ACTION ALERT: Nationwide Prison Strike

The largest coordinated prison strike in U.S. history began September 9—the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising—and is now entering its second week, with incarcerated people nationwide protesting “modern-day slavery,” among other injustices that have become part and parcel of our country’s prison industrial complex and system of mass incarceration. The NLG issued this statement […]

Hammer v. Ashcroft (November 2009)

Hammer v. Ashcroft: In support of death row inmates’ right to person-to-person meetings with reporters. This brief focuses on the fact that the current Bureau of Prison’s (BOP) proscription of in-person communication between maximum security inmates and members of the press is inappropriately based on the anticipation that the speech will be offensive to government officials […]

NLG Stands with Prisoners in Struggle, Endorse IWOC National Prison Strike in September

Today, prisoners across Alabama have ended a 10-day strike that started May 1 (International Workers’ Day) to protest unpaid labor and horrendous conditions, already reporting retaliation by prison officials. On September 9, 2016, the National Lawyers Guild will join Support Prisoner Resistance, The Free Alabama Movement and The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) in a Call […]

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 […]

Flint Inmates Forced to Drink Lead-Contaminated Water

By Shanna Merola, NLG Detroit and Michigan Chapter Legal Observer Coordinator On January 8th, Detroit activists called for a “solidarity road trip” from Detroit to Flint, Michigan to “Arrest Governor Snyder.” That evening, local residents and social justice groups from around the state converged on the front lawn of Flint’s City Hall to demand the […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Concrete Empire

By Carl H. Harrison | Susanville, CA In the 1980s, California began a prison- and jail-building boom. Concrete jails and prisons popped up all over the state, while laws were quickly changed to make it easier to lock people up. These facilities quickly filled up and people had to join gangs within the facilities in order […]

Challenging Imperialism

By Mwalimus S. Shakur, Corcoran, CA Within the confines of these concrete tombs, we prison activists have responded to fascist oppression by becoming jailhouse lawyers. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has buried us alive in the “SHU” (Security Housing Unit), where maintaining one’s sanity is the ultimate challenge. Locked in a tiny cell for […]

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 […]