Support the JLM

A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual (JLM) has launched our annual T-shirt and sweatshirt fundraiser to help make the JLM free for the people who need it most, because no person who is incarcerated should be denied legal information just because they can’t pay.

100% of the funds raised through sales will go towards providing free copies of the manual to indigent individuals.

Why Support the JLM?

Your support will help us achieve our bold vision for the future of the JLM: providing free copies of our manual to incarcerated people across the United States. For its over 40 year history, copies of the JLM have been provided to incarcerated people at a significant discount. In recent years, the JLM has worked diligently to reduce costs, but we believe more must be done in order to make this important legal resource as widely available as possible. 

As this past year’s protests against police killings of Black people reminded us, we have a long way to go towards achieving racial justice in the United States. Underlying and exacerbating police violence against Black people is a system of mass incarceration in which Black people are largely overrepresented and routinely punished more severely than white people for the same crimes. Within prisons, Black people are more likely than white people to be subjected to abuse and inhumane treatment, violative of their human and constitutional rights. In short, incarceration is a racial justice issue. Ensuring that all incarcerated people have free access to information to vindicate their rights is critically important.

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis makes this project even more urgent. Incarcerated people are among those most vulnerable to infection and serious illness from COVID-19. Over the course of the pandemic, incarcerated people have been infected at a rate more than five times higher than the U.S. at large. Lagging vaccine efforts, aging populations, and overcrowding continue to threaten the lives of the almost two million people incarcerated in prisons and jails across the country.

In this context, the importance of ensuring people in prison have a meaningful opportunity to assert their rights—particularly with respect to adequate medical care and safe and hygienic living conditions—cannot be overstated.

Incarceration in the United States punishes people of color, especially Black people, poor people, and queer and trans people. It is a moral imperative that, at a minimum, incarcerated people have access to information about their legal rights regardless of their ability to pay. Please help us achieve this vision.