While every facility’s rules are different, this article provides a good overview of what “jail mail” rules usually look like.
If you have a felony conviction, you may have trouble getting a passport. And, even with a passport, you still might have trouble traveling.
The BOP says that its FSA time credits auto-calculator is up and running. That’s news to everyone who uses it.
Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 1008, a bill that makes prison calls in the state free.
While plea deals are very common, a court does not have to accept a plea deal. If a judge refuses to accept a deal, the case moves forward.
People who take time to communicate with incarcerated people deserve credit. But they also need to learn to respect a prisoner’s wishes.
A new federal court case out of Wisconsin demonstrates when you may get a court-appointed lawyer in a First Step Act time credits case.
When it comes to alternatives to the U.S. justice system, people usually think of diversion. But deflection is making headlines.
The BOP’s implementation of First Step Act (FSA) time credits has been a mess, and it’s getting worse.
Community service sentences are an alternative to incarceration that benefits the defendant and the community.
Some states charge prisoner $249 per day for their incarceration. Almost always, they won’t have the money to pay it back.
There are a lot of questions about FSA time credits, but one thing is clear: you must exhaust your administrative remedies.
There are a lot of questions about FSA time credits out there right now. Here’s the best information we have in less than 1,000 words.
If you have a loved one in prison, you’ll use an “offender search” website eventually. Here’s an all-in-one database of those websites.
Earlier this week, Wired Magazine reported that cops in New Jersey used baby DNA to charge the child’s father. It’s as crazy as it sounds.
A dozen people have died in Rikers in 2022, a tangible statistic that represents the facility’s horrific conditions. Will anything change?
In a criminal case, there are usually three possible outcomes on appeal: affirmed, reversed or affirmed in part and reversed in part.
Most people know that you can appeal after trial and sentencing, but there are other rules you need to know about appeals too.
Some states like Michigan base their sentences on prior record variables. Make sure your PRV score is correct at sentencing.
Some states like Michigan base their sentences on offense variables. It’s crucial that you make sure your OV score is correct at sentencing.
During a search by law enforcement, you do not have to tell the police much. At most, you will have to identify yourself.
There are situations in which you can file a motion for resentencing, but those situations are limited in criminal cases.
You can be held in jail for up to 72 hours (and sometimes even longer) before you are arraigned in a criminal case.
Whether you’re in state court or federal court, the sentencing guidelines will play a role in your sentence no matter what.
You can depose witnesses in a criminal case, but it is not as common as it is in civil cases and often requires judge approval.
There are three types of witnesses in a criminal trial: a lay witness, an expert witness and a character witness.
The Presentence Investigation Report has a huge impact during sentencing, but its impact extends far beyond that.
You can file a Bivens action any time your rights are violated, but violations of the Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments are most common.
Thousands of juveniles are currently housed in adult prisons across the U.S. even though we know the practice is harmful.
A defendant in a criminal case is not entitled to an expert witness. But, if one is necessary, the judge should allow you to have one.
In a criminal case, defendants are usually entitled to discovery. However, states like Virginia have very limited rules.
Courts can dismiss charges against a defendant in a criminal case if there is insufficient evidence presented by the prosecution.
A declarant-witness’s prior statement and an opposing party’s statement are hearsay exclusions. This means they are “not hearsay.”
A person cannot choose which jail or prison they will go to. Instead, authorities consider a variety of factors to determine placement.
Police can only search a person’s home in certain circumstances. But, if you consent to a search, those circumstances don’t have to apply.
If you’ve been convicted of a sex-related offense, you’ll likely be on a sex offender registry, which comes with housing restrictions.
Your Fifth Amendment rights include the right to remain silent, even during a search prior to an arrest and prior to a trial.
A Bivens action is a lawsuit against a federal government official who violates someone’s constitutional rights.
Whether you have to disclose that you’ve been to prison on a job application depends on what state you are in.
Police can search a person in a number of different situations, but the Fourth Amendment provides some protections.
The Fourth Amendment includes rights that a protect you during a seizure, which includes during a traffic stop.
Police can search a person’s car with a warrant or with consent. But you don’t have to consent to a search under any circumstances.
Several different Fifth Amendment rights apply during a traffic stop, including the right to remain silent.
If police see you commit a traffic violation, they can pull you over. After that, police may ask to search your car. You can say no.
The Sixth Amendment protects your right to a lawyer on appeal, but that right only extends so far. Then, you’re on your own.
The Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution provide you with several important rights that apply during a search.
In general, courts don’t allow you to present hearsay. But there are a lot of hearsay exceptions. In federal court, there are 23 of them.
In every criminal case, you can contest the charges against you. But you don’t have to. You can also plead guilty or no contest.
