LEGAL HELP FOR THE INCARCERATED
For detailed information of getting legal help while still in prison, see:
The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Handbook
The Center for Constitutional Rights
666 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10012
Or online at: http://jailhouselaw.org
Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers, Inc.
906 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW
Atlanta, GA 30310
Information for incarcerated mothers.
American Civil Liberties Union National Office
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
The biggest civil liberties organization in the country. They have a National
Prison Project and a Reproductive Freedom Project, which might be helpful to
women prisoners. Write them for information about individual chapters. See
Appendix J for some of their publications for people in prison.
American Friends Service Committee Criminal Justice Program – National
1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia PA, 19102
Human and civil rights issues, research/analysis, women prisoners, prisoner support.
1904 Franklin St., Suite 507
Oakland, CA 94612
Publishes a quarterly magazine, Prison Focus, and other publications. Focuses
organizing efforts on CA and on SHU conditions.
Center for Constitutional Rights
666 Broadway, 7th floor
New York, NY 10012
Legal organization that brings impact cases around prison conditions,
co-publisher of this handbook.
Criminal Justice Policy Coalition
15 Barbara St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Involved in policy work around numerous prison issues.
Critical Resistance - National Office
1904 Franklin St., Suite 504
Oakland, CA 94612
Uniting people in prison, former prisoners, and family members to lead a movement to
abolish prisons, policing, surveillance, and other forms of control.
Family and Corrections Network
32 Oak Grove Road
Palmyra, VA 22963
Center for Children of Prisoners
Child Welfare League of America
1726 M St. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Friends and Families of Incarcerated Persons
PO Box 93601, Las Vegas, NV, 89193
Legal resources for friends and families of prisoners.
Human Rights Watch Prison Project
350 5th Ave. 34th Floor New York NY 10118-3299
National organization dedicated to research, analysis, and publicizing human rights
violations, and working towards stopping them.
Equality, Inc. (only for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV
40 Exchange Place, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10005
Lambda Legal (only
for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, & HIV+ people)
120 Wall Street, Suite 1500
New York, NY 10005-3904
in Spanish, Inc.
Publicaciones Legales en Espanol, Inc.
PO Box 623
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
Legal resources in Spanish, focusing mostly on criminal defense and federal courts.
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
1540 Market St., Suite 490
San Francisco, CA 94102
Legal resources and issues around women in prison, including guides and manuals for
people in prison with children.
National Center for
Lesbian Rights (only for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people)
870 Market St. Ste. 370, San Francisco, CA 94102 English, Spanish
National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women
125 South 9th Street #302
Philadelphia PA 19107
Legal and other assistance for battered women.
Guild, National Office
132 Nassau Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10038 Membership
organization of progressive lawyers. Co- publisher of this Handbook.
Safety and Justice – Prison Program
825 N.E. 20th Ave., #250, Portland, OR 97232 Produces a Prisoner
Support Directory, advocates for programs for prisoners, visitors’ rights,
and against legislation that erodes the human rights of people in prison.
Peter Cicchino Youth
Project of the Urban Justice Center (only for lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender youth age 24 or under) 123 William Street 16th Floor,
New York, NY, 10038 English, Spanish
PO Box 70447, Oakland, CA 94612 Clearinghouse for
information and resources on organizing for prisoners rights, prison issues,
anti-racism. Produce a free directory / resource packet for people in prison.
Prison Law Office -
General Delivery, San Quentin CA 94964 Legal
services and resources in California for individual prisoners and class
actions. Publishers of The California State
Prisoners Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Prison and
Prisoner Self Help
Very good self-help legal kits on a variety of issues,
available only electronically at www.pshlc.org.
Southern Center for
83 Poplar St. NW Atlanta, GA, 30303-2122 Provides
legal representation to people facing the death penalty, challenges human
rights violations in prisons and jails. Legal resources are available.
