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From the Editor

Greetings and welcome to the 100th consecutive monthly publication of PLN . Who knew when Paul Wright and Ed Mead put out the first rough and tumble issue of PLN in May 1990, that it would flourish and prosper for 100 months? Certainly not the Washington prisoncrats who initially tried to nip PLN in the bud by banning its entry in all Washington prisons. But when Paul and Ed made it clear that such efforts would result in legal action, they backed off. One senior DOC official said, in essence, "Let them publish their pitiful little newsletter. It'll never last."

I say this to answer the many letters we get (especially from prisoners) that ask "How did you guys do it?" The answer, in part, is luck. It was fortunate that the DOC gave up early and saved us (and them) from a protracted legal battle over the right of prisoners to receive PLN . We still have to fight sporadic censorship battles, though.

Another part of the "secret" of our success is that PLN has always had the selfless and tireless support of volunteers on the outside, without whose efforts PLN could not have survived. For though the magazine is edited, and in large part written, by prisoners, it has always been published and mailed from the streets. For that reason, the magazine enjoys the same First Amendment protections afforded to, say, Time, Newsweek , or the Wall Street Journal .

Another reason for PLN s continued success -- and not the least of them -- is you, our readers. Without your support over the years PLN would have ceased to exist. Because, unlike Time , et al, PLN is a reader-supported non-profit. We don't serve our advertisers or profit-hungry stockholders. We serve you. As a non-profit, we quite literally belong to you.

I'd like to thank those of you who responded to my June editorial. Several readers sent useful information about funding sources. One Virginia prisoner said, "I don't know anybody in any foundations, but here's $50. I hope that helps." I know how hard it is for a prisoner to scrape together fifty clams. So that donation means a lot.

Other readers responded to my June editorial by hustling up new subscribers. PLN 's circulation manager, Fred, tells me that more new subscription orders poured in during the month of June than in any month he can remember. To each and every new subscriber and to those who encouraged you to get on board, l say "Thanks".

Lastly, in order to insure our vitality and success for the next 100 issues, I regretfully announce a modest subscription increase that will take effect October 1, 1998. Prisoner subscriptions will remain an affordable $15/year. However, subscriptions for individuals will increase to $25/year. And for Institutional/High income subscribers, the new rate will be $60/year. Pre-paid subscription and renewal orders for the current rates will be honored through September. So now is a great time to renew. In fact, pre-pay for two or three years now under the current rates and save even more.

That's all for this issue. Enjoy, and pass it along to a friend when you're through. And be sure to pass along the enclosed subscription order card, too. Encourage them to "do the right thing" by becoming a subscriber themselves.

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