A lawsuit against the Clark County Sheriff and other jail officials says they accepted a bribe in exchange for access to female detainees.
Hearsay is an out-of-court statement offered by a party to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement.
A Bivens Claim is the kind of lawsuit you bring when a federal official violates your constitutional rights.
Public defenders are a key part of the criminal justice system and our Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Learn more here.
A lot of websites will tell you that there’s a difference between a lawyer and an attorney. But is there really a difference?
Several Fifth Amendment rights apply during trial, including the right to remain silent and the double-jeopardy protections.
You can find newly discovered evidence from prison, but it’s not easy. You’ll likely need help from at least one other person.
The Freedom of Information Act can help you win your wrongful-conviction lawsuit, but every state’s rules are different.
If you’re in BOP custody, you can earn 54 days off of your sentence per year through good time credits.
There is only one thing you have to tell police during a traffic stop: your name. Other than that, you can remain silent.
People in BOP custody can be released early under the CARES Act. But the BOP and federal courts haven’t made it easy.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, and its decision could have several impacts on the criminal justice system.
In Concepcion v United States, the Supreme Court ruled that district courts can consider many factors when deciding a First Step Act motion.
Every lawyer must meet a set of standards. These standards are known as the Rules of Professional Conduct.
The First Step Act of 2018 was arguably the most significant criminal justice reform in decades. Here, we summarize what it did.
You can get your record expunged in many states, but it depends on a lot of different factors. Some states, however, don’t allow it at all.
Everyone in prison waits for their end-of-sentence (EOS) date. But are you really read to return home? It depends.
When the jury can’t reach a verdict, it is known as a “hung jury.” But a judge will make the jury deliberate more before ending the case.
President Biden’s Executive Order impacts several parts of the criminal justice system, including prison conditions. Learn how.
President Biden’s Executive Order addresses several topics, but one of the most important ones is First Step Act implementation.
For months, federal courts have approved of the BOP’s approach to FSA time credits without pushback. But a new decision is changing that.
President Biden’s May 25 Executive Order includes several provisions on law enforcement accountability. Here’s what you need to know.
The RDAP program is offered in federal prisons across the United States by the BOP, but you must qualify for it.
To qualify for RDAP, a drug abuse program coordinator must have documentation of a drug abuse disorder.
The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. But what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment?
Before police can arrest you, they must have probable cause. This probable-cause requirement comes from the Constitution.
The Fifth Amendment applies when you get arrested. It states that you can’t be forced to be a witness against yourself.
The Fourth Amendment protects you when you get arrested. If police violate it, courts can suppress evidence. You can also file a lawsuit.
During an arrest, you may have to tell the police your name. But, other than identifying yourself, you have the right to remain silent.
In a criminal case, a defendant has the motion to file a motion to dismiss, asking the court to drop the charges against you.
You can file a lawsuit for FSA Time Credits any time you want. But courts have been dismissing them as too early no matter when you file.
The Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade in the near future, and the impacts on the criminal justice system are clear already.
Across the U.S., prosecutors and district attorneys are adding a Conviction Integrity Unit to their office. What does it mean for you?
Finding housing after prison is a nightmare. But lawmakers and officials can change things. Do they want to?
If you talk to a police officer, they can use what you say against you, your loved ones and others. But you have rights that protect you.
Courts have been providing guidance on challenging the BOP’s calculation of FSA time credits. So far, it’s been useless.
The BOP started applying FSA time credits earlier this year, but what if they haven’t calculated your time credits correctly?
If you’re going to prison, one of the things you might not know about yet but will want to is the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP).
If you’ve been convicted of a crime that you did not commit, you need help. Exoneration and innocence projects can do just that.
The First Step Act changed compassionate release for the better. But has it actually led to more compassionate releases?
Prosecutors don’t only work in criminal cases. They also represent “the People” or “the State” in involuntary civil commitment cases.
In Thompson v Clark, the U.S. Supreme Court held that plaintiffs need only prove they weren’t convicted to bring a Fourth Amendment claim.
In essence, courts have forced prisoners to get the COVID-19 vaccination. But you won’t see that on social media or in the news. Why?
In a case called Ramirez v Collier, the U.S. Supreme Court delayed an execution based on a prisoner’s religious-freedom rights.
A new bail law in Indiana was passed in the name of safety, but all it’s likely to do is lock up more poor people.
USP McCreary has a deal with Books N Things to become its exclusive book and magazine provider. How? Why? Help us learn more.
You have probably earned a lot of FSA Time Credits by now, but challenging the BOP’s calculation of those Time Credits will be hard.
The differences between felonies and misdemeanors focus on the seriousness of the crime and the potential punishment.