Southern Poverty Law
P.O. Box 548 Montgomery AL 36101 Legal resources and
Prisoner Diabetes Handbook and Protecting Your
Health and Safety: Prisoners Rights. Also files class-action suits around
Sylvia Rivera Law
Project (only for low income people and people of color who are trans,
intersex, or gender nonconforming) 322 8th Ave., 3rd Floor, New
York, NY 10001
English, Spanish, Hindi
TGI Justice Project (only
for transgender, gender variant, and intersex people) c/o
Alexander Lee, Attorney at Law 342 9th St., 202B, San Francisco, CA 94103
Justice Law Project of Illinois (only for trans and gender variant
N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
PRISONER’S RIGHTS BOOKS AND NEWSLETTERS
The Bluebook: A
Uniform System of Citation. Write to: Attn Business Office, Bluebook
Orders, Harvard Law Review Association, Gannett House, 1511 Massachusetts Ave.,
Cambridge, MA 02138. Cost is $32.00 plus shipping.
Brief Writing and
Oral Argument, 9th edition. Guidance on preparing effective oral and
written arguments, especially relating to the Courts of Appeals. Send $50.50
and order to: Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513
Rights of Prisoners, 9th edition. Unfortunately, this is no longer
available directly from the publisher, but family members can order through
bookstores like Powells.com.
Cohen and Olson’s
Legal Research in a Nutshell, 8th Edition. West Publishing, 610
Opperman Drive, Eagan, MN 55123. Cost is $33.00.
Fortune News. Newsletter
from the Fortune Society, specifically for prisoners. The majority of the
writers are prisoners / ex-prisoners. Free. Write to: The Fortune Societies,
Attn: Fortune News Subscriptions, 29-76 Northern Blvd, Long Island City, NY
the Legal System of the United States. This publication will help
you understand the principles of the U.S. legal system. Send $33.00 and order
to: Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513
Law Offices of Alan
Ellis, PC. Attorney Alan Ellis has a number of publications available.,
including the Federal Prison
Guidebook for $85.98 (CA residents add $6.52 sales tax). To order
the Guidebook, write to: James Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 25202, Santa Ana, CA
92799-5202. Many free resources available online at www.alanellis.com, if you
have a friend on the outside to help.
Inside/Out: The Voices of Mothers in Prison, $12.00. 809 Westchester
Ave., Bronx, NY 10455
Guide to Survival. A comprehensive legal assitance manual for
post-conviction relief and prisoners’ civil rights. For prisoners, send $54.95
to: PSI Publishing, Inc., 413-B 19th Street, #168, Lynden, WA 98264
Prison Legal News. A
monthly newsletter. Highly recommended.
The best source of the latest prison-related legal news. A 12 month
subscription is $24. Send check and order to: P.O. Box 2420, West Battleboro,
Assistance Directory is published by the American Civil Liberties
Union Prison Project. It includes contact information and services descriptions
for over 300 national, state, local and international organizations that
provide assistance to prisoners, ex- offenders and families of prisoners. It
also includes a bibliography of informative books, reports, manuals and
newsletters of interest to prisoners and their advocates. Latest edition was
updated in 2007. It can be downloaded for free at www.aclu.org . They also
publish a newsletter twice a year that is $2 for prisoners. Send a check or
money order to National Prison Project Publications, 915 15th St., NW, 7th
Floor Washington, DC 20005.
Self-Help Litigation Manual, 4th Edition. Highly recommended. The Fourth Edition of this well-respected
resource was published in 2010. It is a very detailed book on prisoners’
constitutional and federal rights, as well as information on how to file and
proceed with a lawsuit. It includes lots of citations to relevant cases. Send
$39.95 and order to: Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513
Health & Safety is a publication of the Southern Poverty Law
Center, and explains the legal rights inmates have regarding health and safety
– including the right to medical care and to be free from inhumane treatment.
Send $16 and your request to: Protecting Your Health and Safety, Prison Legal
News, P. O. Box 2420, West Battleboro, VT 05303.
Women in Prison
Health Packet. A health manual free for women prisoners. Send requests
to: Oberlin Action Against Prisons, P.O. Box 285 Oberlin, OH 44074.