We really want to know what you think of PTI Matters... here's a nifty survey that should take you less than five minutes to complete! Please consider taking it even if you barely glance at the newsletter each week. We'd like to know how to make the resources more relevant and helpful to you if you're not currently using them! If you run into problems with the survey, please email Tara at

Wednesday, March 15, 8:00pm - Berlind Theatre @ McCarter Theatre

"Award-winning actress, playwright, and teacher, Anna Deavere Smith presents a selection of interviews and stories from her latest play "Notes from the Field." Using her signature form of theater, based on interviews with hundreds of individuals, Smith shines a light on the lack of opportunity and resources for young people living in poverty and how these circumstances often lead them into the criminal justice system." This event is FREE and open to the public, but tickets are required! Stop by the Berlind Ticket Office in the Berlind Theater Lobby for yours (a limited number of tickets will also be available 30 minutes prior to the event at this location). The event is sponsored by the following Princeton groups: Campus Conversations, Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding, Equity and Diversity, The Lewis Center for the Arts, LGBT Center, Princeton Public Lectures, The Office of the Dean of the College, The Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, Women's Center.

Thursday, May 11 - Rutgers University, Newark
From the website: "Telling Untold Histories" is New Jersey's annual un-conference that looks for human stories yet to be told, explores these histories, and asks why some stories remain untold. How can the community members who lived these histories shape how museums, historic sites, libraries, and schools tell them in the future? You can check out last year's un-conference proceedings on the website, too!

REFLECTION: Jill Knapp on the Day of Action earlier this week
"I thought it was great, and our teach-in about prison teaching got mentioned in the writeup in the Daily Princetonian. I really enjoyed the atmosphere. Our table got a lot of traffic. Matt (King) did a terrific job of setting this up, designing posters and handouts. In particular, the one-pager information sheet is something PTI could make good use of. It was great sitting across from the "register to vote" people, who included our own Sagar Setru, and from the History of Science folks, who were conducting one-on-one teach-ins at small tables - very entertaining from what I could hear.

Most of all (nothing to do with PTI), I loved the small informal concerts that popped up all over the place, including the Glee Club singing Bach on the stairs in Frist, and I got to thank their conductor, Renata Berlin, for their magnificent performance last Saturday of the Mozart Requiem. Indeed, all this got me thinking that my belief that PTI is unique and provides a uniquely valuable service to Princeton by bringing together people across the campus and beyond to work closely and collegially together on something worthwhile is unfair to the Music Department, who do this magnificently. And my only regret was that there was a Bach performance during our teach-in.

Anyway, back to business. The teach-in on prison teaching drew a very respectable crowd, and between it and the table we got a list of about 25 interested parties. The teach-in by Naomi Murukawa and SPEAR on punishment was terrific, and in response to an audience question Prof Murukawa said something very profound: that emphasis on reforming prisons would be better replaced by working on less imprisonment. We (PTI) need very much to look at our basic assumptions: Do our activities prop up this ghastly system rather than accomplish any real good? The Prison and the Academy event last year addressed this question and it needs further looking at."

NJ-STEP Director Named an AHEP Founding Board Member
Margaret Quern-Atkins, the Director of NJ-STEP, was recently named a founding board member of the new national organization Alliance for Higher Education in Prison. According to the recent AHEP announcement, "The founding board will make decisions about AHEP's organizational structure, governance and fundraising. [...] We also hope that as the board determines next steps for AHEP, there will be space for other people to join the board. Initial terms are 18-36 months." Congratulations, Margaret - we wish you the best in your new role.


If you are a graduate student or post-doc who incurred the following PTI-related transportation expenses in February, please submit the appropriate documentation through Concur by March 31 (deadline has been extended from the original March 15):
  • Public transportation
  • Uber, Lyft, or other taxi service
We cannot reimburse mileage costs for instructors using their own vehicles. If you're new to the system, check out these tips for establishing a Concur profile and submitting your reimbursement request. Feel free to email or call Tara if you need help!

Now is also a good time to remind you to create an Enterprise Car-Share account if you haven't already. This service is a cost-effective and handy way of getting to and fro if you have a US driver's license. It takes about two weeks to process, though, so keep that in mind as you plan the second half of the term!

We know some of you have been experiencing frustrating issues with students being called down to your class in a timely manner. DOC has promised to investigate these complaints moving forward, but their investigation is contingent on a few things:
  • When you have a significant logistical issue (for example, most of your students were 20 minutes late to class or a custody staffer asked you to end class 15 minutes early), please let Tara know within 24 hours of the problem by emailing her at You should also let your team/pod leader or divisional leader know about the issue, but please do not notify NJSTEP - they will just tell you to go through the proper DOC channels (detailed here).
  • You will be asked to fill out a brief incident report (recently created by the DOC), providing detailed and objective information. That means detailing the names of students who were late and not including any conjecture about where you think the problem originated.
  • We don't want to inundate the DOC with these reports, so please use your judgment in determining whether or not a problem is "worth" reporting. Of course, we think every problem is worth reporting, but we know we won't get very far if we report every time a student is five minutes late to class. Some inconveniences just go with the territory :)
Hopefully this will help prevent further issues!

Here are our instructor support office hours for March 13-17:
  • Monday, March 13, 10-11am (Peyton 113): Hosted by Jenny Greene
  • Wednesday, March 15, 12-1pm (PTI Office): Hosted by Jannette Carey
  • Thursday, March 16, 1-3pm (Peyton 106): Hosted by Jill Knapp (also available by appointment or through email at
Additionally, Tara is in the PTI office Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am to 6pm, and you are always welcome to contact members of our Leadership Team.

  • LEGAL AMENDMENT: The NJDOC adopted amendments to its Restrictive Housing law this January. You might be interested to skim through some of them.
  • ARTICLE: "San Francisco State expanding college access for formerly incarcerated" (Diverse Issues in Higher Education, March 7)
  • CALL FOR PAPERS: The Prison Literature Permanent Section of the Midwest Modern Language Association seeks papers for its annual conference this November: "The United States incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than any other nation in history and the most authoritative witnesses to this humanitarian crisis are prisoners themselves. Thus, this permanent section invites papers that examine the production, teaching, study, and performance of literature within carceral institutions—past or present—in the US and abroad. In keeping with the convention theme for 2017, we encourage papers that explore the role of prison literature in activism by individuals and groups working for prison reform or abolition." Please send abstracts to William Andrews at by April 5, 2017.
  • RESOURCE: Healing Broken Circles is an Ohio-based organization that "serves those who are incarcerated, formerly incarcerated and at risk for incarceration by developing responsible, restorative environments in which we partner with communities to provide strength-based, trauma-responsive education and training [...] and outreach and public education around incarceration through original events and projects that center the voices of the 'voiceless,' including TEDx in Prison, Coding in the Clink, Social Justice Immersion and more." In other words, they're awesome!

I hope PTI Matters will continue to grow and be ever more useful to our teachers and friends. Please feel free to email your news blurbs and other suggestions to so we can highlight them here!

Celebrate your middle name! Or if you don't have one, celebrate No Middle Name Day! Or if you have three of them, celebrate All the Middle Names Day! This day is whatever you want it to be :)
Copyright © 2017 Prison Teaching Initiative @ Princeton University, All rights reserved.

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