Prisoner Rights

When a person is incarcerated, they are vulnerable to abuse at the hands of those in power, including prison guards, administrators, medical staff, and the private corporations that operate in jails and prisons. At Loevy + Loevy, we are committed to helping people held in jails and prisons challenge violations of their civil rights through individual cases and class actions.  

Loevy + Loevy’s Prisoners’ Rights attorneys routinely litigate cases involving denials of medical care, including mental health treatment; conditions of confinement; excessive force; wrongful jail and prison deaths; disability discrimination; and other abuse of people in jails and prisons nationwide.

Civil Rights Behind Bars

The Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, protects prisoners from serious risks of harm by prison officials who are indifferent to their safety. The Fourteenth Amendment similarly protects pretrial detainees from punishment while they await trial. The Americans with Disabilities Act and state laws provide additional protections to people who are incarcerated. 

Common civil rights issues that arise in prisons and jails include:

Correctional staff may be liable for failing to protect your loved one from self-harm or harm by someone else. Jail and prison officials have a duty to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners. Loevy + Loevy can help you secure accountability and compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one.

Prisons, jails, and their private medical contractors must take their obligation to provide medical and mental healthcare seriously, and we work hard to provide justice in situations where those obligations were ignored. Loevy + Loevy has won dozens of cases alleging denial of medical and mental healthcare under the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the ADA.

All people who are incarcerated have a right to be free from excessive force by prison and jail staff. Too often, however, guards ignore this right and harm incarcerated people with impunity.  Loevy + Loevy takes on cases to hold those guards to account.

When an unlawful prison practice is widespread, it can often be challenged through a class action case.  Loevy + Loevy has represented incarcerated people in a number of class actions, from punitive mass shakedowns to unlawful strip searches and beyond. If you believe that you have a class action case, please contact us.

Prison and jail conditions are often shockingly inhumane. And all too often, prison and jail staff force prisoners to undergo pointless humiliation, including needless strip searches. Loevy + Loevy’s advocacy has forced prisons to improve conditions and secured accountability for those who have suffered harms.

Loevy + Loevy has represented numerous incarcerated people in lawsuits against prison staff for failing to protect them from sexual violence and abuse. Loevy + Loevy fights on behalf of each of our clients to achieve justice in these tragic cases, and works tirelessly to obtain the best outcome possible.

Over the past decade, the number of people who have died of drug or alcohol intoxication in jails and prisons has tragically skyrocketed. Many prisoners have needlessly died of drug or alcohol withdrawal, especially from powerful drugs like benzos or opioids. Loevy + Loevy can help you pursue those who turned a blind eye on your loved one.


Illinois Prison Project

Illinois Prison Project offers legal clinics, handbooks, and forms for incarcerated people and their families.

Prison Legal News

Prison Legal News is an independent monthly magazine that provides updates on prisoners' rights, court rulings and news concerning criminal legal-related issues.

The Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook

The Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook is a free legal resource guide that helps incarcerated people to understand and navigate the legal system while in prison.

National Prisoner Resource List (NPRL)

National Prisoner Resource List (NPRL) provides information about organizations that support people in prison and their loved ones.

Our Experience

Loevy + Loevy has extensive experience representing men and women in custody in jail or prison. We have filed over 100 cases concerning prisoners’ rights. We have taken on individual clients and represented classes of prisoners numbering in the thousands. We have obtained highly favorable verdicts and settlements for prisoners and/or their loved ones. For more information on our successes, visit our Big Wins page. Loevy + Loevy has represented prisoners or their loved ones in states all over the country, including Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin, and more.

Our Commitment

When we take a case, it’s because we believe that a serious constitutional violation has occurred and we are committed to trying to achieve justice for our client. Even though many cases eventually reach settlement, we approach each case with an eye toward getting it into a courtroom. Loevy + Loevy is known for its willingness to take hard cases to trial (and win them), and has a nationally recognized reputation for success in the courtroom. We always work on a contingency basis in prisoners’ rights cases, so you will not be on the hook for any attorney fees unless we win.

Contact Us

If you or your loved one is being denied adequate conditions of confinement while in jail or prison, contact us today for a free consultation. You can call us at (312) 243-5900, toll-free (888) 644-6459, or contact us online.

You can also write us at:
Loevy + Loevy
Attn: Prisoners’ Rights
311 North Aberdeen St., 3rd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60607

If you are currently incarcerated, please remember to write “Legal Mail” or “Attorney Mail” on the envelope.

Please keep in mind that all legal claims have deadlines—called statutes of limitations—that require you to file a lawsuit within a certain period of time in order to preserve your legal rights. These deadlines can be quite short (sometimes within six months to a year) and do not stop running even while you are looking for legal representation.

Big Wins

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