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Alert COVID-19 Update

Harvard University and Harvard Law School shifted to remote teaching and learning, as of Monday, March 23. For more information and the latest updates, please visit the HLS coronavirus information page.


Professors Sullivan, Rabb, and Crespo, in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) and the Impact Defense Initiative (IDI), seek student volunteers interested in developing and executing strategies for the release of inmates from both federal and state penal institutions in light of the COVID-19 world pandemic.

The aim of the project is to research the grounds for transfer (to home confinement or to other, less restrictive, conditions) of people incarcerated in federal and state facilities, and to engage in litigation efforts to secure such transfer. Such efforts may include direct representation of individual inmates who qualify for such a transfer, along with efforts to identify adequate spaces for inmates to serve in a home confinement or alternative status. Opportunities may also arise for students to pursue state-wide release orders, similar to that recently adopted in New Jersey. Strategy and research efforts will be guided by Professors Sullivan, Rabb, and Crespo; production of student work product and any related litigation efforts will be undertaken under the supervision of clinical instructors and practicing lawyers.

Students need not be enrolled in CJI or IDI to participate in this effort—all students are welcome to apply. Students can expect their efforts to entail 10-15 hours per week. Interested persons should send their resumes and a brief letter of interest to Kekely Dansouh at

Eligible for HLS pro bono credit.