Legal resources for people in prison in New York

Disability Rights New York

725 Broadway

Suite 450

Albany, NY 12207


(800) 993-8982 (Toll free)

(518) 512-3448 (TTY)

Serves: NY

Focus area/description: DRNY is the Protection and Advocacy System for New York State. DRNY provides free civil legal assistance to individuals with disabilities, including to individuals in state prisons and local jails. DRNY works to challenge systemic abuse, neglect, discrimination, and civil rights violations through legal case handling, individual and systemic reform litigation, monitoring of facilities, investigations, and advocacy work. Assistance is limited to disability-related matters within agency resources.

Disability Rights New York confirmed this listing on November 03, 2021.

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

We usually have several national resources listed here, but none of these organizations have responded in the last 12 months, likely because of COVID. In the mean time, we suggest accessing the online version of the Jailhouse Lawyers Manual and mailing the relevant chapters to your incarcerated loved one.

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Problem: There are too many outdated resource lists floating around.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