Please read PLAP's statements on the decision Harvard made to deny Michelle Jones admission into Harvard's History department. The story was originally published in the Harvard Record.
The Bristol County Sheriff’s office intends to end in-person visitation in two Dartmouth facilities, replacing it with video calls. The Bristol County House of Correction and the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Women’s Center will be the first jails in Massachusetts to make the transition.
These Bristol County facilities hold both inmates
On July 18, the Department of Correction agreed to transfer 14 men out of the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater, the medium-security DOC facility that holds prisoners who are or may be civilly committed as sexually dangerous persons. The 14 men were not serving sentences for sex offenses and indeed
Over spring break, 5 members of PLAP and another HLS student traveled to New Orleans, LA to work with the Promise of Justice Initiative (PJI) on a lawsuit seeking injunctive relief to deliver constitutionally adequate medical care to incarcerated people at Angola. Our students helped the attorneys prepare for trial
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