Legal resources for people in prison in Wisconsin

Frank J. Remington Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School

975 Bascom Mall

Madison, WI 53706

(608) 262-1002 phone

Serves: WI

Focus area/description: Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons: LAIP has existed since the mid-1960s. Law students in the program address issues like sentence credit, sentence modification, immigration, debt and detainers. They provide such services to persons incarcerated in medium and maximum secuirty prisons in Wisconsin. LAIP does not take on cases in which the Wisconsin Department of Corrections would be an opposing party. Our program prioritizes assistance to inmates:

-who have 1-4 years of confinement time remaining
-who are focused on resolving sentencing and re-entry concerns

LAIP applications, as well as a copy of the LAIP Desk Book, are available on EdNet and in the law libraries at medium and maximum security institutions. Inmates requesting our assistance are encouraged to start with the LAIP Desk Book. After reviewing these materials, complete and return an application form to our office at the address on the form. The application can be found in Chapter 12 of the LAIP Desk Book.

Once LAIP receives an application, an intake specialist reviews the application, along with any materials provided with the application, and on-line court records where available, to determine what, if anything, our program can do to assist. If the LAIP intake specialist does not have enough information at this point, he or she will contact the inmate by phone or in person to discuss the case in more detail.

If the intake specialist believes that an inmate's concern is appropriate for referral to LAIP for more in-depth student assistance, the inmate's name will be placed on a wait list. Due to the large size of the wait lists and the limited availability of law students, it can take up to a year for an inmate who has been referred to meet with a law student.

Finally, please be aware that LAIP does not provide assistance to individuals in the following situations:
-inmates in minimum-security correctional centers in the Wisconsin Prison System;
-inmates in county jails in Wisconsin;
-patients in mental health centers in Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin Resource Center;
-inmates in prisons or jails outside of Wisconsin;
-individuals on probation or parole supervision; or
-individuals who are not incarcerated.
In addition, our program rarely accepts cases related to post conviction review. Therefore, it is unlikely that our program will be able to assist an inmate with a post conviction review if:

-the inmate was older than 18 at the time of the conviction, and
-the inmate was sentenced more than 10 years ago

Frank J. Remington Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School confirmed this listing on April 09, 2018.

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

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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