Beyond Prisons — Episode 11: Jailhouse Lawyers Speak
Beyond Prisons is on a brief hiatus until the end of August, when we’ll return with a great episode featuring journalist Victoria Law.
But before we go, we wanted to share our conversation with members of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak ahead of the historic Millions For Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, DC on August 19.
Jailhouse Lawyers Speak is a national collective of incarcerated people who fight for human rights by providing other incarcerated people with access to legal education, resources, and assistance. They inform people of their human rights under the United Nations charter and provide guidance on prison policies and lawsuits. Their advocacy work often makes them targets for retaliation and repression from corrections officers within prisons, which is why they chose to remain anonymous for our conversation.
In general, jailhouse lawyers provide support primarily to poor incarcerated people and their families who cannot afford proper legal representation. They are largely incarcerated people who have taught themselves, or been informally mentored by other jailhouse lawyers, and don’t have law degrees. They describe their work and some ways that people outside prisons can support it.
We also discuss Black August and the fundamental teachings of black revolutionary George Jackson, whose life and work provides a major influence for JLS. Finally, JLS members share their perspective on the 13th Amendment and the upcoming Millions For Prisoners March – which they called for in collaboration with the IAMWE prison advocacy network – and give their ideas for how people can support the demonstration from around the country.
Follow Jailhouse Lawyers Speak on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaillawspeak
Follow JLS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlkJailhouselawyer/
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Music & Production: Jared Ware