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From the Editor

PLN has reached the point where we need at least one full time staff person on the outside. The amount of work that needs to be done is beginning to overwhelm our volunteers. The trouble with the idea that we pay someone is simple: We can't afford it. At our present rate of growth, we project that we could not pay a staff salary before the year 1998.

So, to make up the difference we need to shop around for a grant. Any ideas out there in reader-land? I'm sure we can figure out how to put together a decent grant proposal. What we mainly need help with is in who to submit the proposal to. We don't want to waste our time (and theirs)sending grant proposals to foundations that would have absolutely no interest in funding a project such as PLN . On the other hand, I'm sure there must be foundations out there who have a high degree of interest in funding something exactly like PLN ! These are the foundations we need to hear about. If you have any good tips, send them to Paul or me. (Our addresses are in the box on page two.)

One of the things I wish I had more time for is answering letters, especially from prisoners. I'll put them in my "answer if there's enough time" stack, and all too often the stack grows faster than I can whittle it down. One type of letter that we often get is some kind of plea for help. Prisoners write to Paul or me and want us to help them deal with whatever struggle they are having with their captors. All I can say to most of those letters is this: Paul and I pour our hearts and souls into producing PLN . We spend every spare minute of every day keeping this thing going. We do it because we want to provide a tool that prisoners can use to help themselves. But that's all we can do. In ninety-nine out of a hundred cases where someone writes for assistance, I just sigh and mutter, "Gee, what does he/she expect me to do about this? I'm locked up in a prison cage just like they are!"

What I'm saying with all of this is not that you should stop sending letters; just realize that Paul or I may not have the time to respond. If you want us to print some kind of appeal for assistance in PLN , bear in mind that we have a huge backlog of articles that need to be printed. Paul and I do the best we can with our goal in mind to serve as many prisoners with as much quality information as we possibly can. We don't want to bump an article with legal analysis and case law reporting in order to publish notices and appeals for help.

A reminder to PLN readers: When you send us a donation or letter, please write your return address on the letter itself. A PLN volunteer opens and sorts all the incoming mail and then sends it along to other PLN volunteers. Only the letters are forwarded, not the envelopes. If you fail to write your complete return address on the letter itself, the volunteer who opens the mail has to take the time to hand copy it himself. It may sound nit-picky, but it can add up to a lot of extra work.

In the November editorial I plugged Dollars and Sense , an outstanding magazine. I mentioned that they offer free subscriptions for prisoners. The publisher of D&S since informed me that they have some funds for prisoners, to be distributed on a first come / first serve basis. So, if you write for a free subscription, please make good use of it. When you're done with it, find someone else to pass it along to. My copy of D&S gets read by five prisoners that I know of, and hopefully many more.

Of course, the same can be said for PLN . Pass it along to a comrade when you're done with it. Encourage others to subscribe. And, as always, please send in those donations. Although we are seeking grant money, we ardently wish to maintain our editorial independence. The grant money will be a stop-gap measure. If you support a free press behind bars please send a generous donation soon.

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