Prisoners' rights law concerns advocacy and policy work to improve the conditions of the prison system.
Lawyers in this area provide legal representation to prisoners, and educate the community about the issues prisoners face through research, writing, and coalition-building. Some lawyers focus on death penalty work while others dedicate their career to re-entry of prisoners or conditions in prisons. Most prisoner’s rights lawyers work in non-profit organizations that represent prisoners.
What to do if you are interested in Prisoner’s Rights Law?
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Helpful Prisoner’s Rights Law Resources
- HG.org: Prisoners Rights provides a basic overview of the practice area as well as useful links to educational resources and selected employers.
- Reentry.net is a clearinghouse for attorneys, social service providers, and policy reform advocates on reentry and the consequences of criminal proceedings.
- The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
- The Sentencing Project provides the legal community with sentencing advocacy training, works to reduce the reliance on incarceration and supports strategic advocacy for policy reform.
- U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs works in partnership with the justice community to identify the most pressing crime-related challenges confronting the justice system and to provide information, training, coordination, and innovative strategies and approaches for addressing these challenges.
- UCLA Prison Law Job Search Guide contains information about organizations and offices nationally who do prisoners’ rights work and are looking for summer interns.