Beyond Arrests Rethinking Systematic-Oppression (BARS) is a relatively new organization on Penn’s campus that focuses on shedding light on issues involving mass incarceration and dismantling the carceral state. The club holds events to enlighten the student body on various topics ranging from juvenile incarceration and mental health behind bars, to the effects of incarceration on families and the treatment of incarcerated women. Every month the group publishes a newsletter on a new topic and holds an event or fundraiser to raise money for the cause. The club hosts many speakers such as previously incarcerated individuals and leaders of non-profit organizations.

The members of BARS believe that one big step in dismantling the carceral state is to spread awareness and discuss what is occurring behind prison walls and the effects the system has on people who have completed their sentences. The carceral state does not just effect those behind bars but also impacts family structures, communities, childhood development, and more. Disparities in sentencing also has an effect on who falls victim to the system and at what frequency. BARS hopes to continue enlightening the student body on how they can get involved, stay aware, and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.


Attend our monthly General Body Meetings. Participate in our service opportunities.

To find out more, join our listserv here.

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