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
Innocence Project of Florida

Accepts cases of actual innocence in Florida; DNA and Non-DNA cases. No sentence requirements. Does not accept federal cases or cases on direct appeal. Also provides transitional and aftercare services to exonerees. Serves Florida only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Innocence Project of Iowa

Reviews and litigates cases of wrongful conviction in Iowa. It partners with the Midwest Innocence Project and the Wrongful Conviction Division of the State Public Defender of Iowa in its review and litigation of cases. Most likely to take cases that include: DNA evidence; mistaken eyewitness identification; false confessions; convictions due to police, prosecutorial, or judicial neglect or misconduct; unreliable scientific methods, tests, or procedures; false witness testimony; and egregious defense counsel neglect or misconduct. Write for a questionnaire. Serves Iowa only.


 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Innocence Project of Texas

The Innocence Project of Texas can only review cases that meet the following tests: The prisoner is claiming actual innocence; the conviction is a felony which took place in a Texas state court; and all direct appeals have been completed. Does not accept requests for assistance via email, phone, or fax. Serves Texas state prisoners only (no federal).


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Kentucky Innocence Project

Prospective clients should meet the following criteria: a Kentucky conviction & incarceration; a minimum ten-year sentence; a minimum of three years until eligible to go before the parole board or if parole has been deferred, a minimum of three years to the next appearance before the parole board; new evidence of innocence discovered since the conviction which can be investigated; and a claim of actual innocence. Serves Kentucky only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Korey Wise Innocence Project at Colorado Law

The Korey Wise Innocence Project (fKWIP) will not take cases in which the defendant already has a lawyer, or is entitled to a lawyer at state expense. The KWIP will take a case only where there is a genuine and provable claim of innocence. The KWIP gets involved only when the traditional methods of appealing a conviction have failed. Only Colorado cases will be accepted (state and federal). Write for a copy  of evaluation criteria.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Legal Action Center

The Legal Action Center’s mission is to assist New York state residents to fight discrimination against those with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas. Write for list of publications.Serves New York state only.


Legal Resources
Loyola Law School's Project for the Innocent

Dedicated to the exoneration of the wrongfully convicted. If a true claim of innocence is provable, clinic students will help draft a habeas petition. Must have case for factual innocence, have exhausted all their appeals, and are no longer represented by an attorney. Serves California only. Expect delays in the summer.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
McKinney Wrongful Conviction Clinic

Students represent indigent clients seeking relief from wrongful Indiana convictions in state post-conviction and/or federal habeas corpus proceedings. State cases are accepted in cooperation with the Office of the State Public Defender. Accepts cases of actual innocence; DNA and Non-DNA Cases; will consider arson, Shaken Baby Syndrome, and child abuse cases. Serves Indiana only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Michigan Innocence Clinic

Accepts cases of actual innocence in Michigan; non-DNA cases only; no sentence requirements. The prisoner must not be currently represented by counsel and the crime and conviction must have occurred in Michigan. 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project

Free investigative and legal assistance to prisoners convicted in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia who are factually innocent and whose innocence can be proven by DNA testing or by other newly discovered evidence. The prisoner must not be currently represented by another attorney in his or her criminal case, or have the right to appointed counsel in the case. Write for questionnaire. District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Midwest Innocence Project

Accepts cases of actual innocence in AR, IA, KS, MO, and NE; applicant must have more than 10 years left to serve on their sentence; cannot be currently represented by another attorney; must have exhausted all appeals. Also reviews death penalty cases. Partners with the Iowa Innocence Project; if you write to both, expect only one response. Serves Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska only.


 

 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Montana Innocence Project

Accepts DNA and non-DNA cases. Prisoners must have been convicted of a felony crime in a Montana state or federal court; must have completed trial, sentencing and direct appeals; must not currently be represented by an attorney. Priority is given to cases where convincing and corroborating evidence can establish actual innocence. Serves Montana only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
National Office of the NLG - Prison Law Project

The National Office of the National Lawyers Guild in New York does not provide lawyers or legal assistance; they offer free membership for jailhouse lawyers, which includes the ability to vote on national resultions and to receive the quarterly publication, Guild Notes. Also publishes Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook with Center for Constitutional Rights. See PARC RECOMMENDED BOOKS at the end of this Directory for more info on how to order. If CCR does not respond to your request for the Handbook in 2+ months, then request from the National NLG.  There is also an online form available at https://www.jailhouselaw.org/ to request a Handbook.


 


Legal Resources
New England Innocence Project

Accepts cases of actual innocence in CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, and  VT in which the prisoner has a claim of factual innocence; no time requirement DNA and non-DNA cases; will consider arson and shaken baby syndrome cases; may consider child abuse cases. Serves New England states, except New York.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
New Mexico Innocence and Justice Project

NMIJP’s primary mission is to provide assistance and referrals to people wrongfully convicted in our state. NMIJP is an independent organization, and has no affiliation with any other project in New Mexico. They will be opening to review and refer cases soon. In the meantime, please direct questions or concerns to info@nmijp.org. Serves New Mexico only. 


