By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Fifteen Drexel students have just finished a college course with 13 inmates inside the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility. The course “Prison, Society and You” seeks to change the lives of those on both sides of the prison bars.

Lori Pompa, founder and director of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program, says the course allows inmates to improve their lives through education, but it’s more than that.

“For the inside students, many of whom have spent some times significant amounts of time incarcerated, there’s some very powerful things that go on in terms of getting in touch with themselves who have abilities that maybe they have lost track of.”

Listen to extended interview:

Pompa also says inmates, who may have considered themselves a liability to society, now see themselves as someone who can do good things for society. She’s seen a marked difference in both outside students and inmates in the way they understand society and each other and how society works, or doesn’t.

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