Deshaun Watson will be the subject of a grand jury proceeding on Friday. If the grand jury decides to charge him, he could be in trouble.
In Wooden v United States, the Supreme Court addressed mandatory minimums under the Armed Career Criminals Act.
If you plan to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus, you may need to know whether you are in state or federal custody.
You will have the option of eating three meals in prison. Prison food menus follow a national calendar. The menu changes daily.
A new NPR report states that prosecutors in the U.S. have been using plea deals to stop compassionate release from prisons.
The biggest thing you need to know about filing an FSA Time Credits lawsuit is that you need to go through the BOP grievance process first.
The BOP has started to apply FSA Time Credits. But many are still waiting. Here’s a Q&A from someone who has been in your shoes.
After police shot and killed Amir Locke, the term “no-knock warrant” started making headlines again. Here’s what you need to know.
We’ve received many questions about if noncitizens can earn First Step Act Time Credits. The answer is no, but you can earn other incentives.
There are 9,000 people out on CARES Act release right now. Only 1% of those 9,000—less than 10—have committed serious violations.
The BOP started to apply FSA time credits last week, but you may not get every credit you’ve earned. Hear one expert’s thoughts…
The BOP started to apply FSA Time Credits last week, but you might still be waiting, including if you’re already on home confinement.
Following all the prison rules is essential. Even the smallest of infractions can result in disciplinary action.
The new TextInmate.com system allows inmates to send and receive text messages in prison. It is quicker than letters or email.
The BOP has until January 15, 2022, to provide First Step Act time credits. Today is the deadline. Will the BOP follow the law?
This morning started with some huge FSA Time Credits news. Here’s everything you need to know about it in less than 600 words.
It is important to follow the prison rules. Major rule infractions involve more serious consequences. You’ll go to the SHU if you break rules.
The Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) has four phases. These phases are orientation, core, transition and aftercare.
There are two types of mail in prison: general and special mail. Officers conduct a visual inspection of all mail for contraband.
The First Step Act is coming up on an important deadline for its time credits system. Here’s what you need to know.
Most sentences in federal court fall within a sentencing range, but you can also get a downward departure. But is it worth the risk?
Visitation in federal prison has changed immensely since 2020. Visitation was prohibited because of COVID-19.
Mass incarceration is a public health crisis. This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic and will be true afterwards as well.
Having a job in prison is not only a requirement, but it can also be a great way to pass your time. There are different jobs available to work while you are in prison that can serve as experience once you are released.
The first days in prison aren’t any different from your first day at work, school or any other place where you begin a new routine. There are new people, a new landscape and a new setting. It may feel a bit different and strange at first. You may feel lonely and miss your family and friends.
The decision whether to accept a plea agreement is one for you to make and depends on your specific circumstances.
Nursing homes can refuse to admit someone because of their criminal history, but they must be careful when doing so.
This is what the decision to allow those released to home confinement under the CARES Act to stay put means to Richard McDonald.
For months, we haven’t known if the Biden Administration would #KeepThemHome. Yesterday, we got our answer: Yes!
When you self-surrender to a federal prison, it means that you are not forcibly taken to prison. Instead, you are told when and where to appear at prison to begin your sentence.
When you’re going to prison, it’s important to know who you will interact with during your time there. While you will be spending time with other incarcerated people, you will also be interacting with different members of the staff. Who is in charge in prison? What does each person do?
Yes. While you’re in prison, you’ll want to keep busy. Depending on the prison you’re assigned to, there are different ways that you can stay occupied.
You can by life insurance when you are going to or in prison. But most insurance companies don’t sell coverage to incarcerated people.
Incarcerated people are “working their tails off” to help after the Kentucky candle factory tragedy, but the media narrative stays the same.
SCOTUS is on track to decide what courts may consider for relief under the First Step Act. Now, 17 attorneys generals are weighing in.
Yes. It is a good idea to prepare financially for prison. There are resources to help you get your finances in order before you go to prison.
Communication with your attorney is important to ensure that they are able to represent you in the best way possible.
You can’t receive unemployment benefits while you are in prison, but you can receive them after your release if you qualify.
The purpose of a plea deal is simple: certainty. It’s the only way for you to guarantee the outcome of your trial and your sentence.
If you have a loved one in prison, you’ve likely heard about the First Step Act, but can your loved one earn time credits under the Act yet?
Bail is an amount of money you give the court to be released from jail before trial. If you don’t follow the rules, you can lose that money.
Incarcerated people can earn time off their sentence under the First Step Act, but what programs and activities qualify for time credits?
If you’re wondering if asking for a lawyer makes you look guilty, take time to read this perspective from someone who has been in your shoes.
