A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual (9th Edition)
by Columbia Human Rights Law Review
Columbia Human Rights Law Review
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
Price: $30 for prisoners, $100 for non-prisoners
(All of the content contained in this text is available free at hrlr.org/jlm/toc)
First published in 1978, A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual, or "the JLM" as many call it, has been a staple for law libraries in prisons across America for decades. It is a massive, comprehensive text, long regarded as a top quality work on prisoner litigation. Justice Thurgood Marshall called it "an important and impressive work" that "should be read by everyone involved in, or concerned about, prisoners' rights."
The Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual is particularly useful to the prisoner just beginning his or her journey through the post-conviction and prison litigation systems. It contains invaluable advice on conducting legal research, an overview of legal rights, instruction on correctly reading cases and legal documents, and obtaining Freedom of Information Act materials. The Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual has dedicated sections on prison medical issues, religious freedom, and other rights, along with chapters on special issues for LGBT prisoners, those with mental illnesses, and other special needs groups.
The Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual offers a wealth of information particular to New York State prisoners, on administrative remedies and parole issues. Notably, the Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual offers model forms and motions that provide superb templates for the prisoner-litigant.