ALC Legal Director Interviewed on Law and Disorder Radio Program re: “Silence Mumia Law”

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 Continue reading ALC Legal Director Interviewed on Law and Disorder Radio Program re: “Silence Mumia Law”

MEDIA RELEASE: “Silence Mumia Law” targets ALC clients Mumia Abu-Jamal and Prison Radio for political repression in violation of the U.S. Constitution

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 Continue reading MEDIA RELEASE: “Silence Mumia Law” targets ALC clients Mumia Abu-Jamal and Prison Radio for political repression in violation of the U.S. Constitution

Family filing suit over son’s suicide while isolated in SCI Cresson

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.” Continue reading Family filing suit over son’s suicide while isolated in SCI Cresson

Parents of Brandon Palakovic sue prison officials for death of their son in solitary confinement

July 8, 2014: Pittsburgh, PA – A lawsuit filed in federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania today claims that Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary John Wetzel and other officials in charge of the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Cresson “created and sustained conditions of solitary confinement that subjected Brandon Palakovic to torture, causing him to take his own life on July 17, 2012, at the age of 23. Defendants transformed [Brandon’s] 16-48 month term of imprisonment into a death sentence.” Continue reading Parents of Brandon Palakovic sue prison officials for death of their son in solitary confinement

Statement from the Palakovic Family

Nearly two years ago now, our son, Brandon Michael Palakovic, was pronounced dead in a hospital in Altoona after hanging himself with his bed sheet while in solitary confinement (RHU) at Cresson State Correctional Institution. His last moments on earth were of such torment and misery that he felt the only escape was death. As his parents, we have found it hard to conceive of death being his only way out. So we have spent the last two years trying to heal, understand his final decision and memorialize Brandon for the person that he was, not the animal that we have come to find out he was treated like. Continue reading Statement from the Palakovic Family

Court Rules Human Rights Coalition’s Censorship Suit Can Go Forward

Federal Court Denies Motion to Dismiss and Grants Motion to Amend Complaint in Human Rights Coalition’s Censorship Lawsuit A challenge to prison censorship of political and human rights literature in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) has seen two favorable Continue reading Court Rules Human Rights Coalition’s Censorship Suit Can Go Forward

Law and Disorder Radio Program on Release of Russell Maroon Shoatz from Solitary Confinement

ALC Attorney, Bret Grote, was recently interviewed on Law and Disorder Radio about the release of Russell Maroon Shoatz after 22 consecutive years in solitary confinement. More from the producers of Law and Disorder Radio: Here on Law and Disorder Continue reading Law and Disorder Radio Program on Release of Russell Maroon Shoatz from Solitary Confinement

MEDIA RELEASE: Russell Maroon Shoatz released from solitary confinement – first time in general population in more than 22 years

February 20, 2014: Pittsburgh PA —  Russell Maroon Shoatz was released from solitary confinement into the general prison population at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Graterford this morning, ending more than 22 consecutive years in solitary confinement. The news was confirmed Continue reading MEDIA RELEASE: Russell Maroon Shoatz released from solitary confinement – first time in general population in more than 22 years

Who is Robert Saleem Holbrook and Why Should We Care?

by Doran Larson In 1841, George Thompson, an American abolitionist held in a Missouri jail with his comrades for attempting to accompany slaves into freedom, wrote, “In my journal, I recorded for all.” Every writer in prison does as much. Continue reading Who is Robert Saleem Holbrook and Why Should We Care?

JURIST Podcast Interviews ALC on First and Eighth Amendment Rights in the Prisons

. Representatives from the Abolitionist Law Center joined JURIST podcast moderator Ian Everhart to discuss their efforts at reform in the Pennsylvania criminal justice and prison system in this episode. ALC Executive Director Bret Grote and ALC staff attorney Dustin Continue reading JURIST Podcast Interviews ALC on First and Eighth Amendment Rights in the Prisons