Today, members of Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, came to Harvard Law School to speak to a group of students. Free Minds uses books, creative writing, and a peer support system to awaken incarcerated youth to their own potential. Their motto
Last Wednesday, February 22, PLAP hosted Jesse White, the attorney who runs Prisoners' Legal Services' Prison Brutality Project. The project seeks to address the widespread problem of correctional staff abusing their authority by assaulting the men and women who they are employed to keep safe. Jesse staffs the Rapid Response
PLAP is hiring rising 2Ls and 3Ls to work as full-time student attorneys this summer. PLAP is one of the few large-scale law student practice organizations delivering legal services to incarcerated individuals, and has helped defend Massachusetts prisoners’ rights for over four decades.
Student attorneys represent Massachusetts state prison inmates in
On Tuesday, January 17, the Coalition for Effective Public Safety sent a letter to Chief Justice Gants, Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo, and Senate President Rosenberg expressing concern about the end of the Council of State Governments' stay in Massachusetts. CSG has been in the state since 2015, gathering information and preparing
Last semester, new student attorneys visited MCI Cedar Junction, the reception center for male offenders in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. The tour guide brought the group through multiple areas of the prison, including the cells, the visiting area, and the Department Disciplinary Unit.
The tour of the cells went by
Now that students have returned from winter break, the PLAP office is back up and running! We are excited to announce that this year we will be open during J-Term, so we will be answering phone calls and responding to letters as usual.
PLAPpers, now is a great time to take
A group of plaintiffs filed a civil suit on Monday, October 17th arguing that the civil commitment process for some sex offenders in Massachusetts has violated state law. In a civil commitment, sex offenders deemed "sexually dangerous" may be held at the Massachusetts Treatment Center after the completion of their
Inmates in prisons across the country have been striking since September 9th, the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison riots. Prisoners are utilizing both labor strikes and hunger strikes to protest mass incarceration and prison labor conditions. One organization heavily involved in the strike, the Free Alabama Movement, issued a
On Thursday, October 6th, PLAP Board Members Dennis Dillon, Annie Manhardt, and Katherine Robinson testified at a public hearing regarding proposed changes to the Massachusetts Department of Correction regulations. As an organization, we submitted testimony regarding proposed changes to the regulations that govern disciplinary hearings, use of force, and grievance procedures.
Last week new PLAPpers participated in our annual cross-examination training. This is an important training as it prepares new 1Ls to take on their own disciplinary hearings and teaches them basic advocacy skills. Lawyers from across Boston volunteered their time on Wednesday evening to help students with the difficult task of cross-examining
With the new school year now in full swing, PLAP is happy to announce that this year it has added more new members than ever! 122 students attended New Member Orientation last week. In order for new members to learn how PLAP works and how to best help our clients,
On Thursday, September 8, WBUR released the second half of its two-part series on the release of juvenile lifers--people who were sentenced to life in prison before the age of 18. The series follows two Massachusetts men, Greg Diatchenko and Joe Donovan, who have recently been released on parole after
On Wednesday, the Lowell Sun published an article by Jean Trounstine discussing the case of Wilfred Dacier. The Massachusetts Parole Board granted Dacier parole in 2010, specifying that he would need to be released to a DMH facility for inpatient care. When DMH found that Dacier did not actually require
On Friday, July 22, Democratic presidential nominee announced her running mate, Tim Kaine. Kaine is a current U.S. Senator, a former Virginia governor, and a graduate of Harvard Law School. He is also a PLAP alum, having worked on the project throughout his time in law school. Senator Kaine met
On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, the Massachusetts Senate passed "An Act relative to Medical Placement of Terminal and Incapacitated Inmates". This Act would have allowed for conditional medical parole of inmates with a terminal illness or permanent incapacitation, allowing them to receive medical or palliative care outside of the prison system.
WASHINGTON — Baltimore community organizer Perry Hopkins, 55, is looking forward to stepping into a voting booth for the first time in his life this election season.
Hopkins lost his never-exercised right to vote when he was convicted for drug and other offenses. He gained it back last month when Maryland
“Angola Prison, 1980,” by Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick.
For several weeks in February and March, the Whitney Museum’s fifth-floor gallery has been drenched in the slamming of gates, the rattling of keys and the bellowing of prisoners and guards. The artist Andrea Fraser recorded the sounds at Sing Sing, the
WASHINGTON- President Obama on Monday banned the practice of holding juveniles in solitary confinement in federal prisons, saying it could lead to “devastating, lasting psychological consequences.”
The move, which Mr. Obama outlined in an op-ed article published by the Washington Post on Monday night, adds the weight of the federal government to a
Adam Foss, assistant DA in Suffolk Count, Massachusetts, imagines a system that helps young offenders stay out of prison — and instead helps them on a path to a productive life.
Through Foss's eyes, the outcome of law school was to ultimately make more money. However, that view changed on
On October 14, three PLAPpers joined individuals and organizations from across the Commonwealth at the State House to testify before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, in support of bills aimed at improving criminal justice. Despite little advance notice, a dozen PLAPpers volunteered to do research and draft written testimony