Hey SPEARfam!!

After an exciting week of concerts, conferences, and CPUC meetings, we are so excited to see y’all again on Monday at 8pm in Campus Club for our weekly meeting!

Our projects are doing so much amazing work to plan events in the next few weeks, so definitely check out SPEAR’s new public calendar to stay on top of everything happening in the next few weeks.


  1. The Ban the Box Campaign and BlaQT are hosting a screening of "Out in the Night,” a documentary following the incarceration of the New Jersey 4, on February 28th at 8:30pm in the Wilson Black Box theater. After defending themselves from a harasser on the streets of New York, seven black and lesbian women were labeled a "gang" of "killer lesbians" by news outlets and prosecutors. Receiving sentences ranging from 3 1/2 to 11 years in prison, the documentary centers around how the sexuality and race of the women were associated with criminality during their trial and media representation. Join us for this powerful documentary showing and a post-showing discussion!

  2. The campaign to free Xiyue Wang, a Princeton graduate student currently being held as a political prisoner in Iran, is holding two events on Wednesday, February 20 to raise awareness about Wang’s case and press the US government to take action. Wang traveled to Iran to conduct dissertation research, when he was wrongly accused of espionage and later imprisoned. The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has condemned his imprisonment and called for his immediate release. As a Princeton community, we stand with Wang, his wife Hua Qu, and the couple’s young son to demand the same. The campaign will host a Call-A-Thon—contacting political representatives by phone and mail—from 10 am to 5 pm in the Campus Club Library. Food and coffee will be provided, as will postcards, stamps, and other necessary supplies. There will be a rally directly afterwards at 5pm in the Chancellor Green Rotunda, where we will hear speeches and observe a moment of silence for Wang and his family. Find the facebook event here.

  3. Our first WEEKLY SOCIAL DINNER  will be this Thursday, 2/ 21, at 6pm in the Wilson Private Dining Room. Come out to build community with your fellow SPEAR members from other committees!

  4. On Wednesday, February 27 4:30 - 6 pm in Friend 006, the radical founder of Civil Rights Corps and friend of SPEAR Alec Karakatsanis will be giving a lecture on "The Bureaucracy of Human Caging." You can find more details about Alec and the event here. SPEAR will be hosting a dinner with Alec afterwards at 6:30 where you can pick his brain about anything and everything related to his amazing work on impact litigation surrounding mass incarceration -- mark your calendars for this super exciting opportunity!

  5. First-years should consider applying for the Bogle Fellowships in Civic Service, a funded opportunity to design your own summer internship in service or civic engagement. The priority deadline is February 22nd: find application information here!


Police Policy for Sale Scott Morris, The Appeal

Lexipol, a private for-profit company, has quietly become one of the most powerful voices in law enforcement policymaking in the country, responsible for drafting policies authorizing ICE to detain people for suspected undocumented status, looser police use of force regulations, and limiting community oversight of police departments.

L.A. County will replace Men’s Central Jail with mental health hospital Maya Lau, L.A. Times

Los Angeles County supervisors narrowly approved a plan Tuesday to tear down the dungeon-like Men’s Central Jail downtown and build at least one mental health treatment facility in its place.

The surprisingly nomadic lives of prisoners. Byron Case, The Marshall Project.

Byron Case is serving life without parole in Missouri for murder, and here he disabuses us of the notion that most inmates endure years, or even decades, in a single cell. Instead, he writes, prison often is an endless series of sudden, surprise transfers, from one cell to another, or even one prison to another, often for no good reason. “We live like hermit crabs,” Case writes, “schlepping our stuff here and there.”

John Pfaff on Rethinking the Causes of Mass Incarceration

Just a great video on violence, the ideas of violent crime, and rethinking how we address mass incarceration that deserves more views!


Masha, Kiki, and Amanda