- (informal) A person incarcerated in a prison, jail, etc., who has acquired significant knowledge of the justice system and who is able to represent himself in some legal proceedings and to provide legal advice to other prisoners.
1994 June 11, Alisa Solomon, “The Prison on Varick Street”, in New York Times (retrieved 19 Nov 2012):
- As something of a jailhouse lawyer, he has gathered affidavits attesting to abusive treatment by guards at the center, informed detainees of their legal rights and helped them write letters of appeal.
2001 June 24, David S. Jackson, “Murder Most Foul”, in Time:
- Once there, he became a jailhouse lawyer, filing complaints about everything from prison food to his attorneys.
- 2013, Nicole Hendrix, James Inciardi, Experience Criminal Justice, page 325:
- Thus, the justices held that unless the state could provide some reasonable alternative type of legal assistance, a jailhouse lawyer must be permitted to aid inmates in filing habeas corpus petitions.
- “jailhouse lawyer” at OneLook Dictionary Search