Author archives

Ken Strutin (JD, MLS) is an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker. He is the author of The Insider’s Guide: Criminal Justice Resources on the Internet, and has lectured extensively about the benefits of using the Internet for legal research at national and local CLE training programs. Mr. Strutin also wrote ALI-ABA’s Practice Checklist Manual on Representing Criminal Defendants, and co-authored the award winning Legal Research Methodology computer tutorial, published by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). He has contributed chapters to several books and written many articles concerning knowledge management, legal research and criminal law. Mr. Strutin has taught courses in Advanced Legal Research and Law Office Management. He is also listed in Who’s Who in American Law. Currently, Mr. Strutin is the Director of Legal Information Services at the New York State Defenders Association and writes a column for the New York Law Journal.

Criminal Justice Resources: Criminal Justice Library Internships

As Ken Strutin states, a library internship is one of the first opportunities for students to experience professional life and learn practical lessons in librarianship. His collection of resources will be useful to library students and aid their host libraries in answering questions, assembling training materials, and offering guidance in professional development.

Subjects: Criminal Law, Law Librarians, Legal Research Training, Librarian Resources

Criminal Justice Resources – Criminal Justice Blogs

Ken Strutin’s guide includes blogs that provide news and analysis of current developments in criminal justice. The blogs are authored by lawyers, law professors, law librarians, public defenders, criminal justice professionals and observers and commentators on the justice system.

Subjects: Blogs, Criminal Law, Features, Legal Research

Criminal Justice Resources: Juvenile Law and Family Court Resources

The latest installment of Ken Strutin’s Criminal Justice Resources series is a bibliography of juvenile and family law sources from professional and commercial institutions, government agencies and public interest groups.

Subjects: Family Law, Features

Features – Criminal Justice Resources: Prisoners’ Rights and Resources on the Web

Criminal Justice Resources Prisoners’ Rights and Resources on the Web By Ken Strutin

Ken Strutin (JD, MLS) is an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker. He is the author of The Insider’s Guide: Criminal Justice Resources on the Internet, and has lectured extensively about the benefits of using the Internet for legal research at national and local CLE training programs. Mr. Strutin also wrote ALI-ABA’s Practice Checklist Manual on Representing Criminal Defendants, and co-authored the award winning Legal Research Methodology computer tutorial, published by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). He has contributed chapters to several books and written many articles concerning knowledge management, legal research and criminal law. Mr. Strutin has taught courses in Advanced Legal Research and Law Office Management. He is also listed in Who’s Who in American Law. Currently, Mr. Strutin is the Director of Legal Information Services at the New York State Defenders Association and writes a column for the New York Law Journal.

Published August 15, 2006

Introduction

This guide highlights resources about prisons, the people who occupy them, legal and social services for inmates and their families, issues related to incarceration and reentry, and human rights behind bars. The focus is on selected web resources and online publications.

Commissions Legal Services Physical Health Statistics Conditions of Confinement Library Services Policy Research Support Services Education Mental Health Prisoners’ Rights Voting Rights Guides and Manuals News and Periodicals Prisons Women Inmate and Prison Locators Organizations Reentry Bibliographies and Research Guides Law School Clinics Parole Standards

Commissions

National commissions have been created to investigate conditions and facilitate legislation aimed at reforming the prison system. And many states and local governments have established agencies to oversee their correctional facilities, and issue reports about their operations. More information on the national level can be found under Conditions of Confinement.

National Commissions

Selected State Commissions

Conditions of Confinement

The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons conducted a national examination of the violence, sexual abuse, degradation, and other abuses occurring in prisons and jails across the country. Four public hearings were held over the course of a year. In 2006, they issued their final report, Confronting Confinement, with recommendations for improving and reforming the prison system, which included standardized reporting of violence and abuse, reinvestment in violence prevention programs, and expanding Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement to cover correctional facilities. The Commission was staffed and funded by the Vera Institute of Justice.

In addition to the work of the Commission, the following organizations have been monitoring and studying prison conditions in the United States, and around the world:

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), 42 USC § 15601, et seq., gave rise to the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. The Commission website makes accessible testimony taken at ongoing hearings along with updates about their work. The following sites provide resources on PREA and its implementation:

National Institute of Corrections

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Related Resources

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Education

Prison societies and academic institutions devote resources to prison education through distribution of books and supporting course materials.

