The Beyond the Bars Initiative is comprised of:
1.) an annual conference, which generally takes place in March. The mission of the Beyond the Bars conference is to widely disseminate the Center’s approach to center justice on prevention and healing through panel discussions, workshops, community building, and performance art.
2.) a fellowship, whose members lead the planning and execution of the conference. The mission of the Beyond the Bars fellowship is to meaningfully engage community members who have been impacted by incarceration to build community and develop as leaders.
Beyond the Bars Conference
The Beyond the Bars Conference is an annual student-driven interdisciplinary conference on mass incarceration held at Columbia University. Each year the conference brings together students, faculty, activists, advocates, practitioners, those who have experienced and/or been impacted by incarceration, community members and more to connect, galvanize, and deepen the work of building justice and equity and ending mass incarceration.
Beyond the Bars Fellowship
The Beyond the Bars Fellowship offers students and community members an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of mass incarceration and social change; and to collaborate with the Center for Justice and the Criminal Justice Caucus to organize the annual Beyond the Bars Conference. This interdisciplinary leadership program aims to bring together a diverse group of Fellows to further develop their leadership skills. Fellows gain a theoretical and practical understanding of mass incarceration, including its origins and its widespread personal and societal consequences. Fellows are introduced to various models of social change while having an opportunity to interact with and learn from community activists, organizers and academics.