Paul Wright

Vice President
Lake Worth, FL

Paul Wright is the editor and co-founder of Prison Legal News, the longest publishing independent prisoner rights magazine in US history. He is the co-author of The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the US Prison Industry (Common Courage, 1998); Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America’s Poor (Routledge, 2003) and Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Imprisonment (New Press, January, 2008). His articles have appeared in over 80 publications, ranging from Counterpunch to USA Today. He is also the former National Lawyers Guild Jailhouse Lawyer national co-vice president (1995-2008).

A former prisoner, Paul was imprisoned for 17 years in Washington State until his release from prison in 2003. During and since his incarceration, he has successfully litigated a wide variety of censorship and public records issues against prison systems around the country both pro se, as a plaintiff, on behalf of other prisoners and on behalf of Prison Legal News. Paul is a former Military Policeman and a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Soviet history. Paul founded PLN in 1990 while imprisoned. He is a 2005 Petra Fellow, the July 2006 Freedom Fighter of the Month for High Times magazine, a 2007 recipient of the James Madison Award from the Washington Coalition for Open Government, and the 2008 inaugural recipient of the National Lawyers Guild’s Arthur Kinoy award. To learn more, see