Protecting the constitutional rights of people behind bars through
advocacy, education and litigation.

News all news

  • 4 Suicides In 3 Weeks Inside Arizona Prisons

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    Arizona 12 News Reports – Four inmate suicides in three weeks within the state prison system is leaving many unanswered questions. Is there a suicide epidemic?

  • Alaska Public Media: Press Conference At Fairbanks Correctional Center With PLO Executive Director

     May 11, 2017 – During a Tuesday (May 9) press conference outside Fairbanks Correctional Center, Prison Law office Executive Director Donald Specter described Norway’s approach.

    ”In Norway, people who are incarcerated are seen as members of the community, so they’re not forgotten about when they come into a facility,” Specter said. “They’re immediate goal is to try to get them out in a productive way. Norwegian prison systems have a saying, that they want to produce a better neighbor.”

  • PLO Exec. Director Visits Fairbanks Correctional Facility

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  • PLO Selects Alaskan Officials For Next European Prison Project Tour

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    This fall, Alaska officials will travel to Norway to learn how the country’s corrections system has been successful in keeping offenders from committing new crimes.

    The trip is sponsored by the Berkeley-based Prison Law Office, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm focused on improving prison conditions in the United States.

  • USA Today Story – PLO’s “European Prison Project” Has Positive Impact In U.S. Facilities

    March 31, 2017 – USA Today highlights the positive influence PLO sponsored “European Prison Project” has on participants.  States like North Dakota have already implemented a few Norwegian practices, as a result those facilities have seen a decrease in violence.

  • KJZZ Radio Reports: Arizona DOC Doesn’t Measure up, After Two Years of Monitoring by Class Atty’s

    According to a March 30, 2017, radio story by KJZZ 95.1,  Arizona DOC has not yet met the more than 100 medical care measurements ordered by courts in the 2015 settlement of Parsons v. Ryan.

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  • Idaho Prison Officials Agree, More Humane Prison Conditions are Necessary

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    November 25, 2016  – ABC news reports:  Idaho prison chief changes focus to model Norwegian prison practices after spending a week in Norway, courtesy of Prison Law Office.

    The differences between “open prisons” in Norway and America’s traditional “closed” lockups couldn’t be starker.

     

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  • PLO Attorney to Receive Award for Contributions to Youth Justice

    Lynn Wu,  has been nominated by Chief Jill Silva of the Stanislaus County Probation Department to receive the Tim Fitzharris Award.

    The Tim Fitzharris Award is awarded annually to a non-probation employee who has made a significant contribution to the criminal justice system.  Ms. Wu’s nomination is a result of her contributions she has made in improving services for justice-involved youth over the last few years..

  • PLO Co-Sponsored Bill SB-1157 Vetoed by Gov. Brown – In-Person Visits in CA Jails Remain at Risk

    PRESS RELEASE – Office of Senator Holly J. Mitchell

    Sacramento, CA – Today, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 1157, which would have protected in-person visitation in California’s county jails, saying in his veto message that although he was concerned about eliminating in-person visitation, the bill didn’t offer enough flexibility.

     

     

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  • AZ Teen Held in Isolation Commits Suicide After ADOC Ignores Warning From Prison Law Office About Declining Mental Health

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    New evidence shows that a few weeks before a teenager held in solitary confinement at Perryville Prison died in what appears to be an act of suicide, the Arizona Department of Corrections had been specifically warned about her deteriorating mental health and notified that the conditions in which she was being kept likely violated state policy.

Resources all resources

  • Proposition 57: CDCR’s New Credit and Early Parole Regulations

    Prop 57

    CDCR has announced new rules that will grant many prisoners additional good conduct and programming credits and allow some nonviolent prisoners serving determinate sentences to be considered for early parole. The rules will go into affect on an emergency basis while the CDCR undergoes a formal rule-making process to enact the rules on a permanent basis. More information about the regulations in this Proposition 57 information letter. The text of the regulations and additional information is available on the CDCR website.

  • Emergency Regs Prop 57

    Prop 57 Emergency Regs  Described by Fair Sentencing Youth Project.  More information will be posted in the coming days.

  • US-European Criminal Justice Program Going Strong

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    Overview:  The US-European Criminal Justice Innovation Program is working to bring the innovative and humane approaches to sentencing, diversion, treatment (physical and behavioral health), conditions of confinement, and community reentry systems, practiced by the Norwegian Criminal Justice System, applied here in the US.

    North Dakota: DOJ Changes Course: Pilot Program is a Success

    Hawaii:  The Work Begins with First Task Force Meeting

    North Dakota: Judge Learns Valuable Lesson in Norway

    Project Photo Gallery.

  • SB260/SB261 Youthful Offender Parole Guide

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    This Youthful Offender Parole Guide provides detailed information about the laws that allow many prisoners to seek early parole for crimes they committed prior to age 23.  The Guide also has practical tips for convincing the BPH to grant early parole.

  • Transgender Booklet

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    COMMON ISSUES FACING TRANSGENDER PRISONERS:  THE LAW AND SELF-ADVOCACY – (December 2016)

  • Art Gallery

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    See our new art gallery provided by incarcerated individuals.

  • California State Prisoners Handbook

    CA Prisoners Handbook

    The California State Prisoners Handbook is a unique and valuable resource for prisoners, and their attorneys and advocates. The Handbook discusses in detail the laws governing prisoner rights and the policies and practices of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The 1,100-page Fourth Edition (2008) also includes numerous sample forms and model pleadings. 2014 Supplement Now Available. How to order

  • Inside Books Project Resource Guide

    Inside Books Project

    Inside Books Project offers a Resource Guide with helpful resources targeted to inmates and their loved ones.  The entire IBP Resource Guide is included below both as a searchable online resource and as a downloadable PDF.

  • Proposition 47

    In November, 2014, the voters of California passed Proposition 47, which changes many property and drug-possession offenses to regular misdemeanors.  Learn more by seeing our Information re: Proposition 47.

  • Jailhouse Lawyer’s Handbook

    Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook

    The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Handbook is a resource for prisoners who wish to file a federal lawsuit addressing poor conditions in prison or abuse by prison staff. It also contains limited general information about the American legal system. This Handbook is available for free to anyone: prisoners, families, friends, activists, lawyers and others.