Self-Help Resources


The 2020 edition of the Reentry Guidebook was developed by SADO’s Project Reentry.  Reentry back into the community for any formerly incarcerated person can be difficult and can be especially difficult for individuals who serve lengthy incarceration stays. Individuals coming home from prison or jail need assistance with identifying community support, learning how to use technology, developing skills to manage finances, finding reliable transportation or obtaining a driver’s license, applying for public benefits, finding employment and housing, and much more.

The Reentry Guidebook attempts to capture the basic information needed to navigate the sometimes-complicated procedures for obtaining basic needs, such as housing, identification, employment, and education. We hope our client population, and those supporting and serving them, will find this Guidebook useful. A printed version can be purchased on our Products Page.

Innocence Resources

Wayne County Prosecutor Office Conviction Integrity Unit: Apply for review of a Wayne County Conviction using this application form.

Michigan Innocence Clinic
University of Michigan Law School
701 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091
Phone: 734.763.9353
Fax: 734.764.8242

WMU-Cooley Innocence Project
300 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
Phone: (517) 371-5140

Voting Rights

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions by People in the Criminal Justice System

Sex Offender Registration Act

Petitioning for Removal from the Sex Offender Registry, Prepared by SADO, August, 2012

For Families and Friends of Incarcerated Individuals

What happens after your loved one has been convicted of a crime? We welcome you to attend a Family and Friends Informational Session to learn more about appeals and life after incarceration. View the information packet prepared by SADO’s Client and Public Outreach Committee, which addresses the following topics:

  • The process of a criminal appeal
  • Visiting a prison (policies of the MDOC)
  • Communicating with an inmate of the MDOC
  • Basic resources for inmates and their loved ones

Veteran Rights: Learn about your rights as a Veteran while incarcerated.

Preparing for Parole
Parole Preparation Kit - compilation of materials prepared by American Friends Service Committee, MI-CURE, and SADO

Appeals in Michigan State Courts
*New* Guide to Pursuing a Criminal Appeal for People who are Not Attorneys

Michigan Courts Self Help Center

"Filing Appeals and Original Actions", an Appellant's Pro Per Guide from the Michigan Court of Appeals

"When Someone Files an Appeal From Your Court Victory" Appellee's Pro Per Manual from the Michigan Court of Appeals

*UPDATED* Pro Per Application for Leave to Appeal in a Criminal Case to the Michigan Supreme Court, Prepared by the Michigan Supreme Court Clerk's Office

Motion for Relief from Judgment (6.500) Packet prepared by SADO, July 2014

Information and Forms for People without Attorneys in Federal Court

Eastern District of Michigan

How to File Your Lawsuit Handbook and Pro Se Litigation, and forms for Habeas Petitions and Prisoner Civil Rights Complaints

Western District of Michigan

Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, Habeas Petition and Prisoner Civil Rights Complaints

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Notice of Appeal (to be filed in the District Court) and Application to Proceed In Formal Pauperis on Appeal

United States Supreme Court

Guide to Filing Paid Cases and In Forma Pauperis Cases (unpaid) 

Expungement and Clean Slate

Contact the Lakeshore Legal Aid Hotline at: 888-783-8190. Attorneys are available to give advice. 

Michigan Clean Slate Overview.

Safe & Just Michigan Clean Slate for First-Violation DUI

Safe & Just Michigan FAQ on Clean Slate Legislation

MI Legal Help Expungement Resources

Civil Litigation

The Michigan Legal Help Website, is designed to help self-represented litigants handle relatively simple civil legal matters on their own, funded by a grant from the Michigan State Bar Foundation as part of the Solutions on Self-Help Taskforce.

*UPDATED* Pro Per Application for Leave to Appeal in a Civil Case to the Michigan Supreme Court, Prepared by the Michigan Supreme Court Clerk's Office