Interview Program Overview

This program is structured to systematically record interviews with returning citizens and create a library and database that captures the experience of individuals reentering society including details of the challenges and obstacles they face.

Our goal is to shape and direct public awareness and to develop and support programs that will help returning citizens achieve self-sufficiency by using this data to foster and support academic research, media coverage, and social media discussion.

Outside believes the current public standard is inadequate as it primarily defines successful reentry as no more than “not returning to prison”. We believe that successful reentry is defined as achieving a level of self-sufficiency commensurate with the average citizen.

Outside also believes that historic research methods regarding returning citizens’ experience have been hampered by an inability to access honest and direct feedback from returning citizens themselves. Our program is structured to overcome this by only using returned citizens as interviewers. Our experience has shown that the opportunity for the interviewee to relate to the interviewer through shared experience, language, and customs makes it possible to obtain a deeper and truer picture of the actual returning citizen experience.

In accordance with our Mission and Belief, Outside compensates each interviewee out of respect for the time and effort they put into supporting this program.

Interview Program Next Steps

Pilot program:   Fifty men have been selected to be interviewed and asked to share with Outside their in-depth experience as a returning citizen. Each interviewee has been home and residing in the greater Philadelphia area for at least three years. All interviews are audio recorded and run for approximately 60 minutes. 

Data safety: Protocols are under development.

Post pilot program: Upon program evaluation and incorporation of improvements we expect this will become an ongoing program with the intent to periodically re-interview prior interviewees, expand the set of Philadelphia area interviewees, and expand the program into other geographic regions.

Partnership development: Outside envisions universities and research institutions will have interest in our database thereby expanding our opportunity to impact public awareness and the development of programs that support returning citizens.