has come together to change how people in the incarceral system are represented.

We are researchers and artists both experienced and new, ​based at the Center for Justice Columbia University and abroad.

​A project based in research using creative engagement strategies.  

Our goal?

To change how the world thinks about people in the incarceral system




​In the world we live in today, people who have been incarcerated are given derogatory labels and false imagery to depict their lives. They are thought of as people who do not have as many human qualities as other people do. This is called dehumanization, a term we use in the context of taking away someone’s respect as a human being. Dehumanization harms people in prison in mainly two ways: within the prison and outside the prison. Within the prison, dehumanization can lead to abusive penal policies and other prison malpractices used on the people who are incarcerated. Outside the prison, dehumanization can lead to a disinterested attitude of the general public, a harder time for the general public to accept individuals who were formerly incarcerated, as well as a larger perceived distance between those who are in prison and those who are not.

Our platform:​​

​You might ask, where does this seemingly endless cycle of harm and misrepresentation stop? How can we infiltrate it and lead it in another direction, with new framework of thinking about the incarceral system and those who are/have been in it? By showcasing the work and the ideas of those who are been directly impacted, we want to shed a little light on this question and raise awareness. We want to give space for individuals who have been directly impacted to express themselves so that the public can understand more about this issue. In conversation with the research done by a team at Columbia University to understand how the psychology and sociology behind the practices impact the individuals subjected to it, the ultimate goal is change. A change that includes the acknowledgement and the respect of the humanity of those in or just out of the incarceral system.

Let’s go deeper!

  • ​To find out more about the role of Popular Media in dehumanizing people in the criminal justice system, click here 
  • To find out more about the results of Punitive Attitudes in the incarceral system today, click here  


  • To learn more about the ongoing research we are doing, click here
  • To find out more about our artistic response and community engagement organized in partnership with The Confined Arts, click here
  • To hear ​the words from Pastor Isaac Scott, From the Inside Out Project Director and Lead Artist of The Confined Arts, ​ see below




If you have any questions or concerns please contact

Pastor Isaac Scott @