Our vision: A federal carceral system that
is oriented toward rehabilitation
and operates with accountability
to its residents, their family members
and the broader justice community.

Advocacy and accountability
through education

Supporting incarcerated people and the federal justice community

“The corrections system is one of the most overlooked, misunderstood institutions we have in our entire government…We have no interest in corrections. Nobody looks at it."
- Justice Anthony Kennedy

Halden Prison, Norway

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, U.S.

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Services We Provide

The core operating principle of the Prison Education and Reform Alliance (PERA) is that the most effective first line of response to both shortcomings in care and abuses of authority is to work with the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in a non-adversarial manner, leveraging its own policies and procedures to bring about change.


By offering interactive learning opportunities that facilitate a nuanced understanding of what makes the BOP "tick" and how to leverage the agency's own policies, we help improve outcomes and institutional experiences.

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Case Management

Our team of former "insiders" helps incarcerated people and their families navigate the nuances of the federal prison system, by defining realistic goals and, if possible, achieving them in a non-adversarial way. 

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Our “treasure chest” of curated and unique content, including FOIA documents, expands the understanding of the broader justice community of how the BOP operates and can be influenced.

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Halden Prison

Halden prison in Norway is frequently visited by U.S. officials and advocates because it is considered a carceral environment with a treatment focus and humane conditions. It is one of Norway’s largest prisons and  its residents include those with high-security classifications. It offers higher education and emphasizes interdisciplinary cooperation.

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

Alcatraz Federal penitentiary, also known simply as The Rock, was a maximum-security federal prison on an island off the coast of San Francisco. Alcatraz typifies U.S. draconian correctional practices that emphasize incapacitation over rehabilitation. PERA believes that a greater prioritization of positive incentives and a treatment focus would create safer, more productive facilities.   


Federal defenders are the “rock stars” of the legal community. We are proud to support their work, resulting in better outcomes for their clients. These testimonials illustrate the effectiveness of our training and education.


PERA staff have conducted several training sessions for judges from coast to coast. Federal judges are extremely inquisitive about prison issues and we provide practical information and context so the realities and impact of a sentence are better understood, resulting in more fair sentencing decisions. 


One of the most satisfying aspects of advocacy is helping families advocate for their loved ones. PERA provides information on BOP policy and who to contact and how. Family members are often exploited via direct marketing and slick PR that encourage unrealistic expectations. Spouses, parents and children can be tenacious advocates if they know BOP policy and process, along with what is achievable.  


NGOs and academics studying federal justice issues need accurate information and advice, not only on BOP policy, but also on how those policies are implemented. We collectively have over 100 years experience in all aspects of federal prison policy implementation. Our library of historical archives also is unique and helpful. And for the media, this means helping to ensure their reporting is accurate and includes the perspectives of both staff and prisoners.


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