Defending Confidential Communication with Counsel: PILP et al v. Wetzel
In 2018, the Department of Corrections came down with a slew of repressive policies, including copying and storing the legal mail of incarcerated people. Their ridiculous reasoning was that they were trying to prevent drugs from getting in the prisons.
The ability to have private communication with a lawyer is crucial to people fighting to overturn their convictions and to ensure their conditions of confinement are humane. It is also constitutionally protected.
Amistad Law Project, along with the Abolitionist Law Center, ACLU of PA, and the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project filed suit to stop this policy. Additionally, an incarcerated person Davon R. Hayes sued the Department of Corrections.
The case was settled during oral arguments in 2019 and the DOC adopted a new policy that discontinued copying and allowed the plaintiff organizations to monitor implementation.