The other big changes have to do with Dan being moved to a different prison. On August 21, 1995, he was moved to Twin Rivers Corrections Center (TRCC), ostensibly because he has "minimum" custody. His address is listed on page two, please note that both the prison he is at and the one I am in are the same village but they are different.
When PLN first started Ed Mead, the former co-editor, and I were at different prisons and we had to do stuff through the mail. So we are back to that situation again. It will not have any serious impact with regards to PLN's content and form. Of course I have to put up with Dan complaining about "having to learn to write all over again with primitive instruments: pen and paper." But I'm sure he'll adjust. The biggest impact this has had is that Dan had been handling our mailing list. For any publication that goes out through the mail its most important link is its mailing list.
With some 1,800 subscribers handling the mailing list is a major task in and of itself. Dan is quite the computer whiz (unlike me) and he made a program custom designed for PLN's mailing list. He put hundreds of hours into it and it has served us well. We had always been concerned about having the mailing list in prison because it made PLN susceptible to the repressive whims of our captors but it was something that needed to be done in order to get the program written, tried out and debugged. Dan succeeded in doing that and we have turned over the whole mailing operation to Jason our latest volunteer. You're getting this issue of PLN because Jason has managed to learn our mailing list program and how to handle our mail, etc., with regards to your subscriptions. So welcome aboard Jason!
If you have any questions about any delays with regards to mail you've sent us about your subscription please bear with us on whatever delay you have experienced. Jason has been busy learning about computers, databases, doing data entry and the other things it takes to handle a relatively big database. In the long run this will make PLN better in that we have added a new volunteer and secured the mailing list.
You may recall that earlier we said we were going to expand to 24 pages once we hit 2,000 readers. We still haven't gotten to that point yet but we expanded because we have a big backlog of legal articles to print. We also ran out of Business Reply Cards (the cards that fall on your feet when you open PLN), so we decided to go ahead and print more with the new institutional rate on them, making it possible to increase our size. We are still working on increasing our circulation. On October 1, 1995, we got hit with yet another postage increase by the post office and the cost of newsprint has gone up 20% in the past ten months. Which means we need more money. So if you can afford it please send what you can, encourage friends and family to subscribe. All the money we get we put back into PLN, you're getting what you pay for here. If our income doesn't match our expenses we will have to cut costs which means going back to fewer pages, cutting the number of trial and free subscriptions we provide, etc. Basically there isn't a whole lot of fat to trim at PLN, our main expenses are postage and printing and they are constant, and rising. So send what you can if you think PLN is worth supporting.
On another note, the last few issues of PLN have been pretty heavy with legal articles, the reason for that is that the courts have been cranking out a lot of relevant prison cases. But with limited space we have sacrificed on the news and commentary pieces a bit. We have always tried to remain responsive to what you, our readers want. What do you want in future issues of PLN in terms of content? Do you like the news, the legal blurbs, the commentary, the foreign prison stuff or what? Do you think our articles are too long, just right or not long enough? I have written most of the legal blurbs since PLN started. Looking at old issues of PLN, when we only had 10 pages to work with, I was really brief. As we got more pages I got wordier even though I have tried to stay on point. One option is to dramatically cut down the space used in legal blurbs. What do you think of that? Basically we are in a battle to stay relatively timely and relevant as well as a source of reliable and useful information. We welcome any comments and suggestions from you, our readers, on how we can do that. We have expanded to 24 pages now and we don't have any fluff or space filler, i.e. no cartoons, graphics, puzzles, etc., inch for column inch we think we are one of the most informative publications around. So get back to us on how we can improve. Likewise, how we can increase our circulation and get more readers. What will make us more responsive to readers' needs and desires? Please pass this issue along to others when you're done with it.
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