The Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people who are incarcerated or institutionalized in the state of Pennsylvania whose civil constitutional rights have been violated.
Individual civil cases are taken based on their merit and program priorities.
Information and Referrals
Providing various self-help and legal materials, as well as referral information at no cost to clients.
Representation of groups of individuals sharing common problems within institutions.
Legislative and Administrative Advocacy
Track administrative and legislative initiatives concerning institutional issues and advocacy for the clients' perspective.
Representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income organizations concerned with institutional issues (where permitted by funding sources).
Some Current Issues we are addressing
Restrictive visitation policies
The "one good eye" policy of the DOC
Placement of mentally ill inmates in solitary confinement in the Special Management Unit at United States Penitentiary at Lewisburg
Prolonged shackling of inmates in the Special Management Unit at United States Penitentiary at Lewisburg
Excessive use of force
Sexual assault of inmates within institutions
Freedom of Religion
Unlawful shackling of women during childbirth
Lack of access to the most effective medical treatment for inmates with Hepatitis C