Prisoners’ Legal Services receives Certificate of Congratulations
The New York Bar Foundation
in recognition for PLS’ valuable contributions to facilitating the delivery of legal services in the community.
PRISONERS’ LEGAL SERVICES’
2014 & 2015
PLS’ most significant achievements over the past two years were:
- responding to over 20,000 requests for assistance;
- recouping over 45 years of jail time and sentence credit for 56 clients;
- saving 173 clients from over 145 years in solitary confinement;
- recouping over 71 years of good time for 119 clients;
- saving the State over $12 million dollars by reducing solitary time and obtaining sentence credit;
- obtaining money damages of $109,670 for the wrongful confinement of three clients in solitary confinement;
- obtaining money damages in numerous excessive use of force cases: a female client who was punched in the nose; a male client who was struck in the genitals and head and suffered a concussion and ruptured ear drum, and; a male client who suffered multiple fractures, contusions and abrasions including a blow-out fracture of the right orbit, a fracture of the ventral and lateral walls of the right maxillary sinus and a broken nose.
- continuing the Albion Telephone Project which has benefited over 200 women;
- continuing the publication of Pro Seand Essentials of Lifewhich has benefitted over 8,000 prisoners;
- successfully challenging 4 years of solitary confinement of a 17 year old;
- obtaining statewide changes in DOCCS regulations with respect to juveniles facing disciplinary hearings including:
- a prohibition on sentencing juveniles to solitary confinement;
- the creation of a transition program to move juveniles out of disciplinary confinement, and;
- a mandate that age is a per se mitigating factor at disciplinary hearings.
- preventing our client’s deportation - he is now reunited with and supporting his family;
- obtaining the release of two clients on medical parole. One client was released seven days before Christmas. He died on January 11, 2016;
- reducing barriers to re-entry by obtaining child support modifications; and
- receiving the 2014 Denison Ray Non-profit Organization Award which recognized PLS’ extraordinary commitment to: strengthening access to justice initiatives; delivering the provision of civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients; increasing the provision of pro bono services; and marshaling resources to maximize services to the community.