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STUDENTS FOR PRISON EDUCATION AND REFORM


empowering the leaders of tomorrow to advocate for smarter criminal justice policy

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STUDENTS FOR PRISON EDUCATION AND REFORM


empowering the leaders of tomorrow to advocate for smarter criminal justice policy

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." -Dostoevsky 

The United States, with only five percent of the world's population, holds one quarter of the world’s incarcerated population.  Since the 1980s, the number of incarcerated Americans has nearly quadrupled. Hispanics are incarcerated at twice the rate whites are, and African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate whites are.

As students, the future rests in our hands. It is our duty to take action on one of the most egregious civil rights issues of our generation. 

SPEAR advocates for smarter, more effective criminal justice policy.  We oppose the racial and socioeconomic injustice of mass incarceration, and believe in building a new United States justice system that prioritizes compassion, effectiveness, and fairness.

Founded at Princeton University in 2012, SPEAR holds community awareness programs, works in collaboration with Departments of Correction on the development of new prison education curricula, conducts research on the justice system, and facilitates student advocacy projects.  

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Get involved


Become a part of a vibrant student community unified for justice.

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Get involved


Become a part of a vibrant student community unified for justice.

We have a number of committees for you to take part in.  From prison education program curriculum development, to campus and community events, to policy research and advocacy, your voice will be an important part of our efforts.

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Learn More


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Learn More


With one in 100 Americans behind bars, mass incarceration is the most important civil rights issue of our time.  Educate yourself about the problem,  the need for educational programs, and other criminal justice reforms.