Princeton’s Students for Prison Education And Reform (SPEAR) invites you to join us for our inaugural conference:



April 4-5, 2014

Princeton University


SPEAR aims to start an action-based dialogue on how to build and transition to a new system of criminal justice that prioritizes effectiveness, fairness, and humanity.

During the conference, panel discussions will provide academic insight on the contemporary state of the United States criminal justice system, share the values and importance of prison education and reentry programs, and present various approaches to prison advocacy and legislative reform. In workshops, speakers will share experience and expertise to help students acquire the skills necessary to spearhead effective advocacy campaigns, conduct their own research, and create, expand, and improve volunteer programs in prisons and services for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Through this conference, we hope to begin to build a network of students who are committed to bettering the current criminal justice system.

Furthermore, SPEAR will provide space for conference participants - students, academics, policy makers, activists, community members and government officials - to exchange information and ideas. Over the course of the conference, participants will have the opportunity to interact with individuals with a diverse array of perspectives on mass incarceration, in order to build and strengthen connections within the broader community of people dedicated to effecting change in the United States criminal justice system.


Click here to view the conference schedule. 

Conference events will take place in Whig Hall, except for Keynote Addresses and the Thursday evening film screening, which will be in McCosh 10. The film screening on Friday evening will be in McCormick 101.  A campus map can be found here.


Registration Forms:

Click here to register if you are a student at a university other than Princeton.

Click here to register if you are a Princeton University student.

Click here to register if you are a community member.


More information for those travelling to Princeton, including directions and parking instructions, can be found on Princeton's website, here.

Questions about the conference?  Please get in touch!

Promotional Materials: Feel free to download, print and distribute these materials!


This conference is made possible by the generous support of the Center for African American Studies, the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, the Center for Human Values, the Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, the Edwin F. Ferris 1899 Grant from the Council of the Humanities, the Carl A. Fields Center, the Lewis Center for the Arts, the Pace Center for Civic Engagement, the Petey Greene Prisoner Assistance Program, the Department of Politics, the Program in Latin American Studies, the Undergraduate Student Government Projects Board, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. We would also like to thank photographer Richard Ross for the use of his image on our conference poster.