​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.

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.