Can PLS Help?

Prisoners’ Legal Services provides legal representation and administrative advocacy in civil (non-criminal) matters related to prisoners’ treatment in Massachusetts prisons and jails, and upon release on parole.

PLS may be able to help if you, or someone you care about:

  • is a current or former Massachusetts prisoner, and
  • is indigent or poor, and
  • has experienced one or more of the following problems:
    • inadequate medical or mental health care
    • assault by a staff
    • unsanitary, unsafe or otherwise extreme conditions in a Massachusetts jail or prison
    • lengthy or arbitrary isolation or segregation, especially if the prisoner is suffering from mental illness, or
    • unfair denial or revocation of parole, or excessive delays in parole proceeding

On behalf of our clients, PLS:

  • educates and advises prisoners on prison and jail policies and procedures, including grievance the grievance processes
  • documents instances when a prisoner is assaulted by a guard, including by interviewing the prisoner as soon as possible and requesting video footage or other evidence
  • urges corrections and medical personnel to provide necessary or recommended medical and mental health care, including medication and operations, in consultation with the client
  • provides legal representation in litigation when necessary, by:
    •  filing a lawsuit to change policies and practices or to hold the government or officials responsible for wrongdoing, or
    • referring the client to another attorney willing to represent the client at no charge (pro bono)

Becoming a PLS Client
We accept calls from Massachusetts prisoners and their family members on Monday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. (800) 882-1413 is a free line for non-prisoners anywhere in Massachusetts. Prisoners in county facilities should call collect on (617) 482-4124. Prisoners in DOC facilities can call on a speed-dial number, 9004, which is pre-authorized on all state prisoner PIN cards.

Obtaining Other Information and Assistance
For information and referrals on other topics related to incarceration and the rights of prisoners, please see the Self Help section of this website. Information regarding parole can be found on the Parole page.