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From the Editor

Readers have recently asked if PLN still accepts subscription donations paid for with new, unused postage stamps. Yes, we do. Through an oversight that information wasn't included when we recently revamped our subscription flyer.

As the first PLN of 1998 we present our index for 1997. The index confirms what many already know: that PLN provides more news and legal information relating to prisons and jails than any other publication, for a lot less. One goal we are working on is expanding PLN 's size. We could easily publish a 32 or 40 page issue each month. All we lack is the money to pay for it. As things stand now we can afford to publish a 24 page issue with the occasional 28 and 32 page issue. The larger issues this month and last month were made possible by those of you who responded to our fund-raiser mailing.

When I talk about expanding PLN 's size I'm not talking about adding fluff or filler but the solid legal and news articles our readers have come to expect. As a result of our size constraints we are limited in what we can publish as well as the length and detail we can offer. The key to expanding PLN 's size is expanding our subscriber base. The more subscribers we have the more we can offer. If each PLN subscriber could get just one more person to subscribe it would allow us to significantly expand our size. PLN started out as a 10 page newsletter in 1990. We have regularly expanded our size as our resources allow. If you haven't responded to PLN 's fundraising appeal, it's not too late. Please do so now as every little bit helps. All donations go directly to producing PLN , it isn't squandered on bloated administrative costs, "consultants" or wine, women and song.

A limitation we confront with a magazine format is that it's hard to give "the big picture" of how everything fits together. It was a desire to give "the big picture" that compelled us to write a book. We don't want to preach to the converted but reach and educate people who ordinarily don't get any viewpoint other than that propagated by the corporate media about the meaning and impact of the prison industrial complex. We hope that the PLN book "The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison Industry" will have an impact on public perception of prisons, prisoners and the criminal justice system. Until people know what is being done in their name, no positive change is likely to take place.

"The Celling of America" is available exclusively from PLN until March 1, 1998, when it will be on sale in bookstores nationwide. Get the book from PLN and you help support us. We detail the media's role as prisoncrats' propagandists; the new politics of crime; the increased oppression of prisoners; the exploitation of prisoner labor and a lot more. So don't wait, buy your copy now! [See ad on pg. 31 of this issue]

PLN often publishes articles about lawsuit settlements, jury verdicts or unpublished rulings that are reported nowhere else. Frequently readers have contacted us about getting copies of these rulings. Due to PLN 's limited resources we can rarely provide photocopies. Beginning with this issue of PLN we will post copies of unpublished rulings, settlements, etc., on PLN 's website where they can be accessed and downloaded. This is an exciting new development that will allow for the further dissemination of prison related news and information.

Lastly, even PLN makes mistakes. In the November, 1997, News in Brief section we said that Arkansas was the state planning to house male sex offenders and female prisoners in the same facility. That was a typo, the state of Alaska is where this pioneering experiment will occur.

Enjoy this issue of PLN and please encourage others to subscribe.

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