Prisoner’s rights: Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist who, in the years leading up to his arrest, actively exposed corruption and racism in Philadelphia.  He was convicted in 1982 of killing a policeman in a trial drenched in racism: while Philadelphia was 43% Black, only two jurors were African-American.  Throughout almost three decades on death row, Mumia Abu-Jamal has consistently fought against injustice and for his freedom.

A new book from death row

Mumia Abu-Jamal



Foreword by Angela Y. Davis
Introduction to UK edition by Selma James

Published by Crossroads Books

From death row, award-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal introduces us to fellow prisoners who litigate against their jailers, risking punishment or even death, to win justice for themselves and other prisoners. 

“This is the story,” he writes, “of law learned not in the ivory towers of multi-billion-dollar endowed universities [but] in the hidden, dank dungeons of America – the Prisonhouse of Nations.”

Selma James’s Introduction presents the parallel universe of UK jailhouse lawyers who, like their US counterparts, are leading a justice movement inside prisons.

UK prisoners, denied the vote, are campaigning for this fundamental right. A legal challenge brought by a jailhouse lawyer supported by a dedicated legal team won a European Court ruling in 2004 that a blanket ban on votes for prisoners violates their human rights. Yet the government, in opposing votes for prisoners, acts as if those of us who are prisoners are less human, and deny that prisons and what goes on in them also frame the kind of society we all inhabit.

The UK publication of Jailhouse Lawyers is an opportunity for prisoners’ campaign for the vote and other efforts for fundamental reforms to be more widely known and supported.


Click here to order

More information

Report from book launch in the House of Lords

Prisma Newspaper

Also in this section

Mumia case: appellate judges deliberate
Mumia’s response to the court ruling

Death Row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal – The case for a new trial


LAW’s Niki Adams speaks about Mumia Abu-Jamal

Leading UK lawyers petition US Appeal Court protesting racism in Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case
Also available in French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish

Voice article  Speech by Ian Macdonald

Journalists in support of Mumia: an open letter to the court

In Prison My Whole Life: a film about Mumia

Parliamentary showing

Exeter University showing

 LAW at the 3rd World Congress Against the Death Penalty (2007)

Doing the movement’s work from inside: an article by Selma James

Mumia in the media

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