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Publications Review

Periodically we like to inform our readers of other publications out there that are informative and helpful to those interested in prison issues. On the last page of each issue we plug those publications that are of interest to a national audience and focus on prisoner rights. One of the keys to effective activism is being informed of what is going on, both locally, nationally and even internationally. All of the publications listed below help do this. If you can afford it you should subscribe to all of them.

Correctional Law Reporter: a 16 page magazine published six times a year, CLR is edited by Loyola Law professor Fred Cohen and former WA AAG Bill Collins. Each issue contains an overview of court decisions, analyzes trends within the courts and reports on literature available. CLR has devoted considerable space lately analyzing the impact of the supreme court's Sandin v. Conner decision. The editor's view is that prison litigation serves an important role in maintaining humane prisons. Subscriptions are $129.50 a year for six issues. Write: Civic Research Institute, 4490 Route 27, P.O. Box 585, Kingston, NJ 08528.

Corrections Compendium: is a monthly 32 page magazine that contains a mix of articles, national and international news, resources and conference updates. The highlight of this publication is that each issue contains an exhaustive state by state (including Canada as well) survey on a selected topic. Each month they send a detailed survey to all prison systems and then they compile the results. Past surveys have included prisoner privileges, death penalty, sex offender treatment, prison violence and escapes, prison health care, prison phone services, prisoner education, population projections, prison construction and funding, corrections budgets and much more. The information is original, innovative and not found anywhere else. Well worth a subscription at $60 a year. Contact: Cega Publishing, Dept. CC, P.O. Box 81826, Lincoln, NE 68501-1826. 1-800-255-2382.

Corrections Digest: is a weekly ten-page newsletter. It easily contains the most information on prison news in a concise, easy to read format. It does not cover much in the way of court rulings but it is filled with legislative news, reports, studies, death penalty news, and more. It bills itself as "The only independent news service for the corrections professional." PLN readers will note that we frequently cite Corrections Digest as a source for news articles. If you can afford it you should subscribe. Rates are $345.00 a year. Contact: Washington Crime News Services, 5724 Hwy. 280 East, Birmingham, AL 35242-6818. 1-800-633-4931.

CounterPunch: is a bi-weekly newsletter edited by Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein. Their byline says "Tells the Facts and Names the Names" which sums up their investigative journalism. While not specifically prison oriented they do cover prison related topics, political corruption, scandal and sleaze. Past scoops include Washington prisoners being used to elect "tough on crime" Republicans, Chase Manhattan bank executives calling for the crushing of Mexican insurgents, and more. Anyone with an interest in current affairs will benefit from CounterPunch. Subscriptions are $40 a year for individuals; $22 a year for low income. They welcome tips, information and suggestions. Contact: CounterPunch, P.O. Box 18675, Washington D.C. 20036.

Covert Action Quarterly: is a slick, well produced quarterly magazine that focuses on investigative journalism covering everything from government repression, espionage, environment, politics and more. People interested in prisons will find that it frequently covers prison labor and other issues, as well as police accountability, in a detailed, incisive manner. It frequently scoops the corporate media on topics of importance. Subscriptions are $22 a year. Contact: CAQ, 1500 Massachusetts Ave., NW # 732, Washington D.C. 20005.

Directory of Programs Serving Families of Adult Offenders is a 34 page directory compiled by the Family and Corrections Network. Copies are available for free from: National Institute of Corrections Information Center, 1860 Industrial Circle, Suite A, Longmont, CO 80501, 1-800-877-1461.

F.E.A.R. Chronicles: is the quarterly magazine of Forfeiture Endangers American Rights, a national civil rights group that focuses on combating the injustices of civil and criminal forfeiture laws. Each issue covers recent court decisions in forfeiture cases, legislative activity, lobbying, news and more. The best single source of forfeiture activism around. FEAR has chapters across the country and also publishes a book on challenging forfeitures. This is an important and developing area of law. FEAR membership, which includes a subscription, is $35 a year. Contact: FEAR, 20 Sunnyside, Suite A-204, Mill Valley, CA 94941. (415) 388-8128.

Florida Prison Legal Perspectives: is an excellent newsletter aimed at Florida prisoners, their families, supporters and general public. Each issue contains court rulings, administrative developments and news about the Florida DOC. It also includes resources and other information. All Florida prisoners should get this zine. Activists from other states should order this and use it as a blueprint for publishing similar newsletters in their state. Ideally, there should be an FPLP published by prisoners in all 50 states! Subscriptions cost $5 for prisoners, $10 for free people and $25 for institutions, from: FPLP, P.O. Box 660-387, Chuluota, FL. 32766.

Freedomways: is the bi-monthly newsletter of the Prison & Jail Project, a religious grassroots group which focuses attention on prisons and jails in Georgia. Past issues have covered topics as diverse as opposing construction of more jails and prisons, the death penalty, the inherent unfairness of the criminal justice system, avoidable deaths in the jails, lack of medical care and conditions of confinement. For the 1996 summer Olympics the Project printed and will be distributing a special edition of Freedomways to distribute to tourists and visitors depicting the reality of the GA prison system. Subscriptions are $10 a year. Contact: Prison & Jail Project, P.O. Box 6749, Americus, GA 31709.

