By Paul Wright
Welcome to another issue of PLN. We are enclosing a PLN subscription form with this issue. If you are receiving PLN and have not yet donated, please take this opportunity to do so. Otherwise, you might miss some issues. We would also appreciate it if you could copy and then distribute our flyer to other prisoners, their friends, families and people interested in what we have to say. We are trying to build up our subscription base and we need your help. Let folks know that we're here!
In an effort to make PLN available to more prisoners we sent a sample copy to the prison law libraries of every medium and max prison in the US, about 600 total. So far the response has been underwhelming, with only some eight law libraries subscribing. Apparently the state has plenty of money for new prisons, razor wire, fences, etc., but not for resources to put in its libraries. All told we think it was a success in that more prisoners became aware of PLN.
We plan to conduct other mass mailings to potential subscribers at some point soon. Please let us know if you have any suggestions of people, groups, etc., which we can target. We will be sending sample copies of PLN to various prison and prisoner rights groups and law school libraries across the country. Now that we have our nonprofit bulk mailing permit we have cut our postage costs about as much as we can. The only expense left that we can cut is our printing costs. We want to go to a tabloid newspaper format which would give us more pages at half or two-thirds our current printing costs. The problem with the tabloid format is that commercial printers have minimum print runs, usually a thousand copies or more. We currently have about 450 subscribers, so we need to double that number. With more than a million Americans in prison our potential reader base is quite large, even larger if we consider the friends and family of each prisoner. We need to reach that potential reader base and let them know what we have to offer.
In the context of the prison press we have been pretty successful, in that we have been publishing for almost three years and have never missed an issue or suffered any big delays (although we have had our moments of suspense), while other publications have come and gone. This has been possible thanks to the support of our great outside volunteers. Janie, Sandy, Jim, Mike and all the others who have folded, stapled and mailed PLN. Dan who has taken care of the mailing list and desk top publishing. Rollin who has handled our mail and money. We are financially self sufficient thanks to you, our readers.
PLN has been made available to readers in Europe and the Middle East thanks to the dedication and generosity of the Oxford ABC (Anarchist Black Cross) and the Oxford Polytechnic Anarchist Society who print and mail PLN to our European readers. Arm the Spirit in Canada has made PLN available to readers in Canada, Mexico, Latin America and Asia. We extend our thanks and gratitude to Paul, Ron and all the others who have helped extend our message outside the US who have been with us since we first started. If it weren't for the assistance from Oxford ABC and ATS we would not have been able to afford mailing PLN overseas due to the high postage costs.
A few of our readers have wondered why some issues of PLN have more legal news in them than others. The reason for this is we rely on the decisions the courts put out in their advance sheets. Sometimes a few weeks will go by with no useful cases being printed. At other times there is a flurry of good cases which we then report. This is beyond our control, so if some issues don't have much case law don't worry, we're not holding back on you. We hope you enjoy this issue of PLN. Pass it along to others when you're done with it.
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