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Confinement Outreach Program

The Supreme Court held in Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 823 (1977) that "the fundamental constitutional right of access to the courts requires prison authorities to assist inmates in the preparation and filing of meaningful legal papers with adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from persons trained in the law." Id. at 828. The New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement extends pro bono educational services to local prisoners in accordance with Bounds through weekly trainings for prisoners. Students on the Journal travel to the Suffolk County Jail at Nashua Street and present information on legal topics that are relevant to the prison population, including the 4th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments, legal research, procedural process of a trial, basic evidentiary issues, and relevant current case law.

This program began in 1978 through a relationship between the Journal and the Middlesex County Correctional Facility, and it represents the only program of its kind in New England. Beginning in 2008, the Journal established a new partnership with the Suffolk County Jail at Nashua Street. The Confinement Outreach Program continues to thrive thanks to the continued interest and support from students, facility staff, and detainees at the facility. If you are interested in more information about prison or correctional law, see the New England Law Library's research page on Prison Law.