Guides and Manuals

Here are several excellent publications that provide information on legal research, inmate rights, pro se litigation, and resources for prisoners and ex-offenders.

Inmate and Prison Locators

The federal government posts a list of its facilities, and a locator to find particular inmates. Most states offer similar resources for their prisons and some jails. In addition to these directories, an individual state or county’s facilities can be found by searching the local government’s website or one of the national lists below for the appropriate department of corrections.

Law School Clinics

Many law schools have created clinics to provide representation for incarcerated persons who need assistance in post-conviction matters and prison-related cases.

Legal Services

These are directories and sites that provide information about legal services for prisoners and information on self-representation.

Library Services

The resources from national library organizations and others provide information on the issues related to serving this special population.

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Mental Health

The appropriate treatment of inmates with mental health issues has been the subject of much study and debate. This is a small selection of recently published materials and resources.

News and Periodicals

Stories about prison conditions and developments in the law affecting prisoners’ rights can be found in these specialized sources. Notably, there are some standout publications, such as the monthly magazine Prison Legal News, which provides excellent comprehensive coverage and analysis of prison issues. Their website includes a rich collection of resources and an extensive list of research links.

News

Law Reviews

Periodicals

<Table of Contents> Organizations

There is a broad spectrum of private, academic and governmental organizations concerned with the state of US prisons and the operation of the prison system. Many of them publish reports and studies on issues vital to prisoners’ rights and prison reform.

Parole

Here are some general sites concerning parole administration, more information can be found in the Reentry section.

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Physical Health

Health issues for people behind bars are a serious concern and have an impact on society at large. Here are a few national resources on this topic.

Policy Research

Many private, academic and governmental groups engage in research on prison and sentencing reform. They often conduct original research on the conditions of confinement or develop strategies to respond to current problems, such as overcrowding.

Prisoner’s Rights

Much of the literature and resources on prisoners’ rights have already been noted under other categories.

Prisons

These sources concentrate on the unique concerns of prisons and correctional facilities related to placement, administration, and economics.

Reentry

More than 600,000 former ex-offenders are in the process of reentering society. And governmental and private entities are beginning to provide much needed services to ease the transition and promote reintegration.

Standards

National and state standards exist for the administration and operation of prison and jail facilities.

National Standards

Selected State Standards

Statistics

Criminal justice agencies, academic and some private organizations collect statistical information on prison populations, services and special issues.

Support Services

Many organizations exist that provide a variety of basic services to inmates and their families.

Voting Rights

The right to vote for persons behind bars has become the focus of studies, policy discussions and litigation nationwide.

Women

Several organizations have devoted significant resources to the special issues facing women behind bars.

Bibliographies and Research Guides

Here are some extensive bibliographies, pathfinders, and collections of resources on prison related topics.

Subjects: Court Resources, Features, Internet Resources, Internet Resources - Web Links, Legal Research

Features – Public Defense Systems

Criminal Justice Resources Public Defense Systems

By Ken Strutin

Ken Strutin (JD, MLS) is an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker. He is the author of The Insider’s Guide: Criminal Justice Resources on the Internet, and has lectured extensively about the benefits of using the Internet for legal research at national and local CLE training programs. Mr. Strutin also wrote ALI-ABA’s Practice Checklist Manual on Representing Criminal Defendants, and co-authored the award winning Legal Research Methodology computer tutorial, published by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). He has contributed chapters to several books and written many articles concerning knowledge management, legal research and criminal law. Mr. Strutin has taught courses in Advanced Legal Research and Law Office Management. He is also listed in Who’s Who in American Law. Currently, Mr. Strutin is the Director of Legal Information Services at the New York State Defenders Association and writes a column for the New York Law Journal. Other guides by Ken Strutin on LLRX.com.

Published June 18, 2006

Introduction

This is a select collection of resources about public defense systems in the United States. The focus is on key studies, reports, and reference materials published on the web..

#public%2520defense”>Public Defense Directories

#reports”>Reports

#resource%2520centers”>Resource Centers

#standards”>Standards

#criminal%2520defense”>Criminal Defense Lawyer Associations

#eligibility”>Eligibility #commissions”>Commissions #resources”>Resources

Public Defense Directories

Nationwide

  • Pine Tree Legal Services Their website offers links to civil legal services, legal aid, pro bono, backup centers, pro se site, and law school programs throughout the country, and some from around the world. Pine Tree is a statewide legal services program for the citizens of Maine.

