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 2019 Resource Guide.

Resource Category
Prisoners' Rights Office

This section of the Vermont Office of the Defender General handles prisoners' rights cases. Serves people in Vermont only.

Legal Resources
Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts

Prisoners’ Legal Services provides legal representation and administrative advocacy in civil (non-criminal) matters related to prisoners’ treatment in Massachusetts prisons and jails, and upon release on parole. Only serves indigent or poor, current or former Mass prisoners in issues including inadquate medical or mental health care, assaults or violence by staff, unsafe or inhumane conditions in Mass jails or prisons, arbitrary use of isolation, and/or unfair denial or revocation of parole. Serves people in Mass. only.

Legal Resources
Promise of Justice Initiative

Legal services nonprofit that advocates for humane, faire, and equal treatment of individuals in jails and prison. Has a prison conditions project fighting to end the death penalty and solitary confinement in Louisiana prisons. Has litigated issues including medical care at Angola, inhumane heat, and conditions in Baton Rouge Parish prison. Serves people in Louisiana only.

Legal Resources
Reinvestigation Project

Accepts cases of actual innocence for felony convictions in Manhattan and the Bronx. The client is assigned to OAD on appeal; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements. Cases are randomly assigned by the court, and consist of indigent defendants who were convicted in the Bronx and Manhattan. 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
Southern Center for Human Rights

SCHR provides legal representation to people facing the death penalty in Georgia and Alabama only, as well as in cases of unconstitutional conditions of confinement. SCHR also publishes the Georgia Parole Handbook and the Gerogie Prison Advocacy Handbook, which helps explain the hierarchy in the GDC and how to maneuver within in it. Through this handbook families and friends of people incarcerated in Georgia will learn how to become advocates and implement appropriate and effective steps to resolve problems inside Georgia prisons. Both handbooks are available for download. Serves people in Georgia and Alabama only.

Legal Resources
Stanford Justice Advocacy Project

The Stanford Justice Advocacy Project represents inmates serving unjust prison sentences for minor crimes, assists released prisoners successfully reentering their communities, and advocates for fairer and more effective criminal justice policies in California and across the country. Mostly works on three strikes cases out of California. Expect delay or no response if they cannot serve you.

Legal Resources
Texas Civil Rights Project

The Texas Civil Rights Project works on criminal justice reform with projects including ending solitary confinement in Texas, challenging debtor's prison practices, ending tortuous heat conditions, and improving mental health. Does not provide individual representation. Serves Texans only.

Legal Resources
The Exoneration Initiative

Accepts cases of actual innocence in New York; DNA and non-DNA cases (specializes in non-DNA); no sentence requirements.

Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
The Exoneration Project

The Exoneration Project is a legal clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. It reviews cases of innocence for people who have gone to trial and were found guilty of crimes they did not commit. They consider post-conviction cases from across the nation for individuals wrongfully convicted of different types of crimes and with different sentence lengths, including cases where a defendant has served their complete sentence or plead guilty. They do not consider cases of self-defense. In order to apply for representation, the defendant must be innocent of the crime and the trial must be completed and have resulted in a conviction.

Legal Resources, Innocence Projects