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Federal Prison Handbook

$49.95

491 pages. Middle Street Publishing The Federal Prison Handbook, by Christopher Zoukis, is the definitive guide to surviving incarceration in a federal prison. This handbook teaches individuals facing incarceration, prisoners who are already inside, and their friends and family everything they need to know to protect themselves and their rights. The thorough information was compiled by someone who has first-hand experience with the federal prison system, as Zoukis is an advocate currently serving time at a federal prison. His insider’s view of this unknown world guides inmates through the mental stresses of confinement. In detailed chapters broken down by topical areas, readers discover: What to expect on the day you’re admitted to prison, and how to greet cellmates for the first time What to do about sexual harassment or assault The best ways to avoid fights, and the options that provide the greatest protection if a fight cannot be avoided Medical, psychological and religious services How to communicate with the outside world through telephones, computers and mail. What you can buy in the official commissary and the underground economy How to avoid scams, schemes, theft, and other problems Comprehensive analysis of Federal Bureau of Prisons policy and regulatory guidelines And much more! Importantly, this text provides detailed instructions on how prisoners can protect their rights. The author is a college-educated prisoner who has fought extensively to preserve his rights and the rights of other prisoners. ISBN-10: 0692799737 ISBN-13: 9780692799734      
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The Habeas Citebook:Ineffective Assistance of Counsel-2nd Edition

$49.95

Newly Updated Second Edition Now Available! Paperback, 275 pages. Written by Brandon Sample and Alissa Hull; edited by Susan Schwartzkopf  Prison Legal News Publishing (2016). ISBN 978-0-9819385-4-7 The Habeas Citebook is a nifty and concise self-help guide for prisoners seeking habeas relief based on claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. Navigating the complex and treacherous terrain of habeas law is never easy; but claiming that your lawyer screwed up is even more difficult - especially from the confines of an ill-equipped prison law library. But Brandon Sample has provided an amazing and much-needed tool for prisoners who are forced to seek relief on their own. The book is thorough, but simple and readable. It starts with a wonderfully well-organized listing of hundreds of different types of ineffective assistance of counsel, set forth in the form of citations to court rulings - a novel approach that not only acts as a springboard for further research but also saves the prisoner countless hours of preliminary research. The book is also practical and useful. It provides invaluable resources, including templates and forms, that explain what, when, where and how to file for habeas relief. It contains readable summaries of the relevant laws and rules and plain-English explanations of some of the inherently mystifying concepts of habeas law, such as “procedural default” and “certificates of appealability” and the “AEDPA.” It includes practical advice on what to do and what not to do on issues such as identifying and selecting the claims to be argued; seeking discovery and evidentiary hearings; and seeking the appointment of counsel. And the book consistently offers critical insights on winning court strategies. In short, the Habeas Citebook is an essential resource for any would be jail-house lawyer. Peter Schmidt, Publisher Punch & Jurists ISBN-10: 0981938515ISBN-13: 978-098193851
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Win Your Case

$21.95

287 pages. St. Martin's Griffin-publisher Gerry Spence is perhaps America's most renowned and successful trial lawyer, a man known for his deep convictions and his powerful courtroom presentations when he argues on behalf of ordinary people. Frequently pitted against teams of lawyers thrown against him by major corporate or government interests, he has never lost a criminal case and has not lost a civil jury trial since l969. In Win Your Case, Spence shares a lifetime of experience teaching you how to win in any arena-the courtroom, the boardroom, the sales call, the salary review, the town council meeting-every venue where a case is to be made against adversaries who oppose the justice you seek. Relying on the successful courtroom methods he has developed over more than half a century, Spence shows both lawyers and laypersons how you can win your cases as he takes you step by step through the elements of a trial-from jury selection, the opening statement, the presentation of witnesses, their cross-examinations, and finally to the closing argument itself. Spence teaches you how to prepare yourselves for these wars. Then he leads you through the new, cutting-edge methods he uses in discovering the story in which you form the evidence into a compelling narrative, discover the point of view of the decision maker, anticipate and answer the counterarguments, and finally conclude the case with a winning final argument. To make a winning presentation, you are taught to prepare the power-person (the jury, the judge, the boss, the customer, the board) to hear your case. You are shown that your emotions, and theirs, are the source of your winning. You learn the power of your own fear, of honesty and caring and, yes, of love. You are instructed on how to role-play through the use of the psychodramatic technique, to both discover and tell the story of the case, and, at last, to pull it all together into the winning final argument.Whether you are presenting your case to a judge, a jury, a boss, a committee, or a customer, Win Your Case is an indispensable guide to success in every walk of life, in and out of the courtroom. ISBN-13: 978-0-312-36067-2
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Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration

