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PLN is a project of the Human Rights Defense Center


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

PLN Interviews CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou is a former CIA officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former counterterrorism consultant.

He left the CIA in March 2004, later serving as a senior investigator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and senior intelligence advisor to Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry. Kiriakou ...

PLN Files Censorship Suit Against Cook County, Illinois

On June 30, 2016, Prison Legal News filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and Cook County jail officials, alleging they unconstitutionally censored PLN’s monthly publication and books mailed to prisoners at the jail.

According to the complaint, the Cook County jail ...

Your Kid Goes to Jail, You Get the Bill

In dozens of one-on-one meetings every week, a lawyer retained by the city of Philadelphia summons parents whose children have just been jailed, pulls out his calculator and hands them more bad news: a bill for their kids’ incarceration.

Even if a child is ...

HRDC Condemns CoreCivic’s Rejection of Resolution for More Oversight

On February 15, 2017, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), PLN’s parent organization, condemned CoreCivic, the nation’s largest for-profit prison operator – formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America – for rejecting a shareholder resolution seeking independent audits of the company’s detention facilities.

CoreCivic’s objection to the audits ...

Video Calling Services vs. In-person Visitation

by Christopher Zoukis

Video calling* is gaining a significant foothold in local jails. The technology is seen both as less costly than in-person visitation and a potential profit generator for jailers. But it can also have a detrimental impact on prisoners’ ability to communicate with their families; nevertheless, for-profit companies ...

More articles

 

 

Prisoner Education Guide

   Breaking News 

Notice: The Human Rights Defense Center is currently suing NUMI in US District Court in Portland, Oregon over its release debit card practices in that state. We are interested in litigating other cases against NUMI and the other debit card companies that exploit prisoners and arrestees in this manner. If you have had your money taken by any of these companies and been charged fees to access your funds on a debit card after being released from prison or jail we want to hear from you. Please contact Carrie Wilkinson at cwilkinson@humanrightsdefensecenter.org, or call (206) 257-1355, or write: HRDC, SPP Debit Cards, P.O. Box 1151, Lake Worth, FL 33460.
 
 
 

 

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Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual

 

Prisoners Self Help Litigation Manual

 

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