Prisoners Rights Project

The Prisoners Rights Project (PRP) protects and enforces the legal rights of New York City and New York State prisoners through litigation, advice, and assistance to individual prisoners. Our docket is available here. PRP does not deal with prisoners’ criminal cases or sentences or matters related to parole.

PRP's current priorities address:

  • Guard brutality and sexual abuse
  • Other unsafe physical conditions
  • Disability discrimination
  • Lack of mental health and medical care
  • Lack of educational programs for young prisoners

Did you know…

There are approximately 65,000 men and women incarcerated in prisons operated by the New York State Department of Correctional Services, and about 14,000 in the New York City jails. PRP=s litigation, by addressing institutional conditions and practices, benefits many thousands of those prisoners.

Case Example

Handberry v. Thompson successfully challenged the failure of the New York City Department of Correction and the Board of Education to provide both general education and special education to young prisoners on Rikers Island. As a result of the litigation, a new high school was built on Rikers, and the proportion of school-eligible young prisoners who attend school increased from about 40% to over 90%.