$24.95

323 pages. Edited by Tara Herivel and Paul Wright. New Press (2009). This is the third and latest book in a series of Prison Legal News anthologies that examines the reality of mass imprisonment in America. [The other two titles are The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the US Prison Industry and Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor, both available from PLN]. Prison Profiteers is unique from other books on the market because it exposes and discusses who profits and benefits from mass imprisonment, rather than who is harmed by it and how. Why is sentencing reform dead on arrival in every state legislature and congress? What is the biggest transfer of public wealth into private hands in recent history? Read Prison Profiteers and you will know! Hint: It has to do with prisons. Positive: With the baby boomlet demographics, we foresee increasing demand for juvenile [incarceration] services. Negative: . . . it is often difficult to maintain the occupancy rates required for profitability. —FROM A REPORT PRODUCED FOR THE PRIVATE PRISON INDUSTRY BY INVESTMENT ANALYSTS FIRST ANALYSIS SECURITIES CORPORATION Locking up 2.3 million people isn’t cheap. Each year federal, state, and local governments spend over $185 billion annually in tax dollars to ensure that one out of every 137 Americans is imprisoned. Prison Profiteers looks at the private prison companies, investment banks, churches, guard unions, medical corporations, and other industries and individuals that benefit from this country’s experiment with mass imprisonment. It lets us follow the money from public to private hands and exposes how monies formerly designated for the public good are diverted to prisons and their maintenance. Find out where your tax dollars are going as you help to bankroll the biggest prison machine the world has ever seen. Contributors include: Judy Greene on private prison giants Geo (formerly Wackenhut) and CCA; Anne-Marie Cusac on who sells electronic weapons to prison guards; Wil S. Hylton on the largest prison health care provider; Ian Urbina on how prison labor supports the military; Kirsten Levingston on the privatization of public defense; Jennifer Gonnerman on the costs to neighborhoods from which prisoners are removed; Kevin Pranis on the banks and brokerage houses that finance prison building; and Silja Talvi on the American Correctional Association as a tax-funded lobbyist for professional prison bureaucracies; Tara Herivel on juvenile prisons; Gary Hunter and Peter Wagner on the census and counting prisoners; David Reutter on Florida's prison industries; Alex Friedmann on the private prisoner transportation industry; Paul Von Zielbauer on the sordid history of Prison Health Services in New York; Steven Jackson on the prison telephone industry; Samantha Shapiro on religious groups being paid to run prisons and Clayton Mosher, Gregory Hooks and Peter Wood on the myth and reality of building rural prisons. Tara Herivel is the co-editor of Prison Nation. She is a prisoner rights attorney and the author of numerous articles in the alternative press. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Paul Wright is the founder and editor of Prison Legal News and co-editor of Prison Nation and The Celling of America. He lives in Lake Worth, Florida. This is an exclusive paperback printing made just for Prison Legal News. ISBN-10: 1595584544ISBN-13: 978-159558454
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Disciplinary Self Help Litigation Manual

$49.95

Paperback, 368 pages. By Daniel Manville.  Prison Legal News Publishing (2015). The Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual, Second Edition, by Dan Manville, is the third in a series of books by Prison Legal News Publishing. It is designed to inform prisoners of their rights when faced with the consequences of a disciplinary hearing. This authoritative and comprehensive work educates prisoners about their rights throughout this process and helps guide them at all stages, from administrative hearing through litigation. This invaluable how-to guide offers step by step information for both state and federal prisoners and includes a 50 state analysis of relevant case law. It is a specialized supplement to the Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual, often referred to as the “bible” for jailhouse lawyers. This book proves to be just as essential for prisoners. While directed at pro se prisoner litigants it is extremely useful to lawyers whose clients are subject to penal disciplinary systems. It includes an extensive case law citation index. This important new edition is undeniably a vital tool and ‘must have’ for the serious prisoner rights litigator.   Reviews Fighting a disciplinary ticket alone can be daunting. The Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual, Second Edition is an essential tool for anyone facing this challenge. Written and published by people who have been there and defended unjustified accusations and successfully appealed adverse results, this book provides tools that are specific and direct. Disciplinary timelines are demanding. The step by step guidance that describes what is necessary to prepare for and present at the hearing is crucial. State-by-state information guides one quickly to relevant laws and regulations. This book will save time in every sense of the word. I recommend it to prisoners and lawyers as the most thorough and valuable resource on the topic. -- Brett Dignam The stakes in prison disciplinary proceedings are high. If found guilty, prisoners may face prolonged solitary confinement, loss of important amenities like family visiting, and even forfeiture of good time credits, resulting in more time behind bars. To defend themselves effectively, prisoners need to know their rights. The Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual, Second Edition is an indispensable resource, both for prisoners facing disciplinary charges and for lawyers assisting them. I recommend it highly. -- David Fathi ISBN-13: 978-0-981938523      
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The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison Industry