Under federal law, you can get 54 days off your sentence per year for good time. But does that mean you really get the full 54 days?
If you’ve been arrested, you probably have a lot of questions. This is your chance to hear someone’s perspective who has been in your shoes.
In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. What does the term “beyond a reasonable doubt” mean?
When you’re released from prison, you’ll face challenges. But if you’re leaving prison with an ID, some of those challenges aren’t as bad.
Thousands of people were released from prison under the CARES Act, but will they have to go back to prison once the COVID-19 pandemic ends?
The PREP Act aims to give every prisoner education opportunities no matter what facility they’re in, and it benefits everyone involved.
There are a variety of workplace protections in place for workers in the United States, but none of them have helped incarcerated people.
Qualified immunity is something that judges created to make it harder to sue police officers, prison guards and other government officials.
When police knock on your door, you probably know you have legal rights that protect you. But do you know which ones?
Climate control problems are common in prisons, but your Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment can help.
Civil and criminal cases are separate in the United States justice system, but the two concepts are still related. Understand why.
Because prison guards have largely refused to get vaccinated, prisons have taken other measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do they work?
When you interact with police, several different legal rights apply. Some of the rights depend on whether you are under arrest.
Prisons have dog training programs, as well as programs for cats and even wild horses! These programs benefit both the animals and the people.
By Jesalyn Lewis Surviving domestic violence is more complicated than many can imagine. There are many turbulent twists, reckless waves, dangerous curve balls, and sometimes unintentional interceptions involved.
Two U.S. senators recently proposed the EQUAL Act, a law aimed at ending the sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine.
Some constitutional violations even though errors are not erroneous. Those are harmless constitutional errors. As per this rule, courts do not consider unimportant errors occurring during a trial. It means that not all constitutional violations can get you a dismissal, a new trial or appeal otherwise.
No. You should not “be afraid” of other incarcerated people. Violence and harassment do occur in jails and prisons, but fear will not protect you from either. Fear can actually make you a target. Fear of fear itself At his inauguration in 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt “First of all, let me assert my firm belief […]
It is possible to remove your name from a state sex offender registry. Each state has its timeline and eligibility criteria. Here is how you can apply.
It is important to be truthful and hopeful when an employer asks about your criminal history. Here are some tips.
The courts decide a sentence according to the offense and the law governing it. There are various types of sentences you might get. Here is how courts decide a sentence.
If you or your loved one has been convicted of a sex crime. You may need to get yourself registered under the sex offender registry. It is also known as Megan’s law in most states. This is for public information purposes. A registry is a database that consists of your basic information and whereabouts. It is mandatory to register under the registry once you are out of prison or move to another state.
If you’re convicted of crime, a judge will sentence you. But your sentence can change after the judge chooses it in some circumstances.
There are some legal terms that could significantly impact your life but aren’t commonly understood. The watershed rule is one of those.
Food in jails and prisons is supposed to be safe. But that doesn’t always mean it is. Without set rules, food safety is not guaranteed.
In some cases, you may want to bring a witness or an important document to the court to prove your claim. You or your attorney can do so by issuing a subpoena to a person or institution to testify or produce the requested documents. A subpoena is a court command that compels a person to do what is requested.
You have a constitutional right to a lawyer in criminal cases. But how do you know if your lawyer is doing a good job?
If you or your loved ones are denied a diet consistent with your religion in prison you can challenge it in court. There are constitutional as well as legal protections to challenge it.
If you were convicted of a crime despite being innocent, you suffered a wrongful conviction and can take steps to have it overturned.
A prosecutor might try to exclude a juror on the basis of race or other discriminatory grounds. You can object to this by raising a Batson challenge.
If convicted of a crime, you can appeal. But you can also file a motion for a new trial in the court where your criminal case happened.
A Brady violation occurs when prosecutors withhold evidence that would help the defendant, and they can result in overturning a conviction.
You have the right to a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment. This includes the right to a fair judge who does not have a bias against you.
If you are facing a trial, the final decision in your case may be based on rules of law created by previous cases. “Caselaws” or “precedents” means the rules established by those previous cases. The judge cites the caselaws as an example to justify their present case decisions.
In a witness examination, attorneys from both parties can ask questions. Such witness examination can take place in both civil and criminal trials. There are two types of witness examination: direct-examination and cross-examination.
The most common argument on appeal in criminal cases focuses on ineffective assistance of counsel. But can you win with that argument?
If you’ve been convicted of a crime, you’re probably already thinking about what arguments will work best to appeal in your criminal case.
A defense of alibi protects a person who is misjudged as a criminal, when in fact they were present somewhere else when the crime took place.
If you’re charged with a crime, certain rules apply to your criminal case. Which rules apply depends on what court your case is in.
