The Frank J. Remington Center's Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons Project (LAIP) is a clinical educational project of the University of Wisconsin Law Schools. Law students enrolled in LAIP provide legal assistance and advice to inmates incarcerated in the Wisconsin State Prison System. LAIP does not charge inmates for its services.
People in prison are affected, perhaps more than any other group in society, by the legal system. They frequently need legal services concerning their convictions or sentences, pending fines or charges, and related civil problems. In addition, prisons are better able to fulfill their missions if they have offenders who ought to be there, and who believe they have been treated fairly. An offender who leaves the institution at peace with the legal order will be more likely to adjust to life in society and avoid future crimes. For these reasons, we view the work of LAIP clinical faculty and students as a service not only to the individual clients, but also to the correctional system and society.
LAIP students assist inmates with a variety of issues such as family law problems, postconviction criminal law, sentence credit questions, and resolution of pending fines or charges.
LAIP does NOT represent inmates in "conditions of confinement" disputes with the prisons, or in challenges to disciplinary reports. However, on these issues, LAIP may be able to provide inmates with information that they can use to proceed pro se (on their own).
In LAIP, the law students work under the supervision of Remington Center clinical faculty, who are all attorneys admitted to practice in Wisconsin. Each student visits one or more prisons and interviews inmates about their concerns. The students then research the facts and the law, and may also talk to witnesses, prior attorneys, or opposing counsel. Where appropriate, the students may draft legal correspondence and pleadings, and may appear in court on behalf of clients.