Journal of Prisoners on Prisons: is a 70 page magazine published biannually that, like the title implies, contains the writings of prisoners on prisons. Edited by Canadian criminology professor Bob Gaucher, each issue contains essays and articles by prisoners, many of whom are PLN contributors, on prison related topics. While published in Canada, many of the articles are written by American prisoners. JPP aims at encouraging research on issues related to crime and punishment, prisoners and ex-prisoners. It does not run fiction or poetry. Subscriptions are $4.00 for prisoners; $7 for low income; $10 for individuals and $20 for institutions. Contact: JPP, Box 54, University Centre, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, R3T 2N2, Canada.

Law Enforcement News: is a 12 page bi-weekly tabloid published by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is aimed at people involved in law enforcement. That said, it frequently covers police corruption, law enforcement technology, police news, courts and other topics of interest to criminal justice consumers. Subscriptions are $20 a year. Write: LEN, 899 10th Ave., New York, NY 10019.

Minnesota Subcommittee-Prison Law Project is a quarterly newsletter by the MN National Lawyers Guild which is aimed at covering challenges to various anti-prisoner laws recently passed by the MN legislature. A lot of the legislation in question is that aimed at prisoner litigants and will be of interest to prisoners in other states litigating similar issues. For subscription information contact: Charles Long, MN NLG, 424 West Fifth St. Suite 5, Red Wing, MN 55066.

Newsline: is the monthly magazine published by the People with AIDS Coalition in New York. It is an excellent 44 page magazine filled with valuable information on AIDS, preventing its spread, treatment options and more. The September, 1995, issue focused on AIDS in prison. Articles included AIDS in NY prisons, Prisoners with AIDS (PWA) support groups, harm reduction in prison, resources for PWAs and more. Subscriptions are free to prisoners. Contact: Newsline, 50 West 17 St. 8th Fl. New York, NY 10011. 1-800-828-3280.

Pelican Bay Prison Express: is an irregularly published 48-page magazine which focuses on conditions at the Pelican Bay state prison in CA. It is an independent citizens' group formed in 1991 in response to the massive human rights abuses taking place at that prison. Among the group's goals are the end of long term solitary confinement in CA prisons and the closing of the Pelican Bay control unit. Each issue of their well written magazine contains a wealth of information on control units, CA prison issues, including the struggle by women prisoners to get adequate medical care, CA legislation, and political activism around prison issues. My only complaint is it doesn't come out more often! Subscriptions are $5 for prisoners; $15 for individuals and $35 for institutions. Contact: PBIP, 2489 Mission St., # 28, San Francisco, CA 94110.

The Bridge: is the bi-monthly newsletter of the Prisoners' Self Help Legal Clinic in New Jersey. While it is aimed at New Jersey prisoners and includes developments in state courts (including small claims, appellate, county level, etc.), it contains legal information useful to prisoners everywhere, especially in the third circuit. It also contains legislative and political information affecting prisoners in New Jersey. I find each issue informative and helpful. The important thing is that their emphasis is on educating prisoners so that we can help ourselves through the legal system rather than rely on others. To subscribe send a donation to: Prisoners' Self Help Legal Clinic, 2 Washington Place, Newark, NJ. 07102.

The NLG Practitioner: is a quarterly magazine published by the National Lawyers Guild. This review concerns their special 1995 Prisoner's Issue which are two editions that focus exclusively on prisoner rights and the socio-economic context the current wave of repression is riding on. The two-issue set covers habeas corpus litigation and civil rights litigation. Extensively footnoted with a wealth of information this is a "must" for the library of any prisoner activist, attorney or jailhouse lawyer. The two volume set costs $13, ask for the "Special Issue: Prisoners 1995: Law and Policy." Contact: The Guild Practitioner, P.O. Box 46205, Los Angeles, CA 90046.

Turning Point: is the quarterly newsletter of the Missouri chapter of CURE. Each issues focuses on commentary and news affecting prisoners and their supporters in the MO DOC. It frequently discusses death penalty and MO state law decisions as well. Subscriptions are $2 for prisoners; $10 for individuals; $25 for organizations. Write: MO CURE, P.O. Bo 29041, St. Louis, MO 63112.

Underground: is the quarterly magazine of the North American Animal Liberation Front Supporters Group. They are dedicated to ending the exploitation of animals by any means necessary. Issues focus on militant actions around the world taken against furriers, vivisectionists, factory farms, etc. It also includes sections on prisons and prisoners support, especially for those captured and imprisoned as a result of their animal liberation activities. They also have other publications and information available. At a time when most of the mainstream "environmental" groups have sold out to corporate interests the ALF is an international grassroots efforts to make animal exploiters accountable for their actions. Send donation to: NA-ALFSG, P.O. Box 8673, Victoria, BC. V8X 3S2, Canada.

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