Filing Grievances & Lawsuits

Filing grievances within prisons:

The Federal Bureau of Prisons presents a few different ways to contact them about concerns regarding a prisoner, however, they indicate that it often takes 20-30 business days to even receive a response which is inadequate for urgent medical concerns:

Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534


(202) 307-3198



Online contact form:

Or contact the federal facility where the prisoner is held directly:

State Prisons:

Most states have an internal written complaints system, which must be undertaken by the prisoner and will be reviewed by an internal committee. This procedure exhausts the administrative remedies and if handled unsatisfactorily may be followed by filing a Section 1983 civil rights lawsuit against the prison.

Filing grievances against physicians or medical staff:

Another option aside from filing grievances with the prison involved, a grievance may be filed specifically against the physicians and medical staff either with the state they are licensed in or the American Medical Association (AMA). There are also attorneys who pursue civil lawsuits against the physician(s) for medical malpractice for contingency fees.