In the spring of 2017, the BARS organization was formed in order to create a space on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus in which students could engage in dialogues relating to criminal justice reform. Through BARS, students are able to gain exposure to realities of the carceral state.
To date, the BARS organization has hosted several successful events. We’ve hosted a film screening of the acclaimed documentary Life After Life, several community dialogues with Lauren Fine of the Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project and Philadelphia activist Tyrone Werts, and service events with organizations like Books Through BARS. We co-hosted the Reform Philly event with RocNation, featuring guests like Meek Mill, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Bryan Stevenson. In Feb. 2020, BARS hosted our inaugural conference “Breaking Chains, Building Coalitions”, featuring the keynote speaker Cyntoia Brown. We’ve also been highlighted in the Daily Pennsylvanian for student involvement in criminal justice reform in Philadelphia.
The BARS publication has a dedicated team of staff writers who write about the carceral state. Our first issue included an interview with a gentleman that is currently serving a life sentence. More recent articles have focused on families and the carceral state, as well as on recidivism.
If you are interested in being a guest writer for the BARS publication team, please complete the following form.
BARS currently has chapters at the University of Pennsylvania, Howard University, and New York University.
If you are interested in starting a BARS chapter at your college or university please complete the following form.