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February 22, 2008

The need for more litigating (and teaching) of prisoners' rights

As hinted in this post discussing parts of the terrific U Penn Eighth Amendment symposium last week, I came away from the conference thinking that a lot more lawyer (and law school) time and energy should be devoted to dealing with modern prisoner rights' issues in our massive modern criminal justice system.  Responding to my request, Prof. Margo Schlanger, who's the Director of the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse at Washington University in St. Louis, sent me this prisoner litigation primer for posting here:

The best available written introduction to the law in this area is the Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual, published and updated periodically by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, most recently in 2007, and available here:  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/hrlr/jlm.html

There are some excellent places to get information about cases: http://prisonlegalnews.org is one (and has a monthly newsletter) http://clearinghouse.wustl.edu is another -- but it's for specific cases or issues, not a current awareness kind of service.

There's a major two-day conference coming up with training and networking for lawyers doing this work; http://prisonlitigation.org. It's in DC, on March 28-29. 

And finally, there's a great deal of information, and also a really active and useful listserv at http://probono.net, (follow the link for prisoners' rights).  It's password protected, and membership controlled.

February 22, 2008 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

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