Resources: Legal Resources

PARC corresponds with and mails a directory of these resources to prisoners, their friends and family members. We are often the first point of contact for people to connect with prisoners' rights organizations, community organizations, prison literature and arts projects, family and visiting resources, health care and legal resources, parole and pre-release resources, and the prison abolition movement.

Download a PDF copy of the 2022 edition linked here.

Resource Category
Abolitionist Law Center

The ALC is a public interest law firm inspired by the struggle of political and politicized prisoners, and organized for the purpose of abolishing class and race based mass incarceration in the United States. To accomplish this goal, the ALC engages in litigation on behalf of people whose human rights have been violated in prison, produces educational programs to inform the general public about the evils of mass incarceration, and works to develop a mass movement against the American penal system by building alliances and nurturing solidarity across social divisions. Only accepts very select cases, primarily in Pennsylvania


Legal Resources
Alaska Innocence Project

All cases for consideration by AKIP should be submitted by mail to the address above with a brief factual summary of the case and a list of the evidence which might be available to prove innocence. No other documents should be submitted for initial review. AKIP does not accept telephone or e-mail applications.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Arizona Justice Project

Accepts both DNA and non-DNA cases and represents indigent Arizona prisoners whose claims of innocence have gone unheeded. They also conduct post-conviction DNA testing in cases of forcible rape, murder, and non-negligent homicide cases, shaken baby syndrome and arson and other cases where the testing might demonstrate actual innocence. Serves Arizona only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
California Innocence Project

Accepts cases only where the conviction occurred in the following Southern California counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura (for all other CA counties, see the Northern California Innocence Project). In addition to DNA cases, they also review cases that may involve witness recantations, changes in science, government misconduct, or ineffective assistance of counsel – so long as there is evidence of innocence to support the claim. Serves people convicted in Southern California counties only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Center on Wrongful Convictions - Women's Project

The Center of Wrongful Convictions Women's Project monitors potential cases of wrongfully convicted women across the country, facilitates the sharing of information about such cases, and educates the public about relevant issues. They consider cases in which the person seeking assistance must be in no way responsible for the crimes of which she was convicted, and the trial must be completed and have resulted in a conviction and sentence.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Accepts cases of actual innocence in the United States, both DNA and non-DNA Cases. Will consider arson and shaken baby syndrome cases. No sentence requirements. All requests must come directly from the person seeking representation.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth

The CWCY is the only innocence project in the country that focuses exclusively on individuals who were convicted or accused of crimes when they were adolescents or younger. They are dedicated to identifying, investigating, and litigating credible innocence claims of wrongfully convicted young people and preventing future wrongful convictions.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Centurion Ministries, Inc.

Advocacy and investigative organization that considers cases of factual innocence primarily in murder and rape cases carrying life or death sentences, but other cases of factual innocence may be considered. They do not take on accidental death, self-defense cases, or cases where the defendant had any involvement in the crime. Prisoners fitting the above criteria may send a letter (four pages or less) outlining the facts of the case, with a summary including the following points: what they were convicted of; brief description of the crime; why they were arrested and taken to trial; what evidence was used to convict; and what evidence there is that points toward innocence.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Columbia Legal Services

The Institutions Project represents people confined in Washington's jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities, mental health facilities, and facilities for people with developmental disabilities. This work has focused on conditions of confinement, discrimination, sentencing and placement, alternatives to institutionalization, and access to courts, as well as issues related to rehabilitation, re-entry, and reductions in recidivism. Serves people in Washington state only.


Legal Resources
Committee for Public Counsel Services Innocence Program

The CPCS Innocence Program aims to identify and litigate new trial motions on behalf of indigent Massachusetts state defendants who are actually innocent of the crimes of which they have been convicted. They review and litigate both DNA and non-DNA based innocence claims, with special attention to cases involving eyewitness identification evidence, false confessions, and flawed or invalidated forensic science testimony. Write for questionnaire. Do not send original documents. Serves Massachusetts only. 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Connecticut Innocence Project

Accepts cases of actual innocence in Connecticut; DNA and non-DNA cases. Sentence must include at least a ten year period of incarceration and be no less than five years from estimated release date. There must be some new evidence in the case which would establish innocence. Serves Connecticut only. 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Death Penalty Information Center

DPIC focuses on disseminating studies and reports related to the death penalty to the news media and general public covering subjects such as race, innocence, politicization, costs of the death penalty, and more. Most of their publications are freely downloadable from their website, or available for a small fee in printed format. Request a copy of their “Resource Order Form,” and also a current list of their publications.


Legal Resources, Death Penalty Resources
Disability Rights Texas

Advocacy for disabled people in Texas, including those in some correctional facilities. Write for handout: Disability Discrimination in Correctional Facilities, or Suing a Government Entity for an Injury. Only serves people in Texas.


Legal Resources
Equal Justice Initiative

Provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system. They litigate on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or charged with violent crimes, poor people denied effective representation, and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or prosecutorial misconduct. Mostly works with people in Southern states.


Legal Resources
Family Law Project

Wisconsin Law students work under an experienced family law attorney and clinical professor to represent incarcerated parents and others in their family law matters including divorce, paternity actions, child support, child placement, visitation, guardianship, etc. They also provide pro se information and forms. Serves Wisconsin only.  


Legal Resources
Florida Justice Institute

The Florida Justice Institute (FJI) is a public interest law firm that conducts civil rights litigation and advocacy in the areas of prisoners’ rights, housing discrimination, disability discrimination, and other areas impacting the poor and disenfranchised. This includes cases for persons currently or formerly incarcerated in a Florida prison or jail involving mistreatment while incarcerated, or involving the conditions of the facility. Does not assist with criminal law cases or postconviction cases such as habeas corpus petitions.Only serves people in Florida. 