$22.95

264 pages. Edited by Daniel Burton Rose, Dan Pens and Paul Wright. Common Courage (1998). The Celling of America presents a detailed inside look at the workings of the American law enforcement system. The book examines the death penalty, control units, the politics of prisoner bashing, the role of the media in the current anti-prisoner climate, prisoner struggles, prison slave labor, racism, brutality and corruption among prison employees, the role of the gun lobby and the guard unions in formulating law enforcement policy, the downward spiral of prison conditions, private prisons and much, much more. Editorial Review by Amazon.com In The Celling of America, inmates in American penitentiaries report on their living conditions and political concerns. They paint a bleak picture of the prison system, describing police brutality, substandard medical care, racism, and extremely crowded conditions. They discuss privately-run prisons, prison labor, weightlifting, and the effect of television on prisoner's lives. Many of them believe conditions are getting worse every year, and their claims are quite credible because no one knows jail like a convict. Most of these articles originally appeared in Prison Legal News, a magazine published by Dan Pens and Paul Wright, two incarcerated men in Washington state. The authors explain that reporters often rely on prison officials as the primary source for information on these issues, which leads them to present a biased view of prison life. State prisons limit and sometimes block prisoners' access to media, making it difficult, if not impossible, for prisoners to tell their side of the story. Inmates are easy targets for politicians because they aren't allowed to vote and can't talk back. These essays compel readers to reevaluate their ideas about the average prison inmate, to think more carefully about that man lounging in his cell watching television. It was interesting to learn that while some states provide each prisoner with a television on the theory that television pacifies people, other prison systems forbid televisions because some believe watching television is a luxury that inmates don't deserve. The book would have been better if it had told more about the people who wrote the essays. I kept wondering what each writer did to end up in the slammer, and that information seems significant. Do you trust a thief to tell you about multinational corporations profiting from cheap prison labor? Do you trust a sex offender? Who do you believe? That is one of the central questions posed by this collection. --Jill Marquis ISBN-10: 0415935385 ISBN-13: 978-0415935388
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Prisoners' Self Help Litigation Manual, 4th Edition

