Legal & Political Organizations

Legal & Political Organizations

regional & national legal organizations

  • Abolitionist Law Center “is a public interest law firm inspired by the struggle of political and politicized prisoners, and organized for the purpose of abolishing class and race based mass incarceration in the United States.”
  • Center for Constitutional Rights “works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications.”
  • Civil Liberties Defense Center “supports movements that seek to dismantle the political and economic structures at the root of social inequality and environmental destruction. We provide litigation, education, legal and strategic resources to strengthen and embolden their success.” 
  • Critical Resistance “seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.”
  • The National Lawyers Guild is a progressive public interest association of lawyers, law students, paralegals, jailhouse lawyers, law collective members, and other activist legal workers, in the United States.
  • The Marshall Project “is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.”
  • National Lawyers Guild uses “law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests.”
  • Partnership for Civil Justice Fund “is a public interest legal organization that brings a unique and cutting edge approach dedicated to the defense of human and civil rights secured by law, the protection of free speech and dissent, and the elimination of prejudice and discrimination.”
  • The Center for Constitutional Rights is a progressive non-profit legal advocacy organization based in New York City.
  • Project South’s “work is rooted in the legacy of the Southern Freedom Movement, and [their] four primary work areas achieve [their] mission of cultivating strong social movements in the South powerful enough to contend with some of the most pressing and complicated social, economic, and political problems we face today.”

Political Support Behind Bars

  • Anarchist Black Cross is an international federation of collectives focused on supporting political prisoners and prisoners of war, and opposed to state repression against revolutionary social justice movements. Each chapter determines its own web presence, and there are some federations or other organizational structures in different regions.
  • Black and Pink seeks “to abolish the criminal punishment system and to liberate LGBTQIA2S+ people/people living with HIV who are affected by that system, through advocacy, support, and organizing.”
  • Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee is the “prisoner-led section of the Industrial Workers of the World [. . . . that struggles] to end prison slavery along with allies and supporters on the outside.”
  • International Anarchist Defence Fund uses a “collective solidarity structure [to provide] support to anarchists around the world who are persecuted or find themselves in a difficult life situation because of their political ideas or activities.”
  • International Anti-fascist Defence Fund is “a standing fund that [can] be used to provide immediate support to anti-fascists and anti-racists anywhere in the world, whenever they [find] themselves in a difficult situation as a result of their stand against hate.”
  • Kite Line “is a radio program devoted to prison issues around the Midwest and beyond.”
  • Prison Activist Resource Center “is a prison abolitionist group committed to exposing and challenging all forms of institutionalized racism, sexism, able-ism, heterosexism, and classism, specifically within the Prison Industrial Complex.”
  • Prison Legal News “is a 72-page monthly magazine that reports on criminal justice issues and prison and jail-related civil litigation, with an emphasis on prisoners’ rights.”



black, indigenous, & people of color organizations

  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund “protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans.”
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice “is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice – AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), and Advancing Justice – Chicago.”
  • Black Movement-Law Project “provides legal support to local communities throughout the country as they demonstrate against police brutality and systemic racism.”
  • Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America is an organization that provides pro bono legal representation in federal courts and administrative proceedings for qualified individuals and organizations where the representation is in the interest of the Muslim community.“governmental security measures affecting Muslim communities which encroach upon the constitutional liberties guaranteed to all” and “protects the rights of Muslim individuals and organizations in the United States to exercise their constitutionally and statutorily protected right to worship.”
  • CUNY CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility) supports “Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and all other communities in the New York City area and beyond that are targeted by local, state, or federal government agencies under the guise of national security and counterterrorism.”
  • Lakota People’s Law Project partners “with the Lakota to help renew Indigenous culture and secure Native autonomy and self-determination.
  • Law for Black Lives “is a Black femme-led national network of nearly 4,000 radical lawyers and legal workers committed to building a responsive legal infrastructure for movement organizations and cultivating a community of legal advocates trained in movement lawyering.”
  • Muslim Legal Fund of America “is a charity that funds legal work and programs to defend Muslims against injustice in American courtrooms, prisons, and communities.”
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together “is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit organization that fights for racial justice and advocates for the civil rights of all South Asians in the United States.”
  • The United People of Color Caucus of the National Lawyers Guild “is an alliance of law students, legal workers, attorneys, and other people of color within the NLG.”
  • Water Protector Legal Collective “provides legal support, advocacy, and knowledge sharing for Indigenous centered and guided environmental and climate justice movements.”

