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About Us

Welcome to the Penn Law Prisoners’ Education and Advocacy Project!

The Penn Law Prisoners’ Education and Advocacy Project is a student-run pro bono project at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The Project seeks to promote efficient self-advocacy among prisoners and ex-offenders while fostering a better understanding among law students of how the criminal justice system treats those charged with crime.

The Prisoners’ Education and Advocacy Project consists of several components:


The Prisoners’ Legal Education Program

Each week, several Penn Law students volunteer to teach legal education courses in three Philadelphia prisons.  Students have taught courses such as Criminal Law, Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Mental Health Law, and Employment Law. It’s a mutually beneficial activity: Penn Law students are able to solidify their knowledge as they prepare lesson plans, and the inmates are exposed to a new way of thinking and a new wealth of legal knowledge. Students teach in groups, with an upperclassman serving as the team leader and assigning roles for each group member.  Our teaching curriculum is advised by Penn Law Professors and approved by the Philadelphia Prison System.


The Pennsylvania Innocence Project 

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is a non-profit, public policy organization located at Temple Law School and is comprised of lawyers and law students working to exonerate wrongfully convicted persons through DNA testing and a general reform of the criminal justice system. Students can review case files and other crucial documents to determine whether convicted individuals have a legitimate claim of factual innocence.


Speaker Series

The Prisoners’ Education and Advocacy Project organizes several speaker events and panels each year for the benefit of members and other Penn Law students.  These events are intended to increase understanding and awareness of prison issues amongst the student body.

Please note that PEAP does not accept prisoners’ rights law-related inquiries, conduct case evaluation, or dispense legal advice.