Federal

State

<#Table%2520of%2520Contents”>Table of Contents> Resource Centers

In many states, public defenders, legal aid and assigned counsel rely on the support services provided by backup centers. These offices respond to the research and training needs of public defense attorneys, monitor case law and legislative developments, answer questions from the client community and members of the public, and serve as a clearinghouse for public defense advocacy and policy research.

Nationwide

States

Criminal Defense Lawyers Associations

There are many statewide and local criminal defense associations, as well as sections of general bar associations, that have dedicated resources to public defense work. The lists below provide web links to many of these groups.

Commissions

Public defense systems vary from place to place. Some have established statewide systems and operate under commissions, while others are patchwork arrangements. And a few states are reevaluating their defender systems. Information about commissions and related developments can be found in the Spangenberg studies below. Underneath is a selection of state websites.

Nationwide

States Links Arkansas Public Defender Commission California California Habeas Corpus Resource Center Colorado State Public Defender Commission

Alternate Defense Counsel Commission

Connecticut Public Defender Services Commission District of Columbia Public Defender Service Florida Florida Public Defender Association Georgia Georgia Public Defender Standards Council Hawaii Defender Council Illinois Office of State Appellate Defender Indiana Public Defender Commission Iowa Indigent Defense Advisory Commission Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy Louisiana Louisiana Indigent Defense Assistance Board

Louisiana Task Force on Indigent Defense

Maryland Public Defender Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services Michigan Appellate Defender Commission Minnesota Minnesota Public Defenders Missouri Public Defender Commission Montana Public Defender Commission Nebraska Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy New Hampshire Judicial Council

New Hampshire Public Defender

New York

New York State Commission on the Future of Indigent Defense Services

Capital Defender Office

North Carolina Public Defender Commission North Dakota North Dakota Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents Ohio Hamilton County Public Defender Commission

Public Defender Commission

Oklahoma Oklahoma Indigent Defense System Oregon Public Defense Services Commission North Carolina Public Defender Commission South Carolina Indigent Defense Commission Texas Texas Task Force on Indigent Defens Virginia Indigent Defense Commission

Virginia Indigent Defense Commission

Washington Office of Public Defense Wisconsin State Public Defender

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Reports

The major bar associations, private research groups and government agencies have published reports on different aspects of public defense. They include systemwide surveys, funding studies, caseload analyses and highlights of significant problems and unmet mandates.

Compilations

Nationwide Studies

Gideon 40th Anniversary Sites

States

States

Standards

These are compilations of national and state standards for the criminal justice system, and public defense in particular.

Compilations

Resources

<#Table%2520of%2520Contents”>Table of Contents>

Eligibility

The ability to afford counsel depends on many factors, and the assessment of those factors determines whether an accused will receive assigned representation. Below are several guidelines, albeit starting points, used in making this determination.

Guidelines

Reports

Resources

These resources are excellent starting points for locating national and local materials on public defense systems and the implementation of the right to counsel. The Resource Centers listed above are another good place to find information about a particular state’s system.

Organizations

Bibliographies and Libraries

Subjects: Court Resources, Courts & Technology, Government Resources, Legal Research

Features – Wrongful Conviction and Innocence Resources on the Internet

Wrongful Conviction and Innocence Resources on the Internet

By Ken Strutin

Ken Strutin (JD, MLS) is an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker. He is the author of The Insider’s Guide: Criminal Justice Resources on the Internet, and has lectured extensively about the benefits of using the Internet for legal research at national and local CLE training programs. Mr. Strutin also wrote ALI-ABA’s Practice Checklist Manual on Representing Criminal Defendants, and co-authored the award winning Legal Research Methodology computer tutorial, published by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). He has contributed chapters to several books and written many articles concerning knowledge management, legal research and criminal law. Mr. Strutin has taught courses in Advanced Legal Research and Law Office Management. He is also listed in Who’s Who in American Law. Currently, Mr. Strutin is the Director of Legal Information Services at the New York State Defenders Association and writes a column for the New York Law Journal.

Subjects: Criminal Law

Interpretation and Translation Resources for the Criminal Justice System

Ken Strutin’s series of articles on Criminal Justice Resources continues with this extensive bibliography that includes: Foreign Language Publications & Websites; Directories and Services; Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources; Ethics and Standards; Federal and State Court Interpreter Programs and Reference Sources.

Subjects: Court Resources, Criminal Law, Family Law
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