If you’re visiting How to Justice, you’ve probably already said it: “JPay sucks.” You’re not alone, but it’s a hard problem to fix.
In a criminal case, a party to the case can present evidence in the form of written documents, witnesses, photos and videos. When evidence is incompetent, prejudicial and irrelevant to the case a judge can disregard it. Such evidence is inadmissible in court and must be removed from the case.
Are you a minor who has had interactions with the police. Want to know what to expect? Hear from someone who has been in your shoes.
You normally can’t testify about what someone else said. That’s called hearsay evidence. But there are some exceptions that might apply.
If you’ve been wrongfully convicted, you may be considering hiring a lawyer. But will a lawyer take your wrongful conviction case for free?
Tears almost came out of my eyes, thinking about what being justice impacted has meant for my family and me. Justice Impacted means…
Since the 1980s, “tough on crime” laws have spread throughout our criminal justice system, and they impact your case more than you know.
It’s possible that you could appeal your criminal case to the US Supreme Court. But how do you do it? And is there a chance you can win?
If you’ve been charged with a crime, one of the first things you need to do is understand the difference between state and federal court.
Prosecutorial discretion is the power prosecutors have to make charging decisions. This power is huge and can have a big impact on your case.
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime, you’ve probably heard about the Post Conviction Relief Act. But what is it?
More than two million people in U.S. prisons have opioid addictions. What are prisons and jails doing to help people detox?
If you have an arrest warrant, police may ask you to come in voluntarily. Does “giving yourself up” or “turning yourself in” really help?
There are a lot of ways to try to get released earlier, but clemency is one that doesn’t involve a court or your prison making the decision.
COVID-19 has overwhelmed prisons across the country, but compassionate releases have been hard to come by in certain areas.
The term justice-impacted can be applied to any individual that has been directly or indirectly affected by the justice system. Every individual feels the effects and struggles with the labels placed not only by society but the labels they place on themselves.
After a criminal conviction, you face sentencing and can appeal. But you can also file for post-conviction relief as well. Learn more here.
If you’re convicted of certain crimes, you could face mandatory minimums. It’s important to understand these “one size fits all” sentences.
Three-strike laws are also known as “habitual offender laws.” They are federal and state laws that convict a repeat offender, with three felonies. This law can increase your prison time by many years or imprison you for life.
It’s a straightforward but complicated question: Should you talk to the police if they say it will help? Almost always, the answer is no.
You have the constitutional right to present a defense in a criminal case, and your attorney should be able to access an expert to help.
If you’re convicted of a crime, you’ll face a legal financial obligation. What happens if you can’t pay your court fines, fees and costs?
Under the Sixth Amendment, you have the right to a lawyer, but, in most cases, you don’t get to choose who your court-appointed lawyer is.
You have the right to a lawyer under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but you can also represent yourself at trial.
A petition for writ of habeas corpus is one of the most significant legal ways to get released from prison or other relief.
A prosecutor’s conduct during trial is governed by rules of evidence and criminal procedure. They also can’t commit prosecutorial misconduct.
If you’ve lost on appeal in a criminal case, it might feel like you are out of options. But you’re not. What comes after an appeal?
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime, you may want to access court records and transcripts. It can be easy to do so online.
You need to know your rights when you are pulled over by police. Some include the right to remain silent, to refuse a search and to a lawyer.
In the United States, many prisons have a legal library. In most cases, you can use the books and other information in this library to help you with any legal matters you may have. But your rights to use the legal library in prison can be a little complicated.
It’s important for justice-impacted people to realize that prison guards are typically very different fro police. With that in mind, how should you interact with prison staff?
A preliminary hearing is similar to a regular criminal trial. The prosecutor presents evidence to a judge. Your attorney can cross-examine that evidence. Both sides can call witnesses. But there are some key differences.
During and after an arrest, you do have rights. These rights are mostly protected by the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
For law enforcement, probable cause allows them to get warrants. Probable cause for prosecutors means they have enough evidence against you to hold a hearing
Acquittals can also happen for some charges in a case, but not for all the charges. But, an acquittal is not the same as a not guilty ruling.
An arraignment is the first formal hearing in a criminal case. The judge will read the charges against you, and you will enter a plea.
Your constitutional rights still exist during sentencing. Knowing those rights is important at this late stage in your case.
A dismissal of the charges against you means your current criminal case will end. But, this does not mean the charges go away for good.
At the beginning of a criminal case, you have three choices when you enter a plea: guilty, not guilty or no contest. How do you decide which?
An indictment is an official document someone receives when they get accused of a crime. Indictments are usually reserved for felony-based charges.
