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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. 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

CoreCivic Prisons in Tennessee Have Twice as Many Murders, Four Times the Homicide Rate as State-Run Facilities

On June 10, 2019, the Human Rights Defense Center and No Exceptions Prison Collective reported that from 2014 through June 2019, there were twice as many murders in the four Tennessee prisons operated by CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America) than in the 10 prisons run by the Tennessee Department ...

ICE-friendly Policies. A String of Jail Deaths. Why Does This Sheriff Keep Getting Elected?

Advocates say Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern is an odd fit for the Bay Area, but mounting a challenge has proved daunting.

by Kyle C. Barry, The Appeal

When Barbara Doss went to claim her son’s body last June, his face was covered in bruises. “The left side of his ...

Kamala Harris’ Disturbing Brand of Criminal Justice Reform

By Marie Gottschalk, In These Times

The sad reality is that Harris is in step with a troubling Washington consensus on criminal justice reform.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) released a new autobiography in January, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, to coincide with her presidential bid. It ...

Imagine Pleading Guilty Because You Can’t Afford to Call Your Lawyer

By Victoria Law, Truthout

Imagine paying $20.12 for a 15-minute phone call. That’s how much a call from the Jennings Adult Correctional Facility in Missouri costs.

In 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set price caps on interstate calls from jails, prisons and detention facilities. Now, interstate calls can ...

Why We Need More Journalism Courses Taught in Prison

For those incarcerated, the study of journalism can aid rehabilitation by providing tangible skills and a chance to increase understanding of prisoners’ experiences

by Shaheen Pasha, Nieman Reports

John J. Lennon, also known as Inmate # 04A0823, sits on his bed, typing on a clear Swintec typewriter set on his lap ...

‘I Didn’t Lay Down’: How A California Man Convicted Of Murder May Have Saved His Own Life

Death penalty mitigation offers juries a chance to see defendants in a different light

by Maura Ewing, The Appeal

The odds were stacked against Ernesto Martinez. Last fall, he was on trial for a capital offense in a place that has distinguished itself as a leader in condemning people to ...

Corizon, the Prison Healthcare Giant, Stumbles Again

 This article was co-published in partnership with The Appeal on February 8, 2019, at https://theappeal.org/corizon-the-prison-healthcare-giant-stumbles-again. Copyright The Appeal, 2019.  

by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg

Feb 08, 2019

The company recently lost its contract with Arizona after allegations of serious—and sometimes fatal—medical neglect that have echoes across ...

More articles

 

 

Prisoner Education Guide

 

Click here for our GoFundMe Campaign:

Bulldozer: The Prison & Immigration Reform Vehicle

HRDC  has been working since 1990 to make things right in the United States' criminal justice system. It's a tough job. We need heavy equipment to bulldoze the Prison Industrial Complex, and our equipment comes in the form of funding to support our mission to advocate for the rights of people held in prisons, jails and other detention facilities, including immigrant detention centers. 

  

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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.
 
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Prisoner Education Guide side

 

Federal Prison Handbook

 

Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual