Legal resources for people in prison in Ohio

The Ohio Justice and Policy Center

215 E. 9th St.

Suite 601

Cincinnati, OH 45202

(513) 562-3200 Fax

(513) 421-1108 Main

Serves: OH

Focus area/description: The Ohio Justice and Policy Center is a nonprofit law office that advocates for fair, intelligent, redemptive criminal justice systems through zealous client-centered advocacy, innovative policy reform and cross-sector community education.

1. Human rights in prison: OJPC provides pro bono legal representation to people in Ohio prisons. We specialize in federal civil rights claims concerning inadequate medical care for serious medical needs, excessive force, and the right to practice religion.

2. Collaborative policy reform: OJPC works closely with legislators, judges, and executive-branch officials at the state and local level all across Ohio, to rethink and retool all aspects of criminal justice systems. We also partner with numerous grassroots groups statewide to develop and promote fair, intelligent, and redemptive reform. Specific areas of focus are sentencing reform, bail reform, fair hiring and ending the death penalty for the seriously mentally ill.

3. Second Chance initiatives: OJPC runs free legal clinics in the Cincinnati area focusing on criminal record sealing, Certificates of Qualification for Employment, and expungement. We also advise clients who hit road blocks when they seek employment, education and/or housing after incarceration.

4. The Women's Project: OJPC is responsive to women's unique needs, risks, and pathways in the criminal justice system and the community. Human trafficking survivors consult OJPC attorneys on matters of record sealing and expungement. Also, OJPC attorneys work on behalf of incarcerated survivors of domestic abuse, specifically to advocate for the release of women who killed their abusers to protect their own lives and the lives of their children.

OJPC is not an innocence project and does not do criminal defense work.

The Ohio Justice and Policy Center confirmed this listing on April 11, 2018.

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

Prison Law Project - Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook

National Lawyers Guild

132 Nassau Street, RM 922

New York, NY 10038

Serves: National

Focus area/description: This Handbook is a resource for prisoners who wish to file a Section 1983 lawsuit in federal court regarding poor conditions in prison and/or abuse by prison staff. It also contains limited information about legal research and the American legal system.

The Handbook is available for free to anyone: prisoners, lawyers, families, friends, activists and others. To download it, go to:

If you are unable to download the Handbook and would like to receive a copy via mail, please write to:

National Lawyers Guild
132 Nassau Street, RM 922, New York, NY 10038


Center for Constitutional Rights
666 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10012

Please note it may take at least 8 weeks to deliver the Handbook due to a shortage of staff and resources. It is usually much faster to download the Handbook from this site and print it yourself.

PLEASE NOTE: This organization does not have the resources to give legal advice or representation, and will not respond to mail regarding these issues. Please send only orders or comments about the JLH itself.

Prison Law Project - Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook confirmed this listing on April 27, 2018.

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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