Legal Resources
Florida Legal Services

The Florida Institutional Legal Services Project at Florida Legal Services focuses on systemic reform litigation, community lawyering, and policy advocacy to protect the rights of adults and youth who are incarcerated in prisons, jails, and juvenile justice facilities throughout Florida. The FILS Project publishes the Florida Manual for Incarcerated Parents (2008), which may be downloaded from their website or obtained by writing to the above address. The FILS Project also has reentry information packets available for download that include a list of resources for each county in FL to assist individuals who are returning to their communities from institutions. Only serves people in Florida. 

 


Legal Resources
George C. Cochran Innocence Project (Mississippi)

The Project currently accepts applications for legal representation from prisoners convicted in Mississippi who believe that they may have a claim of actual innocence.  The Project only reviews cases from central and north Mississippi counties-excluding 30 south Mississippi counties served by the Innocence Project New Orleans (see LOUISIANA listing). The Project only accepts application requests directly from prisoners and only by mail.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Georgetown Law Journal Annual Review of Criminal Procedure

As a comprehensive survey of all criminal procedure in the federal courts. The ARCP is a single issue per year edition that provides readers with objective, concise and accurate overview of criminal procedure and recent case-law decisions in the United States Supreme Court and each of the 12 Federal Circuit Courts. The $25 discounted rate is only honored for orders sent directly to correctional facilities, $85 for standard retail rate. Ask a friend or loved one to email for the discounted order form, and have them mail it to you or write to the Office of Journal Administration-ARCP for a copy to be mailed directly to you. Please make checks and money orders payable to: Georgetown Law Journals-ARCP. VISA/Mastercard  payments are accepted via fax at 845-267-3478. Refunds are not available for discount orders. Orders are shipped USPS, so please allow up to 4-6 weeks for delivery. Tax must be included if shipping to DC (5.75%), VA (5.0%), MD (6%), NY (7.0%), TN (7% state & 2.25% local). Expect delays; Do not send money order or check without an order form.


Legal Resources
Georgia Innocence Project

Accepts cases of actual innocence in Georgia; DNA and non-DNA cases; you must have at least five years left on your sentence to serve in prison, or you must be on the Georgia Sex Offender Registry. Serves Georgia Only.


 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Great North Innocence Project

Reviews wrongful convication cases where newly discovered evidence is identified and can provide clear and convincing proof of actual innocence. Actual innocence means the defendant played no role in the commission sof the crime. Serves Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project

The Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project is a law student clinic providing service to indigent inmates, including advocacy for those charged with violating prison regulations, people appearing before Parole Board and disciplinary hearings, and research assistance for domestic post-conviction. Because this program is university-affiliated, it may not be staffed during transitional periods in the academic schedule. Collect calls accepted. Provides administrative advocacy, not litigation; they do not take on any direct legal representation. Serves people in Mass only.


Legal Resources
Hawaii Innocence Project

Legal non-profit clinic accepts applications from anyone who has been convicted of a crime occurring in Hawai'i AND is factually innocent of that crime. Applications can be downloaded from the website or can be mailed to you. Serves Hawaii only. Expect delays in the summer and due to covid.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Idaho Innocence Project

Idaho prisoners with at least 5 years remaining on their sentence must write a letter directly for assistance, clearly stating his or her innocence. The project accepts only post-conviction cases from prisoners who do not currently have legal counsel.  They will respond to the letter and let the prisoner know if any further information is needed before making a decision about their case. Do not send any legal documents or originals. Serves Idaho Only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Illinois Innocence Project

Reviews cases where the applicant claims to be actually innocent of the crime(s) for which he or she is convicted. Must be substantial new evidence to support a claim of innocence, such as DNA evidence. Must have at least 8 years left on your sentence and not already be represented. Cannot take on all applicants. Expect delays, especially during summer. Serves Illinois only. 


 

 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Innocence and Justice Clinic

Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in North Carolina; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements. Serves North Carolina only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Innocence Matters

A very small number of post-conviction cases are accepted where Innocence Matters assumes the role of the lead lawyer, but only if the following criteria are met: Inmate is currently serving time for a Los Angeles County case; is factually innocent; is indigent and is willing to take and able to pass a polygraph; or if inmate has been rejected by the California Innocence Project. Please understand that we have a long waiting list and it will be many months before you hear back from us.  DO NOT SEND CASE MATERIALS!  LARGE ENVELOPES WILL BE RETURNED UNOPENED. Due to the incredibly high volume of requests we receive, there is no guarantee we will be handle your case even if you are eligible for our services.


 

 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Innocence Project (national)

The Innocence Project works to exonerate the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms to the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices. They accept only cases in which DNA testing can prove innocence. Write to request intake form. Accepts applications nationwide EXCEPT from AZ, CA, IL, MI, OH, WI or Puerto Rico.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Innocence Project at the UVA School of Law

Evaluates cases of wrongful convictions if three criteria are met: (1) the inmate must have been convicted of a crime in Virginia, (2) the conviction must be final, and (3) the inmate is actually innocent of the crime of which he or she was convicted. Decision is based on the likelihood of being able to prove innocence, the availability of legal remedies, and capacity. To be considered, send a letter requesting their application packet. Serves Virginia only. 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Innocence Project New Orleans

Accepts cases of factual innocence; must be serving a life sentence or a near-life sentence with at least 10 years left to be served; direct appeal has been denied; cannot afford an attorney; is not serving a sentence on another conviction. Serves Louisiana and South Mississippi only.


 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects

Pages