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.


our services:

Direct Representation

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.

Class Representation

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.

Group Representation

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

  • Prison overcrowding

  • Freedom of Religion

  • Unlawful shackling of women during childbirth

  • Lack of access to the most effective medical treatment for inmates with Hepatitis C

*Learn more about our cases here
Our services are free of charge thanks to the generous contributions of our supporters. Please consider making a donation today to help provide us critical assistance and resources to incarcerated people throughout the state.