Legal Resources for Immigrants and Refugees

  • Al Otro Lado is “a bi-national, direct legal services organization serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico.”
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association “is the national association of more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law.”
  • Detention Watch Network “is a national coalition building power through collective advocacy, grassroots organizing, and strategic communications to abolish immigration detention in the United States.”
  • Immigration Advocates Network “is dedicated to expanding access to immigration legal resources and information through collaboration and technology.”
  • Immigrant Defense Project is a national organization that provides impact litigation, legal training and support, post conviction relief, advocacy, and community organizing. They provide a wide range of resources for attorneys, including written materials, expert advice, and trainings.aims “to abolish a racially biased criminal legal system that violates basic human rights and an immigration system that every year tears hundreds of thousands of immigrants with convictions from their homes, their families, and their communities.”
  • National Immigration Law Center “is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income.”
  • National Immigration Legal Services Directory lists “immigration legal services providers by state, county, or detention facility. Only nonprofit organizations that provide free or low-cost immigration legal services are included in this directory.”
  • National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild “is a national non-profit organization that provides technical assistance and support to community-based immigrant organizations, legal practitioners, and all advocates seeking and working to advance the rights of noncitizens.”
  • No Mas Muertes (No More Deaths) seeks “to end death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands through civil initiative: people of conscience working openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights.”
  • Immigrant Defense Project is a national organization that provides impact litigation, legal training and support, post conviction relief, advocacy, and community organizing. They provide a wide range of resources for attorneys, including written materials, expert advice, and trainings.
  • Detention Watch Network is a national coalition of formerly detained people and their families, community and faith-based groups, legal service providers, lawyers, national and regional advocates and organizers, and law school clinics. Together they engage in advocacy, organizing, and strategic communications to abolish immigration detention in the United States.
  • Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America is an organization that provides pro bono legal representation in federal courts and administrative proceedings for qualified individuals and organizations where the representation is in the interest of the Muslim community.
  • Queer Detainee Empowerment Project “assists folks coming out of immigration detention in securing structural, health/wellness, educational, legal, and emotional support and services. QDEP works to organize around the structural barriers and state violence that LGBTQIA TS & GNC detainee/undocumented folks face related to their immigration status, race, sexuality, and gender expression/identity.”

Legal Resources for People Outside the Gender Binary, Trans*, & Queer People

  • GLAD Legal Advocates & Defenders “works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.”
  • Intersex Society of North America was “devoted to systemic change to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries for people born with an anatomy that someone decided is not standard for male or female.” The nonprofit is closed, but the website and resources remain.
  • National LGBT Bar Association “is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBTQ+ community in all its diversity.”
  • Sylvia Rivera Law Project “works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.”
  • TGI (Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex) Justice Project “is a group of transgender, gender variant and intersex people—inside and outside of prisons, jails and detention centers—creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.”
  • Transgender Law Center “is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.”
  • Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois “is a group of radical activists, social workers, and organizers who provide support, advocacy, and free, holistic advocacy and criminal legal services to poor and street-based transgender people in Illinois.”

Organizations for Elder Prisoners and Prisoners with Dependents

  • Release Aging People in Prison “works to end mass incarceration and promote racial justice by getting elderly and infirm people out of prison.”
  • Rosenberg Fund for Children “is a 501 (c)(3), non-profit, public foundation that makes grants to aid children in the U.S. whose parents are targeted, progressive activists. We also assist youth who themselves have been targeted as a result of their progressive activities.”
  • Legal Services for Prisoners with Children “organizes communities impacted by the criminal justice system and advocates to release incarcerated people, to restore human and civil rights and to reunify families and communities.”

Organizations for Prisoners with Disabilities, Different Abilities, & Health Concerns

  • The Arc “is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and serving them and their families.”

  • AVID (Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities) Prison Project is a disability rights advocacy organization that “is a collaboration between The Arizona Center for Disability Law, Disability Law Colorado, The Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Disability Rights New York, Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities of South Carolina, Disability Rights Texas, Disability Rights Washington and The National Disability Rights Network.”

  • Disability Rights Bar Association “is an online network of attorneys who specialize in disability civil rights law.”

  • The Icarus Project “is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness [. . . . that advances] social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation.”

  • Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law advocates “for the civil rights, full inclusion and equality of adults and children with mental disabilities.”

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness “is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.”

  • Prison Health News “is an information network project of Philadelphia FIGHT [. . . . whose] newsletter, published four times a year for people in prison, strives to lift up the voices, experience and expertise of currently and formerly incarcerated people.”

  • Sero Project “centers PLHIV [people living with HIV] leadership to end HIV criminalization, mass incarceration, racism and social injustice by supporting inclusive PLHIV networks to improve policy outcomes, advance human rights and promote healing justice.”

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