The Bill of Rights outlines a number of rights that everyone has during a criminal trial. These rights help to ensure that people have a fair legal process.
Knowing your rights doesn’t always mean that they will be honored.
“Miranda rights” are your right to be informed of your Fifth Amendment rights. Under the Fifth Amendment, you have the right to not incriminate yourself. This is also known as the right to remain silent. You also have the right to have an attorney represent you.
The first step in the felony flow chart occurs before arrest. This is when a crime is committed or reported.
You may have trouble finding housing after release. But doing so is an important part of staying out of prison. You do have resources to help you.
Only Maine, Vermont, and the District of Columbia let you vote from prison. In all other places, you will lose the right to vote after you get convicted. But in many cases, you can restore your right to vote back after leaving prison.
If you get convicted of a felony, you may lose some of your rights. But after you leave prison, you may be able to restore some of those rights. Whether you can or not depends on a few things.
It is true that different kinds of violence and harassment do happen in prison. But they aren’t a certainty. If you go to prison, you may experience these things.
While you are in prison, the prison supplies the medication you need. After you leave prison, you are responsible for your medications.
A court can find you guilty or not guilty or a crime. But being exonerated of a criminal charge is different.
Some of your rights will get lost when you go to prison. Other rights are very limited while you are incarcerated. But you don’t lose all of your rights.
Medicaid is a public health insurance program in the United States. You may be able to get Medicaid after leaving prison. You can also apply before leaving.
If you’re going to prison, there are many laws and legal rights you want to know. How to Justice put together this “top 10” list to help.
Based on how long you were in prison, your previous insurance plan may still be active when you get out. If not, getting health insurance after you get released from prison can help you control medical costs.
The 14th Amendment affirms your rights and guarantees equal treatment under the law. But does that change after you’ve been convicted?
Your Eighth Amendment rights protect you from unreasonable punishment by the government. How do they change after a conviction? Read more.
You can get your driver’s license back after incarceration. But it’s not always easy. Getting your driver’s license back can often take many steps. It can also cost a lot of money.
The Sixth Amendment lays out your rights to a fair trial and legal representation. Does it still protect you after a conviction? Read more.
Whether or not you can own a gun with a criminal record depends on a number of factors. The type of convictions on your record plays a big role. Your state’s laws are also important. It also matters whether or not your record has been expunged.
There is a very wide range of violations. The punishments for those violations also vary. Overall, what happens when you violate probation depends on several factors.
Probation consists of rules and guidelines you must follow and complete. But during this time you may want or need to move from your current state. In some cases, you can transfer your probation to another state.
The Fifth Amendment protects your rights in civil and criminal legal cases. But how do they change after you’ve been convicted? Read more.
Your Fourth Amendment rights protect your privacy. But what happens to those rights when you’re convicted of a crime? Read more inside.
The First Amendment protects your rights related to speech, religion, and assembly. But how does a criminal conviction affect those rights?
Work release comes in many different forms. Where you are incarcerated, what your crime was and other factors can play a role in how work release looks for you.
There are a few ridiculous prison laws that don’t make a lot of sense. Some feel pretty ridiculous, but have logic behind them.
You have the right to appeal a court’s decision. But what happens after you file an appeal in the federal system? Learn more inside.
Time behind bars is hard, but the real world can be just as hard if you have a felony conviction. That’s because felons can’t use many programs that help people get back on their feet.
You do not lose your constitutional rights in supermax prisons. But these facilities place many restrictions on your life. These prisons limit your movement.
Some forms of job discrimination after prison are legal, while others are not.
A pardon frees someone from their legal consequences. But how do you request a pardon or clemency?
There are many companies that look to hire formerly incarcerated people. Some make a point of it. Other companies may not ask about your criminal record as policy. But even companies that hire justice-impacted people sometimes still check your criminal record.
Administrative segregation is when prison staff separates one inmate from other inmates.
In 2004, Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act. This act is also known as the PREA. The act aims to address the problem of sexual abuse in U.S. prisons.
You still have the right to practice your religion in prison. This is true regardless of your religious views. You can also meet with a pastor or chaplain in prison.
Resources help you and your family once you are released. Knowing these resources can help you make a smooth transition out of prison and into the community.
Your family can only find out some information without speaking to you when you’re in prison. Some of your information is available to the public. But some of your information stays private.
A friend or family member may be able to pick you up from prison on your release date. It depends on the terms of your release and the rules of your prison. Planning ahead can help you ensure a smooth release date.
Yes. If you’re heading to prison, you can bring certain items. There are also items that you can’t bring and that you shouldn’t bring.
You don’t have a lot of privacy when you’re in prison, and that’s true for information as well. What prison records are public information?
when it comes time for reentry, reintegration programs can help you start a new and independent life. Understanding these terms and how to prepare for the processes can help you make a successful transition.
When you get released from prison, you may still have a lot of limits on your life. But are there housing restrictions on former prisoners?
If your loved one is in prison, you may worry about them getting the care they need. You might wonder if you can pay for your loved one to get better healthcare while they are in prison. However, no matter who pays for healthcare in prison, only the BOP can provide those services.
If you want to seek substance abuse treatment after you leave prison, you have options. You may even be required to enroll in a program. Treatment may be one of your conditions of release.
As you transition from being incarcerated to being newly released, will the prison provide you with anything when you leave? Yes, but what they actually provide will differ based on the prison.
A plea is the response you give to charges, and a plea deal is an arrangement made by you, prosecution, and the court. But what exactly do pleas and plea deals entail?
A lawyer can help you navigate a criminal case from arrest to release. There are lawyers in every state willing to take on criminal cases and who can represent you in court.
We don’t use the word “inmate” on this website. That’s because we recognize it is more than just a word for survivors of the criminal justice system.
When you get released from prison, people might treat you differently. But can schools and employers check your criminal history?
What happens if you violate parole, probation or supervision depends on your specific case, but you could end up in prison.
In some cases, you have ways to clear you record. But this isn’t the only option if you want to keep your record private. You can also ask to seal your record. This makes it private for the general public.
When you are getting ready to go back into your community, there are a lot of legal questions that may arise. Do you have a right to see your kids after you’re out of prison? Do other people now have a say in your custody and parental rights?
Most people do not face harassment and violence in prison. But incarcerated people experience these at a much higher rate than people outside. You are more likely to face these issues in prison.
The BOP website says that prisoners get medical, dental and mental health services. Prisons decide which services are essential for which people. Prisoners get routine checkups for new or pre-existing conditions they may have. People in prison also receive dental care.
Most people probably hope to seal their criminal records as soon as possible. You may not be able to do that while you’re in prison, but you can learn the process.
Unless you are a licensed attorney, you have no legal standing to file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.
Usually, there are only two people that can file a lawsuit for someone–the person whose rights were violated or their attorney. And even then, it can be difficult.
There are some limits on how you can access outside information in prison. But you will have several ways in which you can get news and other information while you are incarcerated.
There are more differences than similarities between work release and prison work. They are both jobs and you are in custody in both situations. However, that’s about where the similarities end. There are several important ways in which they are different.
Healthcare is sometimes safe in prison. But there are many documented cases of problems.
The government has a few ways of dealing with prisons that don’t meet standards. How they handle it varies depending on the state and the agency. It also depends on how poor the conditions are.
Prisons almost always have general phone numbers on their websites you can call for general questions. When you do not have you loved one’s status or current location, there is still a way to locate them through prisoner lookup tools.
Many people use the terms probation and parole to mean the same thing. They are both a form of custody. But in reality, they are different concepts.
If your spouse is in prison, You have to do many things on your own. How can you file a tax return if your spouse is incarcerated?
Your obligations keep going — even if you’re in prison. With tax season in full swing, how do you go about filing taxes when incarcerated?
When your release date approaches, you have mixed emotions. On the one hand, you’re excited about your upcoming release. On the other, you’re anxious about how the “free world” has changed and what your place will be in it.
If your loved one is in prison, you may be worried about their living conditions. Prisons and jails can be difficult places to live. Life is not comfortable in these facilities. But there are some things you can do to help.
There are a few ways that you can report harassment and violence in prison. How you report it depends on who hurt you. And you may not always want to report it.
Yes, unless they have a valid reason not to. People in prison with disabilities will be assigned jobs that they can manage. The BOP considers work to be part of the rehabilitation process.
In most cases, ex-felons can travel abroad and get a passport after being released, but there are exceptions.
Restorative Justice brings together all parties of conflict with a trained facilitator. The goal is to address, repair, and prevent the harm that crime causes.
If you have a friend or family member in prison, you want to help. But what legal options do you have to help a loved one in prison?
Although a long list, one of the general rules of probation is that you cannot be around someone else who is on probation. So, if two people on probation started dating, let alone be near each other, that would already be a violation of probation.
Your bills don’t stop coming just because you are in prison. If you don’t prepare, you might leave incarceration with massive debt. But there are ways that you can make sure your bills are paid while you’re in prison.
Work release comes in many different forms. Where you are incarcerated, what your crime was and other factors can play a role in how work release looks for you.
Prison systems allow guards to use force to control prisoners. But laws do not allow for the use of “excessive force.” The line between what is acceptable force and excessive force is not always well-defined.
If you get your record expunged, you’re bound to ask yourself this question: Should I tell my employer about my expunged criminal record?
