From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of PLN. We are still working on our 1994 prison calendar and we still need graphics and drawings. Any prison artists interested in participating should send us a copy of their work for us to check out, if we want to use it we will then contact you about getting an original or a better copy. The calendar will be in black and white and the graphics will be in a landscape format, horizontal 11 by 8. To have it available in time for the new year we need to have it at the printer by September. Anyone interested in participating should contact Ed or myself.
Recently we went through our mailing list to find out how many were supporting subscribers. This is the first time we'd done this and the results kind of surprised us. A little more than 38% of our readers are getting free subscriptions and another 12% have donated less than $5.00. So all told, slightly more than half our readers have donated less than $5.00 (see accompanying graph). Most of the non-donors are prisoners.
We don't expect prisoners in control units or on death row to make donations (but if you can afford it feel free to do so) because of the difficulty in earning money on lockdown. But we do expect prisoners in population and free people to donate. It costs us about $.50 to print and mail each issue of PLN. Those are pretty much our only expenses, no one at PLN gets a salary, we have no overhead because everything is done by volunteers. All we want is for people to try to cover the cost of their subscription. All donations, no matter how small, help. When we get letters from prisoners in population who state they find PLN useful and informative but that they can't make any donation whatsoever I wonder how useful we can be if they can't hustle up a few stamps to cover subscription costs.
The reason I bring this up now is that while PLN has more readers than ever before many of the new additions are indigent and have not donated. At the moment we can afford to provide complimentary subscriptions and can do the occasional extra big issue like last month's PLN. But we see PLN as a long term project. PLN fulfills a need not met by any other publication and we want to continue meeting those needs and we will do so as long as the project pays for itself. We try not to let money concerns interfere with our operation, we've never turned anyone down for a subscription if they were indigent, in a control unit, down on their luck, etc. But at some point if the current trend continues and the non paying subscribers continue to increase in proportion to paying subscribers we will no longer be breaking even, it will start costing us more money to print and mail PLN than we take in from donations. That will necessitate our starting to cut non-donors from the mailing list. You, our readers, are our only source of income. We don't have any big money sponsors, we don't sell advertising, and our politics pretty much cut us off from grants and such from the poverty pimp foundations (we have already tried that, unsuccessfully). Financial independence also means that we answer only to you, our readers. My dad says that whenever people give you money (lots of it) they expect you to think like they do. Well, we aren't going to change our way of thinking, or PLN's editorial line, just for money. But that doesn't mean we don't need money. To make a long story short, if you haven't made any donations or aren't covering the cost of your subscription and you have the means to do so, please send us a donation.
One means that prisoners can use to make PLN accessible to more readers, and help subsidize our indigent subscriptions, is to encourage their library or law library to subscribe to PLN at our institutional rate of $25.00 a year. We can provide invoices with our federal tax number and other information on request. If you know of anyone interested in what PLN has to say encourage them to subscribe. We can provide you with subscription forms on request. Enjoy this issue and pass it along when you're done with it.