Legal Advice

Pro bono legal advice for prison inmates

The Prison Archive provides free legal advice to prisoners and detainees. The consultation takes place exclusively in writing. Unfortunately, we lack the capacity to answer telephone enquiries.

The voluntary work of the Prison Archive comprises foremost answering letters with respect to the following subjects:


  • Prison law and the execution of sentences
  • Custody in forensic psychiatric hospitals or drug treatment clinics
  • Preventive detention (“Sicherungsverwahrung”)
  • Probation, re-entry, parole and supervision after release
  • Pre-trial-detention
  • Detention awaiting deportation, transfer or extradition during the prison sentence
  • Supply of prisoners’ journals with legal information

The limits of our work

The voluntariness of our work poses restrictions to what we are able to do and how detailed we are able to answer the letters of prisoners.
Additionally, we are unable to answer questions that are outside the scope of our competency as described above.
Especially, it is impossible for us to fulfil the following requests:

  • Answering questions on the phone
  • Donating books (we haven’t got any budget to do so)
  • This also applies to the commentary on German Prison Law (we would have to buy it ourselves)
  • Copying list of judicial decisions as selected by prisoners (this would exceed our personal, time-wise and financial capacities; please ask specific questions and therefore shortly describe your situation, we will ask you for additional information if necessary)
You have questions or in need for honorary advice? Feel free to contact us!