Volunteer Opportunity posted by: NLG Prison Law Project
Posted on: January 10, 2014
Volunteers gather one evening each week to open, read and sort letters from people in prison requesting the "The Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook," a free self-help legal guide published by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the National Lawyers Guild. The Handbook presents guidelines to people in prison on how to file lawsuits on their own ("pro se") for violations of their civil rights while incarcerated, as well as basic legal information.
During each session letters are opened and sorted, and then Handbooks are packaged and sent to prisoners who request them. It is mostly administrative work, but it is extremely important and appreciated by those on the inside. The program has been volunteer-run from its beginning in early 2006, and has continued to grow as we complete our seventh year.
Each session lasts around 1-2 hours, and usually starts at 6:45pm. We will meet on Wednesdays for at least the beginning of 2014. Occasionally the date changes but the sessions are always in the evenings and never on the weekends. We usually have free snacks and drinks available for volunteers. Volunteers are not required to show up every week - we hope that people can come and help out when they have time, and are very grateful for any help we get.
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND interested volunteers take a moment to review the websites of the National Lawyers Guild (http://nlg.org) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (http://ccrjustice.org). The NLG and CCR are radical legal organizations dedicated to human rights, racial and social justice issues in the U.S. and internationally.
Interested volunteers should be aware that they will be opening letters from people in prison, most of whom are requesting help because they are dealing with harsh violations of their rights, such as physical and mental abuse, which they often describe in detail. Volunteers should also be aware that the Prison Law Project sends handbooks to ALL prisoners who request them, regardless of their sentence, charges, or other status.
Send an email to email@example.com with a two-sentence description of why you're interested in the program, and a sentence or two about yourself. Please do not send resumes or cover letters. Please do not call the NLG or CCR offices.