Legal Internships with the Abolitionist Law Center: We are now accepting internship applications This summer the Abolitionist Law Center is offering legal internships to law students who want to work with us in defending the human rights of prisoners in Pennsylvania. Our casework includes litigation challenging solitary confinement and prison censorship, exposure to toxic coal […]

January 8, 2015 – A motion for a preliminary injunction was filed today in the ongoing lawsuit, Abu-Jamal v. Kane, challenging a Pennsylvania censorship law intended to silence Mumia Abu-Jamal and others convicted of personal injury crimes. The Abolitionist Law Center, Amistad Law Project, and the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University […]

Legal victory for journalists’ investigation into prison surrounded by toxic coal ash dump December 16, 2014 – The Pennsylvania Office of Open Records has ordered the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) to produce documents pertaining to prisoner health at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Fayette to two journalists. The records were sought via Right-to-Know requests […]

Mumia Abu-Jamal

Prisoners, human rights advocates, scholars, and media sue to prevent enforcement of “Silence Mumia Law” November 10, 2014: Pittsburgh, PA – A lawsuit challenging a Pennsylvania censorship law intended to silence Mumia Abu-Jamal and others convicted of personal injury crimes was filed today, less than one month after outgoing Governor Corbett signed the bill into […]


ALC Legal Director, Bret Grote, was recently interviewed on Law and Disorder Radio about the passage and signing of the “Silence Mumia Law.” More from the producers of Law and Disorder Radio: Last Thursay, the Pennsylvania State Senate in a bi-partisan 37-11 vote, approved The Revictimization Release Act. This last minute controversial law was ignited […]


October 21, 2014: Pittsburgh, PA – Prison Radio and imprisoned intellectual and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal have retained the Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) to provide legal representation for them in response to Pennsylvania General Assembly’s passage of a bill intended to subvert the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and repress their free speech rights. The […]

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A generous donor has offered a matching pledge in response to the report the Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) recently released with the Human Rights Coalition (HRC), which uncovered a hidden health crisis at a Pennsylvania prison built in the midst of a toxic coal waste dump. If you give today your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000.

Nicholas Morrissey and his daughter before his illness

Nick has been locked up at SCI Fayette since 2008. Last year, he began to experience a number of debilitating health problems. He writes, “One day I woke up and it was difficult for me to walk and see… I started getting dizzy and I couldn’t keep my balance and I started getting a numbing feeling in the left side of my body.” He quickly developed more symptoms: tingling sensations and muscle spasm, loss of mechanical function in his arms and legs, memory loss, hair falling out, and extreme weight loss.

No Escape: Exposure to Toxic Coal Waste at State Correctional Institution Fayette

September 2, 2014: Pittsburgh, PA – Abolitionist Law Center and the Human Rights Coalition have released a report entitled, No Escape: Exposure to Toxic Coal Waste at State Correctional Institution Fayette, based on a year-long investigation into the health impacts of exposure to coal waste at the state prison in Fayette County, PA. The report reveals alarming rates of illnesses consistent with exposure to coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal in power plants.

Brandon Palakovic

By Paula Reed Ward / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Link to Post-Gazette article HERE Brandon Palakovic was witty and personable. He was smart, didn’t like to complain and made people laugh. But, he also had trouble following rules — even from a young age… But, what happened to her son at State Correctional Institution Cresson — where Brandon was forced to spend weeks at a time in solitary confinement — she continued, is appalling. “He was trapped, and there was nothing he could do to get out of it,” she said from her home now in Spring Hill, Tenn. “It was horrible. I wouldn’t treat an animal like that.”


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