$39.95

Paperback, 928 pages. By John Boston and Daniel Manville. Published by Oxford University Press. Prisoners' Self-Help Litigation Manual, in its much-anticipated fourth edition, is an indispensable guide for prisoners and prisoner advocates seeking to understand the rights guaranteed to prisoners by law and how to protect those rights. Clear, comprehensive, practical advice provides prisoners with everything they need to know on conditions of confinement, civil liberties in prison, procedural due process, the legal system, how to litigate, conducting effective legal research, and writing legal documents. Written by two legal and penitentiary experts with intimate knowledge of prisoner's rights and legal aid work, authors John Boston and Daniel E. Manville strategically focus on federal constitutional law, providing prisoners and those wishing to assist them with the most important information concerning legal rights. Over the past decade, prison law and conditions have changed significantly. This new edition is updated to include the most relevant prisoners' rights topics and approaches to litigation. Updates include all aspects of prison life as well as material on legal research, legal writing, types of legal remedies, and how to effectively use those remedies. Certainly the most authoritative, well-organized and relevant prisoner's rights manual available - - the eagerly awaited fourth edition should be purchased by everyone interested in civil rights for the incarcerated. Features * A best-selling book in all three of the previously released editions, the fourth edition is updated to include the most relevant prisoner's rights topics and approaches to litigation for those currently facing incarceration. * Prisoners' Self-Help Litigation Manual, 4th Edition is a comprehensive tool for learning about prisoner's civil rights, and providing the necessary information and background to formulate a strong legal self-defense for those rights. * Written by two legal and penitentiary experts with intimate knowledge of prisoner's rights and legal aid work. Mr. Manville has successfully formulated and argued in his own prisoner's civil rights litigation. * Expert advice on civil liberties in prison (conditions and practices, property, medical care, freedom of expression, privacy, religion, access to the courts, and more), procedural due process, equal protection of the laws, pre-trial detainees' rights, the court system, actions , defenses, and relief, how to litigate, legal research, and writing legal documents. * With the current issues of prison overcrowding and incidents of prison violence, it is of vital importance for prisoners and their families to possess the knowledge of a prisoner's civil rights. The Prisoner's Self-Help Litigation Manual, 4th Edition, outlines the rights as well as legal remedies for abuses of those rights. John Boston is Director of the Prisoners' Rights Project of the New York City Legal Aid Society. Mr. Boston received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law. He began his career as a research coordinator for The Defender Project of the Twentieth Century Fund in New York City. He has also contributed research and writing concerning prison population issues for the Correctional Association of New York and began his tenure as the Legal Aid Society as a staff attorney. Mr. Boston is widely published, with numerous articles on prisoners, their rights and circumstances nationwide, and has litigated several cases pertaining to prisoner's rights. He also participated in a national working group with the ACLU in response to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, reviewing briefs and pleadings, consulting with prisoner advocates, preparing CLE and practice materials. He is on the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute and co-administrator of the Prisoners' Rights section of the website www.probono.com. Daniel E. Manville is an attorney specializing in civil rights litigation. Mr. Manville has a Bachelor in Science from Central Michigan University (1976); a Bachelor Degree in General Studies from Wayne State University (1976); a Juris Doctorate from Antioch School of Law (now University of District of Columbia Law School) (1981); a Master in Criminal Justice, Michigan State University (1985). From 1988 through 2003, he was in private practice concentrating on providing representation to prisoners. From 2003 to summer of 2007, Manville was the Clinical Staff Attorney for Wayne State University Civil Rights Litigation Clinic. During 2007 and 2008 academic year, Manville was a Visiting Professor at University of Denver Law School Civil Rights Clinic. He is also an author and co-author of a number of self-help litigation manuals for prisoners; a number of articles on rights of prisoners; and co-author of A Prisoner's Rights, 2005 Annual Survey of Michigan Law, 2005 Wayne Law Review. ISBN13: 9780195374407 ISBN10: 0195374401
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Protecting Your Health and Safety: A Litigation Guide For Inmates

$10.00

325 pages. Written by Robert E. Toone; edited by Daniel Manville. Southern Poverty Law Center (2nd Edition, 2009). The murky waters of prisoner self-representation just got a little easier to navigate with the arrival of the second edition of Protecting Your Health & Safety, A Litigation Guide For Inmates. Published by the Southern Poverty Law Center and distributed by PLN, Protecting Your Health & Safety is an easy to read, plain language guide prisoners can use to identify and litigate federal civil rights claims against prison officials. Written by Robert E. Toone and edited by PLN columnist Daniel Manville, Protecting Your Health & Safety dedicates over 100 pages to the different kinds of constitutional and statutory violations prisoners frequently encounter while incarcerated. Topics discussed include the First to Fourteenth Amendments, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. Each issue, whether it may be First Amendment retaliation or a violation of the Equal Protection Clause, is addressed in laymen’s terms and supported by case citations from federal district courts, federal courts of appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Difficult concepts like deliberate indifference are simplified in just seven pages, giving you what you need to know to make out a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim. Protecting Your Health & Safety does not stop at helping identify potential wrongs, though. Rather, with its over 130 page discussion on how to write a complaint, seek in forma pauperis status, ask for appointment of counsel, respond to motions to dismiss, respond to motions for summary judgment, conduct discovery, and even present your case at trial, Protecting Your Health brings you to the finish line. Even procedural issues such as exhaustion of administrative remedies are addressed, helping you avoid dismissal at the pleading stage. A glossary of commonly used legal terms is also included, along with a directory of addresses where to file your federal civil rights suit in each judicial district. In all, the second edition of Protecting Your Health & Safety is a well written, must buy, for any serious prisoner litigant. Updated by Dan Manville this is the new, 2009 edition of the book and replaces earlier versions.
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Writing to Win: The Legal Writer

