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

News all news

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

    idaho

    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.

     

    more

  • PROPOSITION 57

    In November 2016 , California voters passed Proposition 57. Proposition 57 makes three good changes to the laws:  (1) it allows some prisoners to be considered for early parole; (2) it authorizes the CDCR to enact regulations to grant additional credits to prisoners; and (3) it limits the prosecution of juvenile defendants in adult court.  For more details read our Proposition 57 Information Letter.  

    WHEN WE GET MORE INFORMATION WE WILL POST IT HERE IMMEDIATELY!

  • 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.

     

     

    more

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

    Miriam.jpeg

    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.

  • Two Wardens Retire After Prison Law Office Investigation

    CIW

    SACRAMENTO–The wardens at California’s two major women’s prisons have retired amid allegations of pervasive problems at both institutions, including sexual abuse of female inmates at one prison and suicides at the other.    Full Story

    Follow-up:KQED "California Report" Interview With PLO Director On Abuse of Women Prisoners

    Follow-up:Prison Law Office Reports CCWF Investigation Findings

    From the very top of its former management, CCWF has incubated an institutional culture that permits, condones, and covers up abuse; that allows staff to retaliate against prisoners seeking assistance; and that prevents prisoners from seeking help from entities outside the institution. This corrosive atmosphere of fear and violence stems from  widespread failure of staff to perform the most basic requirements of their jobs.   Full report.

  • North Dakota: DOJ Changes Course After European Criminal Justice Project Participation

    ND DOC

    “If people are spending all of their time in a cage by themselves, it’s not unusual that they’re going to behave in a way that’s not really desirable,” says Karianne Wolfer, Director of Correctional Practices.

    more

  • Phoenix New Times Article Features Prison Law Office Lawsuit Against Arizona Department of Corrections

    The May 19, 2016 cover story of the Phoenix New Times newspaper features the tragic experience of an Arizona woman who needlessly died due to ADC’s and Corizon’s failure to treat her cervical cancer, and details the problems uncovered by the Parsons v. Ryan lawsuit filed by our office, the ACLU, and other attorneys challenging the state’s broken health care system.

  • Alameda County Halts Juvenile Probation Fees

    As a result of efforts by advocates, including the Prison Law Office, thousands of low income Alameda county families will no longer have to pay juvenile probation and public defender fees.

    more

  • California Resolves Long-running Lawsuit Over Youth Prisons

    After 12 years of reform efforts, conditions in California’s Department of Juvenile Justice Facilities  have improved greatly.  As a result, the parties have agreed to end court oversight and monitoring in the Farrell class action lawsuit.

    more

Resources all resources

  • 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.

  • SB260/SB261 Youthful Offender Parole Guide

    freedom youth ini

    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

    stop abuse

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

  • 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.