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Learning About The Criminal Defense System In Your State (While In Prison!)

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It is estimated that about 4.1 of all criminal cases across this country are wrongfully charged and convicted. That, in terms of numbers, is a substantial number of people who can really, truly claim that they are innocent, and in jail for crimes they did not commit. It may be a running joke in prisons among both inmates and the correction officers, but the research shows that 4.1 percent of those claiming to be innocent ​are innocent.​ If you end up falsely accused and in prison, there are ways to spend your time constructively to get out of jail. Here is how you can learn about criminal defense attorney services and your state's criminal defense system while in jail.

Legal Classes to Take

​Part of the rehabilitation process in some states includes taking higher education courses. You are not restricted from learning and earning a degree in legal matters, which means that you can take correspondence courses to acquire a degree. Some convicts get a paralegal degree, which helps them learn more and gain access to more legal records, laws, and documents to file their own (and other convicts') cases while still in jail. Although you cannot test for the state bar exam while you are a convict, you can still complete almost all of the coursework to become a lawyer as well. Ask rehabilitation officers how you can get started with legal classes.

​Use the Prison Library

​If you have been granted prison library privileges, you can read every law book it has, and use the computers to research criminal law for your state. Most of the required forms for criminal cases, prosecution, appeals, etc., are available online as well. You can print these forms and keep track of what applies to your case in a simple file. As you do research, your cellmate(s) may want you to look up issues surrounding their cases. Some convicts actually become model prisoners by helping other prisoners learn about the penal system and help other prisoners with their cases. 

Find the Legal Charities to Help You

​There are legal charities, like The Innocence Project, that help prisoners who have been falsely accused and convicted. If you know for a fact that you have evidence that can create reasonable doubt in your case, these charities might want to help. While you are learning about the criminal defense system in your state via the prison library, you can also research these groups and send them letters to appeal to them for help.

For more information, consider reaching out to a criminal defense attorney in your area.