$19.95

303 pages. By Steven D. Stark. Three Rivers Press (April 2012). Explains the writing of effective complaints, responses, briefs, motions and other legal papers. From the Publisher: From a master teacher and writer, a fully revised and updated edition of the results-oriented approach to legal writing that is clear, that persuades--and that WINS. More than almost any profession, the law has a deserved reputation for opaque, jargon-clogged writing. Yet forceful writing is one of the most potent weapons of legal advocacy. In this new edition of Writing to Win, Steven D. Stark, a former lecturer on law at Harvard Law School, who has inspired thousands of aspiring and practicing lawyers, applies the universal principles of powerful, vigorous prose to the job of making a legal case--and winning it. Writing to Win focuses on the writing of lawyers, not judges, and includes dozens of examples of effective (and ineffective) real-life legal writing--as well as compelling models drawn from advertising, journalism, and fiction. It deals with the challenges lawyers face in writing, from organization to strengthening and editing prose; offers incisive ways of improving arguments; addresses litigation and technical writing in all its forms; and covers the writing attorneys must perform in their daily practice, from email memos to briefs and contracts. Each chapter opens with a succinct set of rules for easy reference. With new sections on client communication and drafting affidavits, as well as updated material throughout, Writing to Win is the most practical and efficacious legal-writing manual available. ISBN-10: 0307888711 ISBN-13: 978-0307888716
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The Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights, Survive the System

$39.99

680 pages. Attys. Paul Bergman & Sara Berman. NOLO (14th Edition, 2015). Explains what happens in a criminal case from being arrested to sentencing, and what your rights are at each stage of the process. Uses an easy to understand question and answer format. From The Publisher: For anyone who's come face to face wtih the criminal justice system, this handbook is the place to turn for answers. In an easy-to-follow, question-and-answer format it covers talking to police, searches and seizures, drunk driving, arrests, booking, bail, criminal defense lawyers, lineups, preliminary hearings, trials, plea bargains, common defense, evidence, sentencing and much more. No other resource available for lay people is as comprehensive or clear in explaining exactly what goes on in criminal cases. Reviews From Library Journal An excellent and balanced guide to the state court criminal justice process, this book does not detail the differences of being charged in federal court, such as federal sentencing guidelines. Authors Bergman (Reel Justice, LJ 6/1/96) and Berman-Barrett, also a criminal attorney, use a question-and-answer format to cover cases from police investigations through appeals. The book is not intended to replace legal advice, and the authors stress the importance of obtaining representation, unlike Michael Saeger in Defend Yourself Against Criminal Charges (LJ 10/1/97), a recent, inferior guide. A worthy addition to all libraries that will instruct those interested in the criminal justice system. --Harry Charles, St. Louis ISBN-10: 1413310532 ISBN-13: 978-1413310535
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Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case

$39.99

543 pages. Attys. Paul Bergman & Sara Berman. Nolo (8th Edition, 2013). Breaks down the trial process in easy-to-understand steps so you can effectively represent yourself in court. The authors explain what to say, in court, how to say it, where to stand, etc. From The Publisher: For people dealing with a personal injury claim, a landlord-tenant dispute, a small business disagreement or any of the dozens of other possible legal muddles, this book points the way through the complexities of the court system. It shows how to analyze the legitimacy of a case, make an opening statement, line up persuasive witnesses, present testimony in court, cross-examine opponents and even pick a jury. Includes a chapter dealing with the specifics of handling a divorce, child custody or child support action. Reviews From Library Journal The nuts and bolts of self-representation in court are presented in this detailed, sensible book. The authors describe the legal process from the investigation of the case through the collection of a judgment, with an emphasis on what happens in the courtroom. Bergman and Berman-Barrett share the procedures and methods a lay person needs to survive in an environment that is not necessarily friendly to non-attorneys. Understanding that in the law the devil is in the details, they take pains to avoid oversimplification, and they do an equally good job of illuminating concepts like burden of proof and procedures like marking and identifying exhibits. The authors highlight important information with icons that alert the reader to a practical suggestion, warn of a potential problem, or refer to other resources on the subject. Highly recommended for even modest legal self-help collections, including those that already own Robert Schachner's How and When To Be Your Own Lawyer (LJ 3/1/ 93).-Joan Pedzich, Harris, Beach & Wilcox, Rochester, N.Y ISBN-10: 1413310532 ISBN-13: 978-1413310535
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Prison Writing in 20th Century America

