The INPEP ECHO promotes health education within correctional facilities through peer-to-peer trainings and the Project ECHO model. The INPEP ECHO team equips people who are incarcerated as peer health educators, who then use their lived experience to teach health education workshops about unique health conditions affecting people who are incarcerated.

Peer educators:

  • Develop their professional and leadership skills
  • Serve as a key resource for health information within correctional facilities
  • Partake in monthly TeleECHOs
  • Meet with a Peer Education Hub Team member at their site

To date, the INPEP ECHO has trained over 120 peer educators at multiple Indiana Department of Correction locations. Peer educators have reached thousands of people incarcerated through their 10-hour health education workshops.

The Indiana Peer Education Program is a collaboration between the IUPUI ECHO Center, Step-Up, Inc., the Viral Hepatitis Program at the Indiana Department of Health, and the Indiana Department of Correction.

Madison Correctional Facility Graduation: March 2022
Madison CF Logo Creation

Three Main Goals

  • Present Facts
  • Explore Values
  • Develop Skills

Facilities Participating

  • Correctional Industrial Facility
  • Indiana Women's Prison
  • Madison Correctional Facility
  • New Castle Correctional Facility
  • Pendleton Correctional Facility
  • Plainfield Correctional Facility
  • Putnamville Correctional Facility
  • Westville Correctional Facility

10-Hour Workshop Training Topics

  • Germs & General Hygiene
  • Tuberculosis
  • Diabetes
  • Staph/MRSA
  • STIs
  • Influenza
  • COVID-19
  • Hepatitis A, B, C
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Harm Reduction
  • Mental Health First AID & Trauma Informed Care

Hub Team

Lorenzo Bell


PEP Program Specialist | Step-Up, Inc.

Lorenzo joined INPEP in August of 2019 while incarcerated at the Indiana Department of Corrections. He has restarted his journey with Step Up after a short break to further his education. During this time, he obtained his Certification in Peer Recovery Coaching.  He has joined the team as a PEP Program Specialist. Lorenzo is passionate about inspiring, educating, and being a resource for incarcerated individuals, during and after their incarceration. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, working out, and spending time with his family.

Jessica Beyer


PEP Program Coordinator | Step-Up, Inc.

Jessica Beyer began working with the Indiana Peer Education Program, INPEP, and Step-Up while incarcerated in Indiana Department of Corrections in 2019. Upon release, Beyer knew she wanted to continue on her journey of helping others and work in the criminal justice field. She wants others experiencing incarceration to feel the way she did with her involvement in the Indiana Peer Education Program. Her goal is for others to not be judged or belittled, but to be part of a community and feel accepted.  

Abigail Carr, MPH


Director of Re-Entry Services | Step-Up, Inc.

After completing her Bachelor of Science at the University of Dayton in 2015, Abby Abram found her passion for the field of public health while serving a year with AIDS United AmeriCorps. In 2016, she pursued her Master of Public Health at the University of Indianapolis and began her career at Step-Up, Inc. As the Indiana Peer Education Program (INPEP) Program Manager, Abby is passionate about reducing health disparities and instilling hope in the Indiana Department of Correction. Additionally, Abby serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Indiana Society for Public Health Education and as Adjunct Faculty at her alma mater, the University of Indianapolis. 

Erika L. Chapman, MPH, CPH, CHES, CHW, RYT-200


Harm Reduction Prevention Manager | Indiana Department of Health: Division of HIV/STD & Viral Hepatitis

Ms. Chapman received her Master of Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral Health Science from Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Public Health. Ms. Chapman has earned Certified in Public Health, Certified Health Education Specialist, and Community Health Worker credentials.

In June of 2017, Ms. Chapman and her colleagues were awarded the CDC’s Charles S. Shepard Science Award for Prevention and Control for their article entitled, “HIV Infection Linked to Injection Drug Use of Oxymorphone in Indiana 2014-2015” published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Again, in June 2018, Ms. Chapman and her colleagues were awarded the Charles M. Shepard Science Award for Data Methods and Study Design for their article entitled, “Detailed Transmission of Network Analysis of a Large Opiate-Driven Outbreak of HIV Infection in the United States” published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 

Erika L. Chapman has been with IDOH since 2006 and has served in the roles of HIV Prevention Specialist, Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator, and Surveillance Coordinator. In her tenure with IDOH Ms. Chapman has had the opportunity to serve in various capacities on outbreak response teams including the COVD-19 pandemic response.

Patrick Hibbard, Ph.D.


Program Evaluator | INPEP ECHO

With a Ph.D. in Public Management from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (IU-Bloomington), Patrick Hibbard studies programs and organizational management in the criminal legal system and substance use policy areas, using a variety of methodologies. His interest in researching and improving programs in these areas stems from his identity as a person with lived experience in both the US criminal legal system and recovery from substance use disorder. In addition to serving as Program Evaluator for INPEP-ECHO, he is a postdoctoral fellow with the Oregon Social Learning Center. 

Andrea Janota, MPH


Director of the IUPUI ECHO Center

Andrea was involved at the ground level establishing the first ECHOs in Indiana and today leads more than a dozen topic-specific programs.  

Andrea uses her career to create spaces for people to feel that they belong and to be empowered through an authentic and peer-led community. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, particularly racial equity.  

Andrea additionally serves as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Epidemiology and is studying for a doctoral degree in Global Health Leadership. Andrea received an MPH in Global Health from Boston University, a B.S. in Public Health and Social Justice from Saint Louis University, and dedicated a year of service to AmeriCorps in Boston. 

Deborah Nichols, MPH, MS, CHW


Epidemiologist | Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC)

Deborah Nichols serves as the Epidemiologist for the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC).  Until May 2022 she was the Deputy Surveillance Program Director and former Viral Hepatitis and Harm Reduction Program Director within the Division of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis at the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH).  She received an AAS/BS from Purdue University in Management and Aviation Technology in 1994, her MPH from IU School of Medicine with a concentration in Epidemiology in 2007, and an MS in Geology in 2010 from IUPUI. Deborah has worked both in the private and public sectors throughout her career both stateside and overseas. She is interested in how data can be used to address health disparities. 

Ladessa Sparks


PEP Program Specialist | Step-Up, Inc.

Ladessa is currently enrolled at Strayer University working on her associate's degree in Business Administration. Ladessa joined INPEP in March of 2022 during her incarnation with the Indiana Department of Corrections. Ladessa joined the program to help educate her fellow peers about important health topics and harm reduction. She instantly fell in love with the program and all the organization had to offer. Upon her release, she was hired as a PEP Program Specialist. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, mountain bike riding, watching football, and reading a good book.   

Jenna Watkins


Program Management Specialist | IUPUI ECHO Center

Jenna joined the IUPUI ECHO Center as a Program Management Specialist in the summer of 2022. Before joining the ECHO team, she completed a year of service with the Ending the Epidemic AmeriCorps 2021-2022 cohort. Jenna was placed at Step-Up, Inc., where she served as a member of the INPEP ECHO team along with offering reentry case management services. Jenna is passionate about the work the INPEP Hub team and peer educators are doing to reduce health disparities within the Indiana Department of Corrections and beyond.