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From the Editor

As this issue goes to press it is too early to have received any response on the matching grant campaign. Between May and January 2001, each issue of PLN will contain a bar graph showing how much has been donated to date and how much we need to raise to get the entire $15,000. We hope readers will contribute so we can continue to afford a second staff person.

Fred and Linda, PLN's office staff, want to remind readers that because PLN is mailed via third class mail, the post office does not forward PLN if you move. Instead, each issue is returned to PLN and the post office charges us 55¢ for each returned copy. If you move, or plan to move, please notify the PLN office immediately. Some prisons and post offices wait several months before returning undelivered copies of PLN, if they do at all, which is our only way of knowing you have moved if you don't tell us.

We only replace undelivered copies of PLN to institutional subscribers. Anyone else needing replacement copies of PLN due to a change of address needs to reimburse the postage.

PLN's office staff requests that prisoners not ask them for legal advice. As Fred says, he is not a lawyer. PLN has no legal staff. Second, Fred and Linda are very busy with the day to day business of keeping PLN running. Their other complaint is that prisoners frequently send large bundles of legal documents, asking for advice. Bundles they lack the time to read or do anything with. If you win or settle a case, send us the ruling or the settlement. If we need more information we will contact you for details. Do not send wads of paper or lengthy pleas for legal assistance on criminal cases.

Fred asks that correspondence to PLN be kept brief and to the point. If you have a question about your subscription that requires a response please include an SASE.

Next month will mark PLN's tenth anniversary and 121st consecutive issue of publication. After ten years I have a confession to make: I hate writing these "from the editor" columns. When we first started out, Ed Mead (PLN's co-founder and I wrote an editorial in every issue. We then started alternating issues so I would only have to write an editorial six times a year. Now, as sole editor I am writing the editorials each month.

A number of people responding to our reader survey said they didn't care for the editorial. Some months, like this one, I don't have anything especially profound to say. Traditionally, PLN's monthly editorial has been a way to let our readers know what is happening with PLN the magazine. The editorials have chronicled our growth, crises and thoughts and feelings of the day.

One constant in ten years of editorials is the constant begging for money. While we don't rival public television at times it feels like we are. In a perfect world there would be no need for a magazine like PLN. In a less than perfect world, PLN would have ample funding and resources. But, we don't. We have had to rely on the financial support of our readers just to get this far.

Besides the fact that I hate constantly asking our readers for money, the incessant quest for funding and perpetual financial crisis means there is less time to do what we should be doing: publishing a top notch advocacy magazine. If and when PLN is financially solvent there will be no more editorials begging for money. If you hate the begging as much as I do, then help PLN meet its fundraising goals so I can stop asking you to donate money each month!

Please let others know about PLN and encourage them to subscribe. Increasing our circulation is another way to keep PLN financially solvent.

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