$16.00

368 pages. Edited by H. Bruce Franklin. Viking Penguin (1998). From Jack London to Iceberg Slim, George Jackson and Assatta Shakur, this powerful anthology provides a selection of some of the best writing describing life behind bars in America. From The Publisher: This unique collection dramatizes the history of the modern American prison and offers a harrowing vision of prison life in America today. H. Bruce Franklin, a leading authority on American prison writing, has gathered more than sixty selections from some of the most powerful works - memoirs, stories, novels, poems written in the last hundred years. Reviews From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly Harrowing in their frank detail and desperate tone, the more than 60 selections in this anthology of writings about the prison experience in America pack an emotional wallop. According to Wicker's outspoken foreword, "prisons and the violence and despair they symbolize... are a blot on American life and history." The U.S. penal system contains a population greater than that of New Hampshire, and even the pretense of rehabilitation was long ago subsumed by the need to punish. Beginning with accounts of the victims of Jim Crow and Black Code laws in the segregationist South and going through the contemporary journalism of Dannie Martin and Mumia Abu-Jamal, these views from behind the bars should be required reading for anyone concerned about the violence in our society and the high rate of recidivism. Franklin, in his introduction, argues that the institution of slavery has its modern counterpart in penal servitude While he sometimes seems stuck in the clichs of a New Left rhetoric, he has done a fine job of rediscovering the prison writers of the 1920s (a period of real flowering among convict writers, supported by H.L. Mencken's American Mercury magazine) like Jim Tully, Chester Himes and Ernie Booth. In this context, the more famous works of writers such as Nelson Algren, Malcolm X and Jack Henry Abbot, gain a fuller resonance. The book also highlights writers, like Piri Thomas, who are alive today but neglected. If the test of an anthology is whether it makes the reader want to pursue the works of the authors it presents, this provocative volume definitely qualifies. ISBN-10: 0140273050 ISBN-13: 978-0140273052
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Actual Innocence: When Justice Goes Wrong and How to Make It Right

$17.99

407 pages. By Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld, & Jim Dwyer. NAL Trade (2003). Actual Innocence is written with the authority Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld have as the founders of a world renowned Innocence Project. The authors share their insights from helping to free dozens of innocent people from prison. Case histories demonstrate how erroneous eyewitness testimony, police fabrication or misplacement of evidence, the concealment of exculpatory evidence by prosecutors, inaccurate scientific tests and testimony, and judicial arrogance contribute to wrongful convictions. Synopsis Borrowing their title from Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist's statement that "actual innocence is not itself a constitutional claim," founders of the pro-bono Innocence Project Scheck and Neufeld and columnist Dwyer present a condemnation of the injustices of a court system that sends innocent people to death row. Through the stories of ten innocent men sent to jail, they discuss such problems with the system as faulty eyewitnesses, jailhouse snitches, and bad science, all the while championing the use of DNA sampling for exonerating the wrongly convicted. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR From The Publisher A nightmare from a thousand B-movies: a horrible crime is committed in your neighborhood, and the police knock at your door. A witness swears you are the perpetrator; you have no alibi, and no one believes your protestations of innocence. You're convicted, sentenced to hard time in maximum security, or even death row, where you await the executioner's needle. Tragically, this is no movie script but reality for hundreds of American citizens. Our criminal justice system is broken, and people from all walks of life have been destroyed by its failures. But science and a group of incredibly dedicated crusaders are working to repair the damage. In the last ten years, DNA testing has uncovered stone-cold proof that sixty-five completely innocent people have been sent to prison and death row. But even in cases where there is physical evidence, the criminal justice system frees prisoners only after a torturous legal process. Incredibly, according to many trial judges, "actual innocence" is not grounds for release from prison. At the Innocence Project, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld have helped to free thirty-seven wrongly convicted people, and have taken up the cause of hundreds more. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Jim Dwyer has been covering innocence cases for a decade. In Actual Innocence, Scheck, Neufeld, and Dwyer relate the harrowing stories of ten innocent men--convicted by sloppy police work, corrupt prosecutors, jailhouse snitches, mistaken eyewitnesses, and other all-too-common flaws of the trial system--and tell of the heroic efforts to free them. ISBN-10: 0451209826 ISBN-13: 978-0451209825
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Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A.

