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Prisoners’ Rights Books and Newsletters

 APPENDIX K: Prisoners’ Rights Books and Newsletters


A list of printed publications and books that you can order for further assistance. Please note that prices may change on many of the publications. Before you send money, please verify the address and price with the organization. Because of the COVID pandemic, responses may be very slow or delayed.

A. Federal Legal Resources

  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 2019 - $20.00
  • Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure with forms, 2018 - $12.00

If convicted of a federal crime, you can request the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure for $13.00 and the Federal Rules of Evidence for $7.00. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and of Evidence will not assist state prisoners.

All prices include postage. To order any of the Federal Rules, write to:

U.S. Government Printing Office
P.O. Box 979050, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000

(Check or money order payable to “Superintendent of Documents”)

B. National Resources

  • The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation
    Write to: Attn Business Office, Bluebook Orders, Harvard Law Review Association, Gannett House, 1511 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138. Cost is $38.50 plus shipping.

  • Brief Writing and Oral Argument, 9th edition
    Guidance on preparing effective oral and written arguments, especially relating to the Courts of Appeals. Send $53.00 and order to: Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513

  • Columbia University Jailhouse Lawyers Manual
    is an excellent resource, especially if you are incarcerated in New York. Send your request with a check or money order (no stamps) for $30.00, payable to Columbia Human Rights Law Review to: Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Attn: JLM Order, 435 W. 116th St., New York, NY 10027.

  • Cohen and Olson’s Legal Research in a Nutshell, 14th Edition.
    West Publishing, 444 Cedar St, Suite 700, St. Paul, MN 55101. Cost is $50.00.

  • Fortune News.
    Newsletter from the Fortune Society, specifically for prisoners. The majority of the writers are prisoners / ex-prisoners. Free. Write to: The Fortune Societies, Attn: Fortune News Subscriptions, 29-76 Northern Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101.

  • Introduction to the Legal System of the United States, 4th Edition.
    This publication will help you understand the principles of the U.S. legal system. No longer published by publisher but cheap copies can be ordered by family members online.

  • Law Offices of Alan Ellis, PC.
    Attorney Alan Ellis has a number of publications available., including the
    Federal Prison Guidebook: 2021 Edition - the print edition is $189. To order the Guidebook, write to: James Publishing, Inc., 3505 Cadillac Avenue, Suite P-101, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Many free resources available online at, if you have a friend on the outside to help.

  • Osborne Association
    Publishes Parenting from Inside/Out: The Voices of Mothers in Prison and other New York state-specific resources. Many resources on website. Write to: 809 Westchester Ave., Bronx, NY 10455

  • The Prisoners’ Guide to Survival.
    A comprehensive legal assistance manual for post-conviction relief and prisoners’ civil rights. Last updated in 2001. For prisoners, send $54.95 to: PSI Publishing, Inc., 413-B 19
    th Street, #168, Lynden, WA 98264

  • Prison Legal News.
    A monthly newsletter.
    Highly recommended. The best source of the latest prison-related legal news. A 12-month subscription is $30. Send check and order to: P.O. Box 1151, Lake Worth, FL 33460.

  • The Prisoners’ Assistance Directory
    Published by the American Civil Liberties Union Prison Project. As of 2021, it has not been updated since 2012, and many addresses may be out of date. It includes contact information and services descriptions for over 300 national, state, local, and international organizations that provide assistance to prisoners, ex-offenders, and families of prisoners. It can be downloaded for free at Mailing address: 915 15th St., NW, 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20005.

  • Prisoners Self-Help Litigation Manual, 4th Edition. Highly recommended.
    The Fourth Edition of this well-respected resource was published in 2010. It is a very detailed book on prisoners’ constitutional and federal rights, as well as information on how to file and proceed with a lawsuit. It includes lots of citations to relevant cases. Send $44.95 and order to: Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513

  • Protecting Your Health & Safety
    A publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center that explains the legal rights inmates have regarding health and safety—including the right to medical care and to be free from inhumane treatment. Send $16 and your request to: Protecting Your Health and Safety, Prison Legal News, P. O. Box 1151, Lake Worth, FL 33460.

  • Sinister Wisdom.
    Mails free subscriptions to women in prison. Only mails to women’s prisons. Subscription is $36 for one year, $58 for two years. Sliding Scale is available. Mail money and request to: Sinister Wisdom, 2333 McIntosh Road, Dover, FL 33527.