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

News all news

  • Alaska Looks to Norway For Better Practices In Their Prisons

    alaskan officials

    KTOO – March 23, 2018,

    A small group of Alaska corrections officers are spending more time getting to know inmates, with a goal of helping them reintegrate in society once they’re released. That’s one of several reforms Alaska officials are drawing from the example of Norway, in making changes to how prisons in the state operate.

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  • Plo Reaches Settlement In Class Action Challenging San Bernardino County Jails

    sbj

    San Bernardino, California (March 28, 2018) –A settlement has been reached in a class action case filed against San Bernardino County regarding the constitutionality of the conditions of confinement in the county jails. Under the settlement county officials have agreed to make improvements in certain areas of jail operations that affect the health and well-being of those who are incarcerated in the county’s jails.

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    Follow-up:San Bernardino County settles class action lawsuit alleging jail inmate civil rights violations

    The Sun – March 28, 2018, 

    A Berkeley-based prisoner rights legal office announced Wednesday, March 28, it has settled its class action lawsuit against San Bernardino County and the Sheriff’s Department alleging inmate civil rights violations at county jails.

     

    Follow-up:Class action jail lawsuit settled as Sheriff’s Department vows series of changes

    Daily Press – 03/28/2018,

    The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit over the conditions of the county’s jails, officials said Wednesday.

  • Arizona News Outlets Spotlight Recent Parsons v. Ryan Court Hearings

    AZ News pic

    NPR – March 2, 2018,  Arizona Prisons Face Federal Sanctions Over Prisoners’ Health Care

    KJZZ 91.5 – March 1, 2018, Mortality Reviews Show Arizona Blames Corizon Health For Inmate Deaths.

    Arizona Daily Sun – February 27, 2018, – Former prison doctor criticizes Department of Correction Medical Delivery System.

    azcentral.  – February 27, 2018,  – Did Arizona’s inmate-care provider deny care to avoid fines? Judge hears testimony in case

    KJZZ 91.5 – February 27, 2018,  – Former prison doctor makes stunning allegations.

    Marshall Project – February 26, 2018,  – A federal judge considers $1 million in fines for one state’s “pervasive and intractable failures.”

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  • Federal Judge Calls Hearing After KJZZ Report on Health Care Delivery In AZ Prisons

    KJZZ, December 20 – Waving his iPad and pointing to a KJZZ story on prison health care, Magistrate Judge David Duncan furiously addressed the courtroom at a Parsons v. Ryan status hearing in federal court Wednesday morning.

  • KJZZ – The Chaos Of AZ Prison Health Care Part 2

    Prison Doctor Speaks –  Dr. Jan Watson “I had never seen anything like that in my life,” she said, her eyes taking on a distant gaze as she recalled her experiences. “I had inmates dropping left and right. It was kind of overwhelming and scary at first, but then, I just – became accustomed to it.”

  • KJZZ – The Chaos Of AZ Prison Health Care Part I

    Delayed Care  –   In 2015, inmates settled a lawsuit with Arizona over poor health care conditions in state prisons. More than two years later, Arizona and its provider have failed to meet the more than 100 stipulations agreed to in the settlement and a federal judge is threatening to fine the state millions of dollars. Inmates have testified in the settlement process to long wait times for medicine, delayed chronic disease care and a lack of access to specialists. The voices in this series confirm those allegations and more, recounting their experiences with the Arizona prison health care system.

  • Some American Prisons Say “I Did It Norway! ” Equals Victory For PLO’s European Prison Project

    marshall

    The Marshall Project-10/31/17

    In August, when the solar eclipse passed over South Boise Women’s Correctional Center in Idaho, the officers held lunch early, handed out protective sunglasses, and invited the women outside to watch the sky. At the Cheshire Correctional Institution in Connecticut, a few prisoners and officers recently played cards together; the warden seemed a little stunned when describing the scene. John Wetzel, who runs the prison system in Pennsylvania, has noticed a shift in tone at annual gatherings of his peers. “We talk more now about the humanity of inmates, and the impact of harsh environments on both staff and inmates,” he said.  The influence: Europe

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  • PLO ANNOUNCEMENT: New Immigration Detention Project

    The Prison Law Office is starting a new project to investigate and litigate conditions in California Immigration Detention Centers.   The following five positions have been created to staff the project.

    (1) Senior Staff Attorney

    (2) Staff Attorney

    (2) Investigators

  • North Dakota Still Focused On Reform Two Years After Visiting Norwegian Prisons With PLO

    Bismark Tribune – October 14, 2017In a Bismarck classroom last month, students learned the Pythagorean theorem.

    They took notes and asked questions as their teacher explained how to calculate the hypotenuse of right triangle. It was fairly normal, except the students and teacher wore the same outfit — jeans and a white T-shirt — and none of them will be allowed to leave school property for several months or years.

    The classroom is inside the North Dakota State Penitentiary. The man teaching that day is serving a 30-year sentence.

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  • ABA Journal Report on PLO’s Annual European Prison Project Tour

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    ABA Journal October 2017 –  Attorney Donald Specter spent more than three decades working to protect the rights of incarcerated people before he finally saw a prison he believed in.

Resources all resources

  • Disability Rights California Celebrates 4 Decades of Civil Rights Advancement

    Disability Rights California investigates conditions in jails, juvenile facilities, immigration detention centers and other facilities that detain people. We started this project in 2015 because we have significant concerns about how people with disabilities are treated behind bars and out of the public’s view. For example, people with mental health conditions often end up in solitary confinement for long periods, causing enormous harm to their mental and physical well-being.

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

    Prop 57

    CDCR 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 are in effect 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 and how to submit public comments are in this Proposition 57 information letter (updated May 2018).   The text of the regulations and additional information are available on the CDCR website.

  • US-European Criminal Justice Program Going Strong

    US-EUR CIP

    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.

  • Youth Offender Parole Guide (SB 260/SB 261/SB 394/AB 1308)

    freedom youth ini

    This Youth Offender Parole Guide provides detailed information about the laws that allow many prisoners to seek early parole for crimes they committed prior to age 26.

  • Transgender Booklet

    stop abuse
  • Art Gallery

    godfather

    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.