The Petey Greene Prisoner Program

Your decision to elect the Petey Greene Prisoner Assistance Program the recipient of your Class Service Initiative has changed the lives of so many. Founded on the idea that service to others enhances the lives of all involved, the Petey Greene program has helped hundreds of incarcerated young men and women continue their education while in prison, to enable them to build new lives upon release.

Indeed in the 2013/14 academic year, the 120+ Princeton University student volunteers who made a total of 941 prison visits have reported that for many of them, participation in the program was the highlight of their week.  

Here's just a selection of what our dedicated student volunteers have said:  

"This has been my most rewarding extra-curricular experience at Princeton. It has transformed my perception of the criminal justice system. I hope to make a positive difference to this system in the future." - Clare Herlog,  Princeton class of 2011  

"The Petey Greene Program is the most rewarding part of my week. This puts Princeton students and inmates together, and I genuinely do feel that I've learned a lot from them and have been much more grateful for the opportunities in my life as a result." - Chloe Bordewich Class of 2012  

Our student volunteers are the heart of this program. Their weekly commitment, to helping others despite the rigorous demands of coursework, has been recognized widely in the  2013/14 academic year:  

  • Joe Barrett, '14 was awarded the 2014 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate. The Pyne Honor Prize, established in 1921, is awarded to the senior who has most clearly manifested excellent scholarship, strength of character and effective leadership. Previous recipients include the late Princeton President Emeritus Robert F. Goheen, former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Joe is the recipient of a Puttkammer Fellowship which will send him to Boston to establish a Petey Greene Program among the colleges and universities in that city.
  • The newly-formed student organization SPEAR (Students for Prison Education and Reform) was just named the recipient of a 2014 Santos-Dumont Award for Innovation. The Alberto Santos-Dumont Prize for Innovation recognizes a unique and creative program, event, initiative, or project from the past academic year which has had wide-reaching impact and visibility.
  •  In April 2014, SPEAR held its first national conference "Building a New Criminal Justice: Mobilizing Students for Reform" which drew over 180 policy makers, students, government officials, researchers and community activists together for a weekend of talks and workshops to share experience and expertise to help students on other campuses re-create the dynamic program started on the Princeton campus. 
The character and leadership shown by our student volunteers demonstrates the best Princeton has to offer the world, and we look forward to watching become the leaders of tomorrow. 

Learn More

To learn more about our plans for expansion, meet our new Puttkammer Fellows, and see the press we've received this year, visit the Petey Greene Prisoner Assistance Program website.