In April of 2018, Massachusetts joined 44 states and the federal government in providing a statutory mechanism by which terminally ill and/or permanently incapacitated inmates could be released on so-called medical parole. The new statute was a result of ongoing compromises as part of the omnibus criminal justice reform bill, and pending constitutional litigation which became moot. In this practicum, students will engage in the direct representation of prisoners not otherwise entitled to counsel. Students are deeply involved in initiating a prisoner’s bid for release, from meeting with the client and collecting records to drafting and litigating the petition for release and related pleadings and motions. Students may also engage in advocacy related to this developing area of law. 

This practicum can be taken for one (50 hours) or two (100 hours) graded credits. In addition to the fieldwork, students will meet in a weekly seminar with the practicum instructor. NOTE: The Compassionate Release Practicum clinic counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement.