Evamaria Kartzian and Craig Mackey, both class of 2013, received the Robert Bensing Award from Prisoners’ Legal Services (PLS) of New York for their pro bono work with the organization last year. The awards were presented at the organization’s National Pro Bono Week event titled “Bookends: The Effects of Incarceration on Children and the Elderly” on Oct. 21, 2013, at the Capital Repertory Theater in Albany.
Students who work on the project typically provide legal support for prisoners by writing legal articles and providing research. Students also conduct administrative appeals for prisoners who are challenging disciplinary hearings, as well as draft and file petitions to challenge decisions of state agencies.
The non-profit legal services organization provides civil legal services to indigent inmates in New York state correctional facilities in cases where no other counsel is available. Since its creation by the New York State Bar Association in 1976, PLS’ mission has been to provide high quality, effective legal representation and assistance to indigent prisoners, to help them to secure their civil and human rights and advocate for more humane prisons and for a more humane criminal justice system.