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From the Editor

Beginning the first of March, 1998, the PLN book The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison Industry will be on sale in bookstores nationwide. To date the feedback we've received on the book has been very positive. If you've read the book please write and let us know what you think of it, good or bad. We welcome comments so that we can improve any future books we publish. If you haven't ordered a copy yet just send $19.95 for each copy that you want, and $3 for priority mail postage, to PLN and it will be sent to you immediately. We hope that the book will inform and enlighten people about the reality of the prison industrial complex.

So far PLN 's annual fund-raiser has brought in $2,697.24 in donations, which is still short of the goal of $6,000. If you haven't contributed to the PLN fund-raiser yet, it's not too late. All donations are tax deductible for those who pay taxes. Every little bit helps, so don't think that small donations don't count.

Recently a few readers have written in to ask about books they have seen reviewed in PLN . Namely, asking us to confirm if the books are indeed as good as we say they are in our reviews, if they are worth the price, etc. Our editorial policy for book reviews is that Dan or I look at all books or materials reviewed in PLN . In many cases we ask others to do the reviews themselves; I almost always review law related publications. We rarely run negative reviews. It's not because we like everything we read. Instead, due to space limitations we only review those materials that we think will interest and benefit our collective readership.

When it comes to expensive books (usually law books), we are especially conscious of the cost. In fact, some books don't get reviewed because we think they are overpriced, similar information is available elsewhere, cheaper, etc. When I review a book I ask myself if I would feel ripped off if I paid "X" amount for it and received it. In other words, is the average user likely to get that much use of it. In some cases we note in the review that a book might be great for a library, but not so good for an individual, as opposed to books that every prison litigant or person interested in jails/prisons, etc., should have. The same holds true for the book ads in PLN .

If readers respond to any reviews or ads in PLN please tell them that you heard about their product or services here. There are three ways that PLN can expand its size to bring you more information: increase our subscriber base, which cuts down our per issue costs; increase advertising revenue, which subsidizes PLN 's fixed operating costs or raise subscription rates. We prefer to focus on the first two because we're committed to keeping PLN affordable. Telling publishers and advertisers that you heard about them in PLN will encourage them to advertise or continue advertising in PLN .

We'd like to thank all our readers that send us clippings and unpublished court rulings. Very few prison stories make the national media. The best sources of published information about prisons and jails is frequently the local and regional publications where the prisons are located. Frequently we learn about a story from a reader who sends us a clipping, at which point we can get further information from other sources, including PLN readers at a given facility. So keep the clippings coming, be sure to include the date and publication on each clipping. If you there is prison related news happening in your state and your wondering why PLN hasn't covered it, it's probably because no one has sent us any information on it. To the extent our coverage of some states is better and heavier than it is of other states is largely because we have readers in those states that keep us abreast of what is happening. So keep us posted on what's happening in your neck of the woods. Enjoy this issue of PLN and be sure to encourage others to subscribe.

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