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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. We have also launched a companion publication, Criminal Legal News (CLN), which covers criminal case law, policing, prosecutorial misconduct and related issues. 
 
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 online 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

Protect Yourself and Your Facility from COVID-19

by Michael D. Cohen, M.D.

Introduction

The novel coronavirus is now a global pandemic and is widespread in the United States, causing a disease called COVID-19. It is likely that a majority of the population will eventually become infected with this virus. Here is some information about the coronavirus and ...

Inside the US Marshals’ Secretive, Deadly Detention Empire

They’re supposed to safeguard pretrial detainees. But America’s oldest law enforcement agency is suffering from a massive dereliction of duty.

by Seth Freed Wessler, Mother Jones

A large rectangle of red dirt on the flat expanse of West Texas’ Permian Basin reminds Sadrac Garcia every day of what his family ...

The Private Option

One company has become the biggest provider of jail health care. Sheriffs are worried: “If you’re the only dance in town, you can pretty much call your own shots.”

Story by Marsha McLeodThe Atlantic

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – In the span of 24 days in May 2017, two ...

The Other Family Separation: Prisoners Fight to Keep Their Children

by Victoria Law

Ayana Aubourg was seven years old when her father was sentenced to 10 years in prison. For the next decade he parented through letters, weekly phone calls and once-a-year visits. He missed most of her childhood – picking her up from school, helping her with her ...

Wasted Minds: Prisoners Languish in Florida Prisons with Little Access to Education

by Ryan McKinnon and Josh Salman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune / GateHouse Media

Dade Correctional Institution employs one teacher for a population of 1,500 men – and just 16 prisoners have earned GED diplomas there over the past four years.

Union Correctional Institution, a North Florida prison with a capacity of nearly ...

Beyond Estelle: Medical Rights for Incarcerated Patients

by Greg Dober

Like most other individuals, prisoners sometimes need medical attention for ailments, injuries and diseases. However, there appears to be a misconception about prisoners’ medical rights among physicians, medical administrators, prison and jail staff, and law enforcement officials. This article will review some of the medical rights and ...

California Tried to Fix Its Prisons. Now County Jails Are More Deadly

In a 48-hour stretch during January 2018, three men were booked into the Fresno County Jail. One was beaten into a coma. Two died soon afterward. Their cases kicked off a nightmarish year in a local jail where problems trace back to California’s sweeping 2011 prison downsizing and criminal justice reforms. ...

More articles

 

 

 

 WEEKLY AUDIO:

"Criminal Injustice"

 
Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News, is a regular guest on the "Loud & Clear" podcast's Thursday series “Criminal Injustice,” a segment about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Listen to this week's episode here or visit our media library, here, for an archive of past shows.

Visit PLN's Book Store! 

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