About InsideOUT Writers
InsideOUT Writers is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing recidivism by providing services to young people navigating juvenile detention and life after incarceration. Using creative writing as a catalyst for personal expression and transformation, we strive to empower our writers with the confidence and skill set to successfully re-integrate into our communities and become powerful advocates for themselves.
Our work with incarcerated juveniles past and present encompasses arts-based healing, community reintegration services, and diversion programming for at-risk youth. Since our inception in 1996, InsideOUT Writers has offered writing classes and re-entry services to over 25,000 incarcerated juveniles in Los Angeles. The national recidivism rate is 75%, but we see less than 10% recidivism among writers who participate in our Alumni Program.
Our Services At-A-Glance
InsideOUT Writers was founded in 1996 and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1999. Started by juvenile hall chaplain, Sister Janet Harris, former Los Angeles Times journalist, Duane Noriyuki, and several other professional writers, InsideOUT Writers began as a coalition of dedicated volunteers teaching creative writing to youth incarcerated in Los Angeles County's Central Juvenile Hall. The Alumni Program was then launched in 2009 to offer an array of re-entry services and programming to support their transitions back into our communities.
Since our inception in 1996, InsideOUT Writers has offered writing classes and re-entry services to over 25,000 incarcerated juveniles in Los Angeles. IOW's partnership with Los Angeles County Department of Probation to provide writing classes was formalized under the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) in 2001. Since the beginning, IOW’s Writing and Alumni Programs have advanced the personal development, reflective self-assessment, capacity for productive behavior, and artistic talents of detained youth through meeting the stated goals and evolving priorities of the Probation Department. To date, we have served more than 25,000 moderate and/or high-risk youth in detention and residential treatment facilities, and provided access to on-site and referred re-entry services.