Bulldozer: The Prison & Immigration Reform Vehicle

$95 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 4 months
Created December 21, 2018
Bulldoze the United State's Criminal Justice and Immigration Systems!

We're sure you've seen the recent satirical fundraisers raising money for Trump's border wall and the ladders to climb it.

Today, the Human Rights Defense Center is reaching out to you because we want to fund some heavy equipment. Demolition equipment. Excavation equipment. Bulldozers. Backhoes. Jackhammers. Rakes and shovels.


HRDC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has been working since 1990 to make things right in the United States' criminal justice system. It's a tough job. We need heavy equipment to bulldoze the Prison Industrial Complex, and our equipment comes in the form of funding to support our mission to advocate for the rights of people held in prisons, jails and other detention facilities, including immigrant detention centers. 


HRDC is an efficient operation. We leverage our limited resources by working with other non-profits and law firms to be able to successfully take on this important issue. Your support makes it possible; no one else does so much with so little. 

We do not get much in the way of grant or foundation funding. Virtually all the financial support we receive comes from individual donations from our readers and supporters. 

Every year we conduct an annual fundraiser because our income from magazine subscriptions and book sales does not cover the expenses for all the advocacy work we do on behalf of prisoners, their families and the victims of police state violence and exploitation. People like you can - and do - make a difference by donating to the Human Rights Defense Center.

We have had a very busy year. In addition to publishing the long-running Prison Legal News magazine, last December we launched a new magazine, Criminal Legal News , to expand our news coverage of the criminal justice system from beginning to end; less than a year later, CLN already has close to 1,500 subscribers! Our social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and our daily e-newsletter continues to grow as we expand our advocacy reach. We also launched a new public records and government transparency project.

But publishing is not enough.


We want to make sure that all our readers, especially those in prisons and jails, can receive and read the magazines we publish and the books we distribute. Since the very first issue of PLN was published in May 1990, we have faced censorship by government officials who are not pleased with our coverage of the criminal justice system. To date, none have been as fanatical in their censorship as the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC). Since 2009, the FDOC has censored Prison Legal News-and now Criminal Legal News-statewide, claiming that our advertisements for pen pals, postage stamps and discount phone services somehow pose a threat to prison security. We filed suit in 2010 and went to trial before U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee in 2015, who ruled the censorship of PLN was justified by those unsupported claims, though the FDOC had violated our due process rights. We appealed, and in May 2018 the Eleventh Circuit upheld Judge Walker's order.

With your help and support we have taken this fight to the U.S. Supreme Court. On September 19, 2018, our petition for certiorari was docketed. On October 19, eight briefs on behalf of more than 100 amicus curiae, or friends of the court, were filed urging the Supreme Court to hear our appeal and reverse the Eleventh Circuit. HRDC's legal team has spent pretty much the entire summer working on the cert petition and rounding up amicus partners and attorneys to help ensure we have the best possible chance of getting our  case heard and winning on the merits. The amount of time, energy and resources that has gone into fighting this case for the past nine years is incredible, and we have only been able to do it with your ongoing support.

We are doing much more than just fighting for freedom of the press and opposing censorship by prison officials. 


In June 2018, HRDC attorneys filed a lawsuit against the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and the School Board for holding children charged as adults in solitary confinement cells for up to 23 hours a day at the county jail and depriving them of an education to boot. Many of the children subjected to these horrific conditions of confinement have some degree of intellectual or developmental disability.

We also filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of Vincent Gaines, a mentally ill African American prisoner who starved to death at a Florida prison. Private health care company Corizon is a defendant in that case, for their role in allowing Mr. Gaines to starve while in his isolation cell.

We are able to take action to challenge these abuses due to the donations we receive from people like you.  With your support, we have been able to build a formidable litigation and advocacy team that can take on large, complex litigation against prisons and jails, large or small, anywhere in the country. The next time the impoverished mother of a developmentally disabled child calls us and asks for help because her child is in solitary confinement, we want to be able to do something about it and not say "sorry, we lack the resources to help you." Your donations allow us to take those calls and swing into action, as we did in Palm Beach County.

But wait - we are doing a lot more!


Our annual report for 2017 is here , which provides a detailed overview of the depth and breadth of HRDC's activities. We don't have room to include every media appearance or mention we receive, and we only list the conferences where HRDC staff are speakers or presenters. When conferences or events anywhere in the country need knowledgeable speakers, we are there.

Anytime a reporter or a media outlet contacts HRDC for background information, a quote or an on-camera or on-air interview concerning a criminal justice-related topic, someone knowledgeable about the brutal and exploitive U.S. justice system will be available to promptly speak with them. We never turn down a media request. The media highlights in our 2017 annual report will give you an idea of how the national news media views us, from Newsweek to the New York Times.

Please give whatever you can afford, and consider becoming an HRDC sustaining donor. We are in this fight for the long haul and need your support to continue fighting!

If you don't donate, who will?

About the Human Rights Defense Center


The Human Rights Defense Center is based in Lake Worth, Florida, with satellite offices in Nashville, TN; Seattle, WA; and Washington, D.C. HRDC’s mission is to advocate for the rights of people held in prisons, jails and other detention facilities, including immigrant detention centers. HRDC was founded in 1990 and has 18 full-time employees, including four staff attorneys.

In addition to advocacy, we engage in litigation, book publishing and publishing our monthly magazines, Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News . We are engaged in a number of projects related to criminal justice reform and oppose the privatization of correctional services by for-profit companies. See, for example, our websites on the private prison industry and Stop Prison Profiteering .

If you’d like more information on what we do, please check out our past annual reports , or articles like this one or this one .
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$95 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 4 months
Created December 21, 2018
Funds raised will benefit:
Human Rights Defense Center
Certified Charity
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Lake Worth, FL
EIN: 943143411
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