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Welcome to Prison Legal News!

Prison Legal News (PLN), a project of the non-profit Human Rights Defense Center, is a 72-page monthly magazine that reports on criminal justice issues and prison and jail-related civil litigation, with an emphasis on prisoners' rights. PLN has published continuously since 1990 and covers a wide range of topics that include prison labor, rape and sexual abuse, misconduct by prison and jail staff, prisoners' constitutional rights, racial and socioeconomic disparities in our criminal justice system, medical and mental health care for prisoners, disenfranchisement, rehabilitation and recidivism, prison privatization, prison and jail phone rates, women prisoners, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), prison censorship, the death penalty, HIV and hep C, solitary confinement and control units, and much more.

In 2013, PLN received the First Amendment Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. 

This website includes all of PLN's articles published since 1990 plus thousands of other articles, case reports, publications and pleadings. 

To search PLN's articles and other content, click "Search Content" on the top menu bar. For recent news articles that mention PLN and the Human Rights Defense Center or quote PLN staff, click "In the News" (which also includes our press releases). For our litigation project, which tracks our First Amendment lawsuits, public records cases and other legal actions, click "Litigation."

PLN's monthly magazine is a subscription publication. We have thousands of subscribers nationwide, and around 65-70% are incarcerated. We also offer website subscriptions that provide full access to all content on our website (most of our news content is free, but a subscription is required to access some of our legal content). For subscription options and fees, please click on "Subscribe" on the menu bar.

PLN also distributes a number of criminal justice, legal and self-help books through our Book Store. Plus we do much more -- for a better understanding of everything we do, please review our Annual Reports (also available under the "About" tab).


     Recent PLN Articles

“This Man Will Almost Certainly Die”

Dozens of men have died in disturbing circumstances in privatized, immigrant-only prisons.
The Bureau of Prisons itself says there’s a problem. And yet the privatization scheme continues.

by Seth Freed Wessler, The Nation

Where Claudio Fagardo-Saucedo grew up, on the colonial streets of the Mexican city of Durango, migrating ...

Missouri County Settles Suit Over Jail Prisoner’s Suicide for $260,000

Last year, Lincoln County, Missouri agreed to pay $260,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a jail prisoner who committed suicide in 2011.

On August 21, 2011, police from the City of Troy responded to a domestic disturbance call at the home of Terry L. Marler ...

Heck Satisfied if Ruling Fails to Address Issues but Reverses Conviction

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held an order vacating a sentence imposed by a lower court constitutes a favorable termination of proceedings under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) [PLN, Sept. 1994, p.12], despite the fact that the order failed to expressly address the specific legal ...

Reforms at New Orleans Jail Slow to Materialize; Death Reporting Problematic

Federal monitors overseeing implementation of a consent decree concerning conditions at the Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) in New Orleans said they were “very concerned” about the lack of progress in implementing the agreement’s provisions. Forty-nine prisoners died at OPP between April 2006 and November 2016, including several deaths that ...

Michigan Prison Guards Fired Following Suicide Bet

Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) guards Dianna Callahan and Kory Moore were suspended and subsequently fired on March 10, 2016 following the suicide of prisoner Janika Nichole Edmond, 25, at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in November 2015.

David S. Steingold, an attorney who represents Edmond’s family ...

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