Hey SPEARfam!!

It’s hard to believe that we are already a quarter of the way through the semester! We are so proud of everything each team has accomplished so far, and we can’t wait for the amazing events and projects still to come.

As always, everyone is welcome at our weekly meeting this Monday, 2/25, at 8 p.m. in Campus Club! We guarantee you will leave having learned something and done something in just an hour!

Make sure to read this email carefully to keep track of all of the amazing events that we have coming up in the next two weeks! (But if you forget, everything is conveniently also in our events calendar! Which is also on our updated website!)


  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! RSVP to the facebook event here.

  1. 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.

    1. SCHEDULE CHANGE: SPEAR will be hosting a dinner with Alec on February 26th at 7 p.m. at Thai Village. This is an amazing opportunity to pick his brain about anything and everything related to his amazing work on impact litigation surrounding mass incarceration. Please RSVP for the dinner here, which will be subsidized by SPEAR.  

  2. Join SPEAR’s Voting Rights Campaign for Reclaim the Vote: A Discussion with Formerly Incarcerated People on Voting Rights and the Criminal Justice System, on March 5, from 6pm to 7:30 pm in McCormick 101. Nine formerly incarcerated impacted individuals will be holding a panel conversation on voting rights. 48 states in this country have collectively and historically denied the right to vote for over six million Americans who are incarcerated, on probation, or on parole. Join this panel in a discussion on felon disenfranchisement, voting as a right and responsibility, and tangible steps of change that you can take in fighting for democracy.

  3. Registration is now open for our annual SPEAR Conference!!!! Hosted on April 12-13, this year’s conference will assess the mainstream criminal justice reform movement’s tendency to focus only on non-violent and drug offenses, often excluding those convicted of violent and sexual offenses from the movement. Princeton students should register for the conference here.

  4. Our WEEKLY SOCIAL DINNER  will be this Thursday, 2/28, at 6pm in the Whitman Octagonal Private Dining Room. Come out to build community with your fellow SPEAR members from other committees!


Princeton seminary student talks journey from prison to advocacy Claire Silberman, The Daily Princetonian

This piece profiles Erich Kussman, a formerly incarcerated student and social justice advocate at Princeton Theological Seminary, and founder of  Ransom Writers and Speakers, a support network that helps previously incarcerated individuals re-enter society.

Prisons Across the U.S. are Quietly Building Databases of Incarcerated People’s Voice Prints

George Joseph, Debbie Nathan, The Intercept.

“Prison authorities have quietly enrolled hundreds of thousands of incarcerated people’s voice prints into large-scale biometric databases...Some jurisdictions limit incarcerated people’s phone access if they refuse to enroll in the voice recognition system.”

Mexico to Close Infamous Island Penal Colony, Region's Last AP, The New York Times.

“Mexico will close its infamous Isla Marias prison, the last island penal colony in a hemisphere once dotted with remote island jails….”


Kiki, Masha, and Amanda


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