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With only three staffers and a huge agenda advocating for prisoners’ rights, the D.C. Prisoners’ Legal Services Project has decided to merge with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. The merger will become official Oct. 1, and the project’s staff are preparing to move next month into the committee’s office in Dupont Circle, says Philip Fornaci, the prisoner project’s executive director. “We’re basically moving intact over there,” Fornaci says. “These are pretty precarious times for the type of litigation we do. We felt having the stability of a larger organization would be very helpful.” The project, which will become the D.C. Prisoners’ Project under the committee, will continue representing D.C. inmates incarcerated locally or in the federal prison system on issues such as access to health care, reduction of prison violence, and the social reintegration of former inmates into society. The D.C. Bar Foundation, which helps fund the project, has provided an additional grant for moving expenses.
Brendan Smith can be contacted at [email protected].

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