Struggles of Using Legal Recourse as a Path Toward Better Prison Conditions

Lisa Drapkin, NLG Membership Director It seems there could never be enough legal support to help the millions of prisoners who would benefit from having a lawyer at arms’ length. Whether it is lack of medical care, abhorrent nutrition, exposure to extreme temperatures, lack of clean water, or brutality by prison guards, there are endless […]

Battleground: Lockdown

How Long-Term Solitary Adversely Impacts Society By Dr. George Willie Buford, III, D.D. | Lewisburg, PA One significant, yet overlooked battleground in our march toward American criminal justice reform is the federal lockdown facility. As the federal government usurps vast areas of state criminal justice concern, more federal disproportionality will be realized. People of Color—and poor […]

Mississippi DOC Revives “Group Punishment”

By Charles D. Owens, II | Lakesville, MS The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), under the leadership of the new Commissioner Marshall Fisher, has revived the practice of group punishment. Under this revived practice, entire prisons re punished for an individual’s misconduct. Recent examples include an incident where a single inmate fought with a single guard […]

Prisoner Paralegals: Our Struggle to Find Justice

By Hunter Lee Weeks | Sterling, CO In prison, there are those of us who spend time, effort, and funds to acquire a formal education in law. Most of us have no education, while a few of us have Certificates of Paralegal Studies, and even fewer have degrees with legal emphasis. Our designated term of “Jailhouse […]

Inmate Advisory Counsel: A Cruel Hoax

By Rodney B. Barno | Corcoran, CA I was the Inmate Advisory Counsel (IAC) Chairman at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (CSATF) in Corcoran, California. My responsibility was to advocate for the population of my facility and for the IAC to be a vehicle of communication between the administration and population. When issues arise […]

Kentucky’s “Corruptional” System

By Christopher L. Young | La Grange, KY I am grateful to be a member of the NLG and a Guild Notes subscriber and looking forward to receiving the Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook—I appreciate the chance to get my voice heard while beng a political prisoner incarcerated in Kentucky. This is why I’m committed to challenging and […]

Mass Incarceration: Transforming an Unconstitutional System

By Bro. Brad Broussard, Beeville, TX Under the Thirteenth Amendment, “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (emphasis added). The word ‘except’ here indicates that slavery and involuntary servitude were […]