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
The Last Resort Exoneration Project

The Last Resort Exoneration Project offers free (pro bono) investigative and legal services to the convicted innocent of New Jersey who have plausible and substantial claim of actual innocence, and are willing to cooperate with requests aimed at discovering the truth. If an applicant appears to us to have a legitimate basis for claiming that he or she is factually innocent, they will undertake an independent review of the facts of the case and all surrounding circumstances.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
The MacArthur Justice Center

The MacArthur Justice Center is a nonprofit law firm with locations in Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Washington D.C. It takes on cases regarding police misconduct, solitary confinement, wrongful convictions, and class actions around prison conditions and parole. Now also a law clinic at Northwestern law school. Write to Chicago address for other locations. Serves nationwide but expect delay or form response.


Legal Resources
Thurgood Marshall School of Law Innocence Project

The project only handles claims of actual innocence typically involving DNA evidence testing, mistaken identification, or that a crime never actually occurred. Thurgood Marshall law students work directly on the project and screen cases, obtain and review case histories, investigate facts, interview involved persons, write case time lines and summaries, perform case analyses, and prepare written case evaluations and pleadings. Only serves individuals convicted in Texas.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Tulane University Law Library

Offers photocopies of case-law citations, law review articles, criminal procedures, etc. to prisoners incarcerated in Louisiana jails & parish or state prisons only.  Requests should have specific case cites, docket numbers or article titles, and are limited to one per month and a maximum of 50 pages. Only serves people in LA state prisons or jails; no federal prisoner requests.


Legal Resources
University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic

The University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic seeks to identify individuals who have been convicted in Maryland state courts of crimes they did not commit and to provide them with assistance in the investigation of their claims. In appropriate cases, representation will be provided in post-trial litigation efforts to secure exonerations. Accepts cases of actual innocence in Maryland; DNA and non-DNA cases.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
University of Miami Law Innocence Clinic

The clinic handles cases involving innocent individuals incarcerated for a minimum of 10 years who have new evidence ranging from recanting witnesses to new witnesses discovered by students to prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel. The clinic also accepts cases involving DNA evidence.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
Uptown People's Law Center

The Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC) is the only group in Illinois that actively represents prisoners in both class action matters as well as individual cases due to unconstitutional prison conditions.  UPIC does not take criminal appeals. Illinois prisoners are encouraged to write to UPLC explaining any rights violations they have experienced, as UPLC uses these letters to track trends and inform its lawsuits. Also offers advice to other attorneys in prisoner rights matters. UPLC does not represent individuals in criminal appeals. Serves people in Illinois only.


Legal Resources
US Department of Justice

The Special Litigation Section works to protect civil rights in the following areas: 1) the rights of people in state or local institutions, including: jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities, and health care facilities for persons with disabilities; 2) the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive services in their communities rather than in institutions; 3) the rights of people who interact with state or local police or sheriffs' departments; 4) the rights of youth involved in the juvenile justice system; 5) the rights of people to have safe access to reproductive health care clinics; and 6) the rights of people to practice their religion while confined in institutions. Usually responds with a form letter.


Legal Resources
Washington Innocence Project

In order to qualify for representation, a prisoner must: Be wrongly convicted of crimes in Washington; be unable to afford counsel; no longer have the right to appointed counsel; have completed the direct appeals process; have at least three years of prison time remaining to be served; have a claim of actual innocence that can be proven through DNA testing or other newly discovered evidence; and have no involvement in the crime whatsoever. Must have been convicted in Washington state to qualify.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
West Virginia Innocence Project

Accepts cases of actual innocence in West Virginia; DNA and non-DNA cases; three or more years left to serve; will consider arson and shaken baby syndrome cases. Serves those convicted in West Virginia only.


Legal Resources, Innocence Projects

Pages