Furlough is when an incarcerated person is allowed to leave prison and return during their sentence. Prisons grant furlough for specific reasons, such as going to court or seeing a doctor. But you can also get furloughed for personal reasons.
Even in prison, you’re responsible for the care of your children. What can you do to stop the termination of parental rights while in prison?
If you have a record, you might face discrimination in housing, employment and more. Can you sue for criminal conviction discrimination?
If you have a criminal history, you’ve probably thought about trying to clear your record. But does expungement really work?
When you go to prison, you lose a lot of your privacy, including in your communications, but do guards read prisoner mail?
If you’re going to prison, you likely have questions. One is simple but important: What type of living condition in prison is required?
After a guilty verdict or sentencing hearing, you may go straight to prison. But how do you know what prison you will go to?
It’s hard to know who to trust, especially if you’re going to prison. Who are the people who need to know you’re in prison?
When you go to prison, you feel like you lose your right to privacy. What public information is available about you as an inmate?
If you’re convicted of a crime, you may be sentenced to prison. But whether you go straight to prison depends on your specific case.
On probation, you lose control of many parts of your life. Sometimes, your probation officer can even make you move and quit your job.
When you get out of prison, you’ll want to make sure to have your rights restored after a felony conviction. How can you make that happen?
There are not many rights that prisoners have during disciplinary hearings, so you need to know what ones you have to prepare ahead of time.
Compassionate release goes by other names depending on the system. Some call it “medical parole” or “geriatric parole.” But the idea remains the same. That some people are too sick or too close to death for prison. Or that the need for them to be at home is greater than for them to be in prison.
You have the right to appeal a court’s decision. But what happens after you file an appeal in the federal system? Learn more inside.
JPay is a private company that provides services for prisoners to use in the United States. The company charges fees to use their products. It offers services related to communications, money and entertainment.
Probation usually comes with a lot of restrictions. But can your probation officer really keep you from seeing your spouse? Read more inside.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. More specifically, the amendment makes sure your property is safe unless there is a warrant. But, technology brings up new questions and complications
A “halfway house” is a loose term for a residential correctional facility inside a community. In these places, prisoners serve some time between prison and full release. When you are there, you will live with other people in a similar situation. The concept of a halfway house is similar to parole.
You can challenge the conditions of your release at any time. Your first chance will be at your release hearing. Depending on where you are in custody, that could be a parole, probation or supervised release hearing.
You shouldn’t be defined by your charges or your record. However, most of the time, if you don’t disclose your record from others, they will accuse you of being deceptive. and/or their overall ability to trust you will be damaged.
When your record is sealed or expunged, most people won’t be able to see it. Neither will show up on a background check. The key difference between a sealed and an expunged record is that a sealed record still exists.
Yes. You can file a lawsuit about the conditions in solitary confinement. Even in solitary, you still have rights. If someone violates your rights, you can sue.
f you’re a prisoner and thinking of filing a lawsuit, there are a few things you should know. The Prison Litigation Reform Act put some rules in place that may make it harder to file a lawsuit. One thing the law requires is that you must exhaust your administrative remedies. Before you file, you should understand what that means and how to do it.
Technically, you can sue anyone for any harm they do to you or your property. But since your probation officer has legal power over you, the right to sue is even more important
In most cases, yes. A convicted felon will have parental rights. You cannot lose these rights simply because you went to prison. However, there are some situations in which you could lose your parental rights.
“House arrest” is a blanket term. It refers to a type of supervised release in which you will have your movements monitored. Under house arrest, you will not be able to travel freely.
It can be hard to find a job when you get out of prison. Even though employers are not supposed to discriminate, some fields cannot hire felons. Others may not hire those with past drug crimes.
Foreign prisoners mostly have the same rights as U.S. citizens in prisons. The major differences involve your legal right to stay in the United States. If you are not a citizen of the United States, the laws are different.
For the most part, you can refuse medical treatment in prison. Most medical treatment is only given with your consent. But that’s not always the case.
Yes. Your probation officer can monitor your social media while you are on probation. This is becoming more and more common in the age of social media.
In many cases, finding employment after incarceration might be a condition of your release. But going to prison can carry a large stigma. Many people have trouble finding work after a prison sentence.
Prison violations can result in new charges, loss of time credits, and more. It’s important to know the rules for your prison and follow them.
In many cases, you can be released from prison before your sentence is complete. Whether it’s probation or parole, they both come with rules. In either case, if an offender violates these terms of release, they can face serious consequences.
“I have no other alternative but to sentence you to the Department of Corrections.” May God be with me? “Where are these people about to send me?” I wondered. “ I’m a college kid,” I said to myself.