Amistad Law Project (ALP) is a West Philadelphia-based public interest law center founded in October 2014. The two attorneys who currently make up ALP are also committed activists and organizers. We are prison abolitionists who view the prison industrial complex as directly related to the massive divestment from our communities of the things that make them safe and strong. Our mission is to fight for the human rights of people in our community by providing a full range of free and low-cost legal services to Philadelphians and those incarcerated in Pennsylvania’s prisons. Additionally, we advocate for laws and policies that reflect our vision for a new justice paradigm and organize events and activities to educate the public on their rights and the law.
Our name was suggested by Robert “Saleem” Holbrook, a writer and human rights activist from Philadelphia who is currently serving a life sentence, or death by incarceration, in Pennsylvania after being sentenced as a teenager. Amistad refers both to the famous slave revolt and means “friendship” in Spanish. We are inspired in our work by this legacy of resistance as well as a strong connection to our community.
ALP, along with the Abolitionist Law Center in Pittsburgh and the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University, recently filed a lawsuit to overturn the Silencing Act that was passed by a supermajority of the legislature and signed into law by former Governor Tom Corbett. This law is only the latest example of legally-entangled people being railroaded to gain political points. This law is unconstitutional and we are confident that it will be overturned soon.
You can reach ALP at P.O. Box 9148, Philadelphia, PA 19139.