Legal resources for people in prison in Illinois

John Howard Association of Illinois

70 East Lake Street, Suite 410

Chicago, IL 60601

(312) 526-3714 Fax

Serves: IL

Focus area/description: John Howard Association is Illinois' only nonpartisan prison watchdog. Our mission: The John Howard Association independently monitors correctional facilities, policies and practices, and advances reforms needed to achieve a fair, humane and effective criminal justice system.

JHA is one of the country's oldest prison reform organizations, and one of only three non-profit organizations nationwide that monitor their state's prison system. Created in 1901, the Association has evolved from serving primarily as a probation and parole service to a leading voice in Illinois criminal justice reform, and a well known and respected prison watchdog organization.

We are the eyes and ears of the public inside Illinois' correctional institutions. We tour all adult and juvenile correctional facilities in Illinois which allows us to observe and document the challenges faced by both inmates and correctional staff and ensure that policies are implemented in ways that benefit our system by promoting public safety and reducing recidivism. JHA answers more than 3,000 letters and calls each year from incarcerated individuals and their loved ones; tracking the information and integrating it into our monitoring visits and policy development so we have a more complete view of the issues inside of our prisons and can be more impactful in recommending change.

Following each visit, JHA issues a written report that focuses on critical matters such as education, medical and mental health care, disciplinary procedures for youth and adults, and the physical condition of the facilities. These widely disseminated reports are read by everyone form lawyers to legislators, wardens to reformers, members of the Governor's office to members of the public at large; they provide essential transparency and oversight to an otherwise overlooked institution and drive safe, effective and necessary criminal justice reform.

John Howard Association of Illinois confirmed this listing on May 09, 2017.

These national resources may also be of help to people in prison in Illinois:

A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual--Columbia Human Rights Law Review

Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Attn: JLM Order

435 W. 116th St.

New York, NY 10027

(212) 854-1601

Serves: National,FL,LA,NY,TN,TX

Focus area/description: What is it?
A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual Tenth Edition (the "JLM Tenth Edition") explains the legal rights of prisoners, and how to navigate through the justice process to secure those rights. It contains information on how to address legal issues on both the federal level and the state level, with an emphasis on New York State law. The JLM does NOT have information on substantive law (for example, the elements of crimes or degrees of a crime). It is a softcover book that comes in one volume, with separate Immigration & Consular Access and Texas Supplements. The main volume is about 1288 pages, while the Immigration & Consular Access Supplement is about 116 pages and the Texas Supplement is 408 pages. Both books are mailed stamped "direct from publisher."

The main volume of the JLM contains "basic" self-help litigation information, covering legal research, seeking legal representation, choosing a court, and filing a lawsuit, as well as more specific chapters on habeas corpus, parole, DNA, and the Prison Litigation Reform Act. It also contains topics like religious freedom, infectious diseases, mental disabilities, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender prisoners. The Immigration & Consular Access Supplement contains information about the immigration law consequences of criminal convictions for people who are not U.S. citizens, and also contains information about your right as a non-U.S. citizen to access your country's consulate if you are charged with a crime. The Texas supplement contains information specific to prisoners navigating the justice process in Texas courts and institutions.

How much does it cost?*
A 10th edition of the JLM is available online and can be downloaded for free:

For prisoners who wish to order a copy: The JLM Tenth Edition main volume is $30. The Immigration & Consular Access Supplement is $5. The Texas Supplement is $20. The books may be ordered together, or each book may be ordered separately. Priority shipping is included in both prices.

For non-inmates, organizations, or institutions that wish to order a copy: The JLM Tenth Edition is $105 for the main volume and $22 for the Immigration & Consular Access Supplement. Priority shipping is included in both prices. If you are ordering for a prisoner, follow the instructions for prisoner pricing. Prices and availability may be subject to change.

Note: Regrettably, the law prohibits us from providing any legal advice to prisoners. As an organization with limited funds, we cannot offer any further discounts nor make any billing arrangements other than listed above. We also do not have used copies to distribute. If you would like to use the JLM but are unable to purchase one, please inquire with your prison library to see if they will order one. We apologize for any inconvenience.

How do I place an order?
To place an order, complete the order form below and send it to Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Attn: JLM Order, 435 W. 116th St., New York, NY 10027 along with a check or money order for the proper amount. Please print clearly and legibly!

Please make your check or money order payable to "Columbia Human Rights Law Review." Unfortunately, we are unable to accept postage stamps or credit cards as payment. Overpayments will be considered donations and processed as such. If you are ordering for a prisoner, please follow the prisoner pricing.

Please keep a record of your order, especially if you pay by money order, in case there is a problem with receiving or processing your order. Due to the nature of the institutional mail systems, we request that you allow up to eight weeks from the date of your order for delivery. Because our office is student-run, your order may not be processed as quickly as over school breaks. Please inform us of any restrictions on incoming mail that your facility may have (for example, no padded envelopes, or first class mail only).



ID NUMBER (If applicable):
ORDER (Please circle the price):* Standard shipping requires 4-6 weeks.
1st Class shipping 1-2 weeks. All prisoner orders are sent via 1st Class Mail

Main Volume 1st class mail Immigration Supplement1st class mail Main. Vol. & Immigration Supplement 1st Class Mail
Prisoner$30 $5 $35
Institution$105 $22 $127

A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual--Columbia Human Rights Law Review confirmed this listing on May 22, 2017.

Lewisburg Prison Project, Inc.

P.O. Box 128

Lewisburg, PA 17837-0128

(570) 523-1104 phone

Serves: National,PA

Focus area/description: The Lewisburg Prison Project (LPP) is a non-profit organization that assists prisoners who write LPP when they encounter treatment they perceive to be illegal or unfair. The Lewisburg Prison Project primarily assists inmates in the middle district of Pennsylvania with issues that arise from their conditions of confinement. The LPP also furnishes inmates with appropriate legal materials. As of 2010, the organization does not have an attorney on staff; therefore, the LPP is not able to give legal advice, file suits, or address criminal or post-conviction cases.

The Lewisburg Prison Project offers a range of low-cost legal bulletins ($1-3, prices subject to change) on specific topics concerning prisoners' rights and legal dictionaries for purchase. Inmates can write to the LPP to request a bulletin order form.

2013 Legal Bulletins include:
1.1 Civil Actions in Federal Court: How to select, file, and follow legal actions.
1.2 Legal Research: Guide to Legal Research.
1.3 Access to Records: How to get your records; privacy.
1.5 Federal Tort Claims Act
1.8 Injunctive Relief
First Amendment
2.1 Religious Rights in Prison
2.3 Speech, Visitation, Association
4.1 Rights of Pretrial Detainees
Due Process in Prison
6.1 Disciplinary Hearings
6.4 Urinalyis Drug Testing
"Cruel and Unusual Punishment": Eighth Amendment
7.1 Assaults and Beatings: Assaults by staff or inmates.
7.3 Conditions of Confinment: Heat, exercise, etc.
Medical Care
8.1 Medical Rights
8.2 Psychiactric and Disability Rights
8.3 Aids in Prison
Post Conviction
9.1 Post-Conviction Remedies
9.2 Detainers: Choices and Strategies
9.3 Pennsylvania Megan's Law: Overview of requirements
9.4 DNA Collection and Testing

Lewisburg Prison Project, Inc. confirmed this listing on May 09, 2017.

Human Rights Defense Center

Prison Legal News

P.O. Box 1151

Lake Worth, FL 33460

(561) 360-2523 phone

Serves: National

Focus area/description: The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) publishes Prison Legal News, a monthly magazine (for incarcerated people, $30/year; for others see website) that reports legal developments and news surrounding prisons and jails and prisoner rights. HRDC also publishes and distributes litigation manuals, law and self help books. HRDC also challenges prison and jail conditions via litigation, typically on free speech issues. For details contact: Prison Legal News, P.O. Box 1151, Lake Worth, FL 33460, (561) 360-2523,

Human Rights Defense Center confirmed this listing on April 25, 2017.

A challenge to our colleagues:

We built the internet's first always-up-to-date list of legal services for incarcerated people. Can you make a similar list for a different kind of resource?

Problem: There are too many outdated resource lists floating around.

Our Solution: Have one resource list that one organization checks each year.

Our Method: Inspired by the Cincinnati Books for Prisoners group, we made a list of every legal services organization on every resource list we could find. Then we send a letter by snail mail to each organization each year asking them to confirm/update their listing. If they respond, we include them on the site for the next 365 days. All the organization needs to do is to sign the form we send them and mail it back in the enclosed envelope. If they don't respond, we keep them on our mailing list and try again next year.

This way, any incarcerated person using the list can be assured that the organization they are writing to recently did exist and was responding to mail. And if an organization fails to respond for some reason (staff turnover, postal problems, the dog ate our letter, etc.) they get another chance next year.

It's a win for everyone. We've built a database for legal services. What list can your organization edit?

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