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Additional Resources for Incarcerated People Without a Lawyer

This section provides resources and guides prepared by other district courts and vetted third parties. Please note that the District of Montana did not author these resources. The District of Montana does not endorse and cannot guarantee the accuracy of these resources. The applicable law may have changed since these resources were published, particularly for sources that were published less recently. The materials contained on this page are informational only. These materials are not legal advice and should not be considered as legal advice. Using information on the website does not create an attorney-client relationship.
  • Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook, 6th Edition (2021) - This handbook is a free resource for people in prison who wish to file a federal lawsuit addressing poor conditions in prison or abuse by prison staff. It also contains limited general information about the United States legal system. Published and updated by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the National Lawyers Guild.
    • Link to interactive website containing links to view each chapter and appendix. 
    • Request a printed copy by mail for someone in jail or prison. Fill out this online form or send a letter to: The Center for Constitutional Rights 666 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10012 or The National Lawyers Guild, National Office, P.O. Box 1266, New York, NY 10009-8941. 
  • Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, 12th Edition (Feb. 2021) - This manual is a practical legal resource written to provide incarcerated people with information about their rights while in prison. Published and updated by Columbia University’s Human Rights Law Review. Note that much of this information is specific to the law in New York state and may not apply to the law in Montana. 
  • First Step Act ("FSA")