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Editorial Comments

By Ed Mead

Welcome to another issue of the newsletter. I've been so busy putting out a special issue of the PLN for prison law libraries across the country that I have not had much time to write my comments for this month. We are sending out a special version of the PLN to prison law libraries in all state and federal maximum and medium security facilities. That's about six hundred joints. We hope that by doing this we can increase our institutional subscriber base. If successful in terms of new subscriptions, this effort will help to alleviate a lot of our chronic shortages of money. Our incarcerated comrades can assist with this project by driving on your local law librarian to order one or more subscriptions to the PLN for prisoners at your place of confinement. Our institutional rate is just $25 per year.

These law librarians could be paying $198.00 for the Criminal Justice Newsletter, or $249.50 a year for the tenpage Corrections Digest, or $138.00 per year for the monthly jail & Prison Law Bulletin, or $30.00 for the 4-page monthly Crime & Delinquency News. The PLN contains a digest of news and information from all these sources, plus much more. We are offering something that is increasingly rare in the legal publishing business: value. There isn't another source where so much legal information can be obtained at such a reasonable rate.

Another reason for my being so rushed this month is that Paul, my co-editor, has been transferred from Clallam Bay and is on his merry way here to scenic Monroe. We were both in the same prison a several years ago, until we decided to start republishing the Red Dragon newsletter together. Elements within the administration called it a communist-subversive publication that advocated terrorism and shipped Paul out to Walla Walla. It will be nice to have him back. But with him in transit for the past several weeks I've been relegated to doing the whole paper on my own. That's a lot of work. In future issues, though, we'll be working together instead of trying to do all this by way of correspondence. Hopefully we'll be able to put out an even better newsletter for you. Those of you who correspond with Paul should now send your mail to him in care of this address (it is listed in the box on page two).

And on that note I'll shut it down for this month. Remember that we continue to need your donations. Paul and I have to pay all shortfalls in PLN income out of our 38 cents an hour prison wages. We don't mind doing all the reading, writing, and typing to get this paper to you each month. In fact it is a labor of love. But when we have to dig into our meager commissary accounts, and in the process go without our customary zu zus and warn warns from the store, then all of a sudden we ain't so loving any more. So the bottom line is that you should try to ensure that it does not cost us money (forget about all of the work we do) to send you this newsletter each month. Contributions should be sent to our Florida address.

Let me leave you with a nice quote Phillip Berrigan made when referring to the Ohio-7 conspiracy defendants: "Thank God for [people who] have some life in them and some conscience, some anguish over others ...Gandhi used to say that those who do nothing are far more guilty than those who do violence against tyranny." See you next month.

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