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HRDC Speakers Bureau

Human Rights Defense Center staff are available to provide expert commentary on all aspects of the U.S. criminal justice system. They are widely recognized as authorities on prison and jail issues, including litigation and prisoners' rights, prison privatization, prison labor, the First Amendment in the prison context, felon disenfranchisement and public records/Freedom of Information Act issues.

HRDC staff members have been interviewed and quoted by news media across the nation and internationally. HRDC staff are available for phone, radio, television and in-person interviews; for our national media guide, please click here.

Available HRDC Speakers:

Paul Wright

HRDC's founder and executive director, Paul is a former prisoner who served 17 years in Washington state and started Prison Legal News while imprisoned in 1990. He is widely quoted on issues related to prison and jail conditions, First Amendment and free speech issues involving prisons and jails, public records and government transparency, prison-related litigation, media access to prisons and jails, and criminal justice policy. Paul is the co-editor of three anthologies on mass incarceration: The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison Industry; Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor; and Prison Profiteers: Who Profits from Mass Imprisonment. Paul has testified before the Vermont legislature on public records issues, been quoted in publications ranging from USA Today to The Nation, and has appeared on Anderson Cooper 360. More about Paul Wright.

Alex Friedmann

HRDC's associate director and managing editor of Prison Legal News, Alex is a former prisoner who served 10 years in Tennessee. He is widely recognized as a national expert on the private prison industry and prison privatization. Alex has been quoted on a wide variety of issues including felon disenfranchisement, private prisons, judicial nominations, prison medical care and public records. He has testified before a U.S. Congressional subcommittee and state legislative committees in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, and has presented at a Congressional briefing and Congressional caucus meeting. He has authored chapters in three published books, has been quoted in publications ranging from the New York Times to Newsweek, and has appeared on MSNBC. More about Alex Friedmann.

Sabarish Neelakanta

HRDC's general counsel and director of the HRDC Litigation Project, Sab was first admitted to the Florida Bar in 2006. He practiced law in Palm Beach County  for over 10  years, first as Assistant Public Defender and then as a solo practitioner for a litigation firm he founded and managed. Sab is licensed to practice law in Florida, the U.S Supreme Court, and several other federal districts in Michigan, New Mexico, Illinois and the District of Columbia. He frequently participates as counsel in HRDC/PLN cases and other prisoner rights cases nationwide. Sab is available to speak at CLE's and other legal seminars on issues related to civil rights, Constitutional rights, freedom of speech and other topics related to the U.S. criminal justice system. More about Sabarish Neelakanta.

Carrie Wilkinson

HRDC Prison Phone Justice Director Carrie Wilkinson is knowledgeable about issues concerning prison and jail phone rates and related topics. More about Carrie Wilkinson.