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Struggles of Using Legal Recourse as a Path Toward Better Prison Conditions
National Lawyers Guild
It seems there could never be enough legal support to help the millions of prisoners who would benefit from having a lawyer at arms’ length. Whether it is lack of medical care, abhorrent nutrition, exposure to extreme temperatures, lack of clean water, or brutality by prison guards, there are endless inhumane conditions prisoners are forced to live through on a daily basis. The National Lawyers Guild’s National Office receives letter after letter from prisoners, mainly requesting a copy of the Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook (a resource for prisoners who wish to file a federal lawsuit addressing poor conditions in prison or abuse by prison staff), but many also hope that they can obtain help from a lawyer to stand up against the prison administration on their behalf. One of the reasons why there are not more lawyers to help prisoners with civil suits is because of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).

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