Legal resources for people in prison in Ohio

The Ohio Justice & 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 & Policy Center (OJPC) is a nonprofit public-interest law firm. It was founded in 1997 as the Prison Reform Advocacy Center, to protect the rights and dignity of incarcerated people. In 2004, OJPC began its Second Chance Project to address the re-entry legal needs of people with criminal records in the community. That project includes free individualized legal assistance and free community education workshops for people with criminal records. In 2006, as its mission expanded, the organization was renamed the Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC). OJPC has a history of using individual representation, impact litigation, research, policy advocacy, and other cross-sector strategies to make criminal justice systems fairer and more effective.

OJPC achieves its mission through its work in three areas:

1) Expand the freedom of people with criminal records to participate fully in the community through Second Chance Legal. All of our legal services are focused on removing criminal-records-based barriers. In response to new laws in Ohio, we expanded our work to include targeted assistance for victims of human trafficking with criminal records and to educating employers about CQEs.

2) Safely reduce the size and racial disparity of the prison population through research, legislative/policy advocacy, and litigation/legal representation to directly attack Ohio’s prison overcrowding crisis. We promote evidence-based strategies that enhance public safety.

3) Protect the human rights and dignity of incarcerated people. Here, we provide our individual and class-action litigation to protect incarcerated people, limit the use of the death penalty, and litigation on voting rights for incarcerated people.

The Ohio Justice & Policy Center confirmed this listing on September 29, 2022.

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

Equal Justice Initiative

122 Commerce Street

Montgomery, AL 36104

(334) 269-1806 (fax)

334-269-1803 (phone)

Serves: National,AL

Focus area/description: EJI litigates on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or charged with violent crimes, poor people denied effective representation, and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or prosecutorial misconduct. EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment, and serves the state of Alabama and the Deep South in general, working nationally on selected issues. EJI also prepares reports, newsletters and manuals to assist advocates and policymakers in the critically important work of reforming the administration of criminal justice.

Equal Justice Initiative confirmed this listing on September 29, 2022.

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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