 

 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence

Accepts cases of actual innocence in North Carolina; DNA and non-DNA cases; will consider arson and shaken baby syndrome cases, and may consider child abuse cases; typically limit to those in custody, but exceptions are made. Serves North Carolina only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission was created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2006 and is charged with providing an independent and balanced truth-seeking forum for credible post-conviction claims of innocence in North Carolina. The Commission is separate from the appeals process. A person exonerated by the Commission process is declared innocent and cannot be re-tried again. Serves North Carolina only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Northern California Innocence Project

Accepts actual innocence cases for people convicted in a Northern or Central California county; DNA and non-DNA cases; no minimum sentence requirements. The applicant must have been convicted in state court of a serious felony. Will consider cases involving faulty forensic science, police or prosecutor misconduct, ineffective assistance of counsel, eyewitness misidentification, false testimony and false confessions. Northern and Central California only.


 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Ohio Innocence Project

Accepts cases of actual innocence in Ohio; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements. Only serves prisoners in Ohio.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Ohio Public Defender Wrongful Conviction Project

Cases accepted for review: Cases of actual innocence in Ohio; non-DNA cases only; arson cases; Shaken Baby Syndrome cases; child sex abuse cases; all other claims of actual innocence. Serves Ohio only.


 

 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Oklahoma Innocence Project

The Oklahoma Innocence Project accepts cases of actual innocence in Oklahoma; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements. Must have credible evidence of factual innocence and be convicted in Oklahoma state court (no federal convictions). Serves Oklahoma only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Oregon Innocence Project

The Oregon Innocence Project's mission is to exonerate the innocent, educate and train law students, and promote legal reforms aimed at preventing wrongful convictions.They provide free legal assistance to inmates convicted in an Oregon court who assert factual innocence, and where there is the possibility of proving innocence. Serves Oregon only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Palmetto Innocence Project

Focuses on claims of actual innocence or contentions of serious injustice in the criminal process exist. Must have at least 3 years left on sentence; conviction/appeals are final; and new evidence of innocence, such as DNA evidence, key trial witness recantation (e.g. change in testimony), or other credible evidence substantially affecting the case result. Serves South Carolina only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Pennsylvania Innocence Project

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project only takes on cases from factually innocent individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and exhausted their appeals. The Project takes on cases with or without DNA evidence, and will consider arson, shaken baby syndrome, and child abuse cases. Only serves people convicted in Pennsylvania.


 


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project

PILP seeks to deliver civil legal services to the institutional population in Pennsylvania, and was created and designed to meet the needs of low income residents of PA prisons, jails, hospitals, and state centers. PILP also publishes (or provides) free copies of the a number of legal publications.  Write for more info. Most resources only for prisoners in Pennsylvania.


Legal Resources
People’s Law Office

Fights for justice for people in Illinois who have been tortured or physically abused, wrongfully arrested or convicted, unfairly sentenced to death, or targeted as a result of their political beliefs or organizing efforts on behalf of movements struggling for justice and liberation. Serves Illinois only. May have delays due to covid.


Legal Resources
Prison Law Office

The Prison law Office litigates and monitors California and Arizona class action lawsuits regarding medical care, mental health care, and disabled access for prisoners. Also has extensive set of legal informational handouts. Write with your specific questions and they will send you a packet if they have one that applies. Se habla Español. Serves Californians and Arizonans only.


Legal Resources
Prison Legal News

Prison Legal News (PLN) is a project of the Human Rights Defense Center. It is a 72-page monthly journal covering prison related news, summaries of recent case-law decisions affecting prisoners, and analysis from across the country. A one-year subscription is $30 for prisoners, $35 for individuals and $90 for lawyers and institutions. Single copies of current or back issues are $5. PLN also sells many books related to prison issues; write for a copy of their book list - see PARC's recommendations at the back of this directory! Serves nationally.


Legal Resources
Reinvestigation Project

Accepts cases of wrongful conviction and actual innocence for felony convictions that were previously assigned to OAD on appeal. Cases are randomly assigned by the court, and consist of indigent defendants who were convicted in the Bronx and Manhattan. OAD’s Reinvestigation Project works on DNA and non-DNA wrongful conviction cases and does not have any sentence requirements. At this time, the Reinvestigation Project is not funded to accept cases that have not been assigned to the office on direct appeal.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Rocky Mountain Innocence Center

Accepts cases of actual innocence in Nevada, Wyoming or Utah; DNA and non-DNA cases; seven or more years left to serve on sentence; must be completely innocent; significant new evidence must be available to prove the prisoner’s innocence.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects

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