The Following Self-Help Materials are available free of charge*


Prisoners' Rights Handbook
2013 Edition

A guide to correctional law decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States & the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Edited by Angus Love, Esq. Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project and Eva DeLair

Criminal Justice Advocacy & Support Directory

This invaluable 2016-2018 guide lists agencies in PA that serve the needs of prison inmates, inmate families, victims, criminal justice professionals, volunteers, and support persons.

how to change your name
a self-help guide

Step-by-step instructions to change your name either administratively or through the courts system. Complete with sample pleadings, this guide makes it possible for anyone eligible to legally change their name without a lawyer.


the Jailhouse Lawyer's Handbook
5th Edition, 2010

How to Bring a Federal Lawsuit to Challenge Violations of Your Rights in Prison. This manual provides specific details about fighting violations, general lessons about the criminal justice system, and includes sample pleadings.


This 2018 pamphlet provides information about the “Clean Slate” law which will expand the clearing of criminal records in Pennsylvania.

An informational guide to compassionate release in Pennsylvania

This 2014 guide explains the law surrounding compassionate release and provides sample pleadings and additional documents for reference.



Beginning on April 6, 2019, the DOC will not copy legal mail. This info sheet explains the rights of incarcerated people receiving legal mail in state prisons.


Beginning on April 6, 2019, the DOC will not copy legal mail. This document outlines the new protocols attorneys when sending legal mail to state prisons.


*click on the title to view and download the document

  • To order any of these publications, please write to the office that corresponds with your geographic area in Pennsylvania.

  • These resources are free of charge thanks to the generous contributions of our supporters. Please consider making a donation to help us continue to provide these services.

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