$16.95

280 pages. By Mumia Abu-Jamal. City Lights Publishers (2009). In Jailhouse Lawyers, Prison Legal News columnist, award-winning journalist and death-row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal presents the stories and reflections of fellow prisoners-turned-advocates who have learned to use the court system to represent other prisoners—many uneducated or illiterate—and in some cases, to win their freedom. In Mumia's words, "This is the story of law learned, not in the ivory towers of multi-billion-dollar endowed universities [but] in the bowels of the slave-ship, in the hidden, dank dungeons of America … It is law learned in a stew of bitterness, under the constant threat of violence, in places where millions of people live, but millions of others wish to ignore or forget. It is law written with stubs of pencils, or with four-inch-long rubberized flex-pens, with grit, glimmerings of brilliance, and with clear knowledge that retaliation is right outside the cell door. It is a different perspective on the law, written from the bottom, with a faint hope that a right may be wronged, an injustice redressed. It is Hard Law." Mumia Abu-Jamal is author of many books, including Live From Death Row, Death Blossoms, All Things Censored, and We Want Freedom. He has been living on death row in a Pennsylvania prison since 1982. Praise for Jailhouse Lawyers: "Jailhouse Lawyers is a must-read for everyone connected in any fashion to the criminal justice system. It illuminates a dark area seen by few and outlines the legal battles still waged from the "hole" by the semantic warriors who inhabit it. The book plumbs the depth of man's inhumanity to man by exploring the ongoing legal attack by underground lawyers on an unfair legal system. Death-row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, an award winning journalist, once again demonstrates his courage in opposing the oppression of prison existence." —Tony Serra "[Mumia Abu-Jamal] is one of the most important public intellectuals of our time…. Jailhouse Lawyers is a persuasive refutation of the ideological underpinnings of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The way he situates the PLRA historically—as an inheritance of the Black Codes, which were themselves descended from the slave codes—allows us to recognize the extent to which historical memories of slavery and racism are inscribed in the very structures of the prison system and have helped to produce the prison-industrial-complex. Mumia Abu-Jamal has once more enlightened us, he has once more offered us new ways of thinking about law, democracy, and power. He allows us to reflect upon the fact that transformational possibilities often emerge where we least expect them." —Angela Y. Davis, from the foreword ISBN-10: 0872864693 ISBN-13: 978-0872864696
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Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics

$27.99

Paperback, 496 pages. By Marie Gottschalk. Princeton University Press (December 2014). From The Publisher:  The huge prison buildup of the past four decades has few defenders today, yet reforms to reduce the number of people in U.S. jails and prisons have been remarkably modest. Meanwhile, a carceral state has sprouted in the shadows of mass imprisonment, extending its reach far beyond the prison gate. It includes not only the country's vast archipelago of jails and prisons but also the growing range of penal punishments and controls that lie in the never-never land between prison and full citizenship, from probation and parole to immigrant detention, felon disenfranchisement, and extensive lifetime restrictions on sex offenders. As it sunders families and communities and reworks conceptions of democracy, rights, and citizenship, this ever-widening carceral state poses a formidable political and social challenge. In this book, Marie Gottschalk examines why the carceral state, with its growing number of outcasts, remains so tenacious in the United States. She analyzes the shortcomings of the two dominant penal reform strategies--one focused on addressing racial disparities, the other on seeking bipartisan, race-neutral solutions centered on reentry, justice reinvestment, and reducing recidivism. In this bracing appraisal of the politics of penal reform, Gottschalk exposes the broader pathologies in American politics that are preventing the country from solving its most pressing problems, including the stranglehold that neoliberalism exerts on public policy. She concludes by sketching out a promising alternative path to begin dismantling the carceral state   From the Back Cover: "This is the most comprehensive, synthetic, and compelling account of what is driving penal trends in America today. For contemporary scholars and activists, Caught is certain to become a common starting point for future debates about what direction policy reform and social activism should take."--Jonathan Simon, author of Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear "[A]cademic but accessible, and it has an urgency to it. . . . A needed cry for justice."--Kirkus Reviews   ISBN-10: 0691164053 ISBN-13: 978-0691164052
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Prison Legal News Magazine

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Monthly print magazine, covering criminal justice-related news and litigation nationwide, published since 1992.
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Digital Access

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Access the full library of legal briefs, issues, articles, and cases on this website.
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