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From the Editor

From The Editor

Paul Wright

For the past five years, the January issue of PLN has contained our annual index. We decided to discontinue the practice last year because as PLN grew so did the index. It has gotten to the point that an annual index takes up most of one issue of PLN. We are currently working on a cumulative index that is highly specific and encompasses all articles printed in PLN. We expect to have it ready within the next few months. As soon as it is available and ready for shipping we will announce it in PLN.

This issue concludes PLN's series of articles on prison health care or the lack thereof. The prison health care crisis behind bars is not only being ignored by state and federal governments it is being abetted by them. Historically prisons and jails have been breeding grounds for disease and illness. That historical role continues the only difference being is that today's illnesses are hepatitis C and HIV, in centuries past it was smallpox and typhus. Tuberculosis has, however remained a constant. I would like to thank those readers who sent information and material that we used in this series of articles.

PLN's matching grant fundraiser ends on January 15, 2001. As this issue goes to press we are within $200 of meeting our $15,000 goal. Donations for the matching grant fundraiser are still arriving so we expect to meet our goal. The Sonya Staff Foundation in New York has awarded PLN a grant of $12,500. These grants coupled with the continued support of PLN readers will allow us to hire a second staff person in the near future. PLN has also received a $1,000 grant from the Martin and Rebecca Chaney Foundation for the purpose of subsidizing trial subscriptions to prisoners in those states where PLN currently has few subscribers.

Fred, PLN's office manager, reports that he continues to get large numbers of requests for legal advice and assistance from prisoners. Not only is Fred not a lawyer, he is unable to provide any legal advice. More importantly this detracts from the time needed to keep PLN running. Please save PLN's staff time and your postage and do not write PLN with requests for legal advice or assistance on criminal matters. PLN is doing everything it has the limited resources to do at this time.

We also receive a lot of mail informing PLN of recently filed pro se civil rights cases. As a general rulePLN only reports final judgments in civil rights cases. When you win a judgment or settlement in a case, send us that information. Otherwise the only information PLN has the space to publicize are class action suits filed by counsel, which will impact a large number of readers. We appreciate receiving information about verdicts and settlements in favor of prisoner plaintiffs, which we can report inPLN as that information is rarely publicized elsewhere. Enjoy this issue of